Archive for November, 2011

Consolideck ColorHard 1-step hardener/densifier/colorant decorates the courtyard at Tse'bii'nidzisgai Elementary School in Monument Valley, Utah. Colors (L to R) Light Roast , Desert Sand, Georgia Clay and Light Roast again. photos courtesy of Jared Buckley, Hogan & Associates Construction

Just got this batch of cool photos (click pics for larger view) of the newly constructed Tse’bii’nidzisgai Elementary School in Monument Valley, Utah. I wanted to put the correct pronunciation of that exotic name in parenthesis following it — but try as I might to dig it up on the web, no phonetic transcription was forthcoming.

I think it’s Navajo. If you can pronounce it, leave a comment on the blog, or e-mail me at gary.henry@prosoco.com. I would love to know.

Inside, the school’s floors are polished concrete, hardened, densified, colored and protected with Consolideck products.

This polished concrete entryway was hardened/densified with Consolideck products LS (lithium-silicate), decorated with GemTone Stain, and protected with a micro-thin coating of LSGuard. Colors are Desert Sand, Georgia Clay and Espresso.

Hogan & Associates Construction, Centerville, Utah, built the school. They also created the polished floors and colorful courtyard, rather than subbing out the work. Border Construction Specialties provided the Consolideck products out of their Flagstaff branch.

I’m working on getting more details and photos for a full story, but wanted to share these great pics. I got them from Bruce Ferrell, who is part of our Concrete Products Group. He got them from Hogan & Associates Project Engineer Jared Buckley.

Bruce showed up at the jobsite in response to a trouble call. The ColorHard on the outside courtyard (top photo) was drying out before it had a chance to penetrate the concrete. The concrete was so dry that it instantly sucked down the water-component of the ColorHard solution, leaving the color and hardener/densifier to dry on the surface.

This was in July, when daytime temps get around 100 degrees F, and sun-heated concrete gets as hot as 140 degrees, Bruce said. Even though the crews were applying the ColorHard between 5 and 6 am, before the heated winds kicked up, they still had trouble with warmth and excessive dryness.

Bruce Ferrell, of PROSOCO's Concrete Products Group helps train the next generation of concrete professionals, while at another elementary school jobsite -- this one in Bentonville, Ark. John Young photo

Bruce showed them how to compensate for the extreme conditions. The first fix was to replace the LS (lithium-silicate) hardener/densifier used to mix with the ColorHard dye with LS/CS, which is a thinner, though still effective hardener/densifier.

He also recommended boosting the water content of the mix.

When doing that, though, always use filtered or distilled water, Bruce says. Tap water may contain chemicals and minerals that can affect the densifier. Construction-site water is often really bad, he said, since at the early stages they usually tap into fire-hydrant water, which is full of rust, minerals, sediment, and other potential contaminants.

With those adjustments made, the ColorHard went down fine, Bruce said.

Indoors, he said, away from the weather, everything went smoothly.

On another subject — Happy Veteran’s Day, everyone, and thank you to all who have served!

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Polished concrete flooring at Tse'bii'nidzisgai Elementary School, Monument Valley. Colors (L to R) Bronze, Espresso, Georgia Clay, Light Roast and on the far right edge, Desert Sand.

Polished concrete hallway floor at Tse'bii'nidzisgai Elementary School, Monument Valley, Utah. Light Roast on the left, Georgia Clay on the right.

The view from the shool courtyard faces East into the community and nearby buttes.

Polished concrete flooring at Elementary School, Monument Valley, Utah. Desert Sand surrounded by Espresso. I believe that's a representation of a cougar footprint etched into the concrete.

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Sorry, Jayhawks

Technicians from specialty contractor ARID Resources apply PROSOCO R-GUARD Spray Wrap Air & Water-Resistive Barrier to East elevation pre-cast concrete walls before the metal cladding goes on at the new Hendricks Training Complex at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. photo by Matt Henderson, PROSOCO

We’re mostly KU Jayhawk fans here at PROSOCO.

Many of us are KU graduates — not me, but my spouse is, and most of us live in Lawrence, home to the University of Kansas. And yes, the football team is struggling now, but not too long ago, they won the Orange Bowl. And basketball… well, it was invented here.

But PROSOCO is an equal-opportunity manufacturer. So when PROSOCO R-GUARD Spray Wrap, a fluid-applied, vapor-permeable air and water-resistive barrier was specified for and then installed by specialty contractor ARID Resources, Omaha, for the incredible new Hendricks Training Center at arch-rival University of Nebraska, we didn’t say a word.

The $18.7 million addition to the university’s Bob Devaney Sports Center opened Oct. 13. It features amenities by the ton — wooden lockers with built-in iPads, for instance.

The building will also be energy-efficient due to Spray Wrap helping to stop air and water leaks through the building’s exterior walls. That will also help the building stay more comfortable for the occupants.

Alas, since the complex is a training facility for men’s and women’s basketball teams, and the wrestling team, it may actually help the Cornhuskers come onto the court or mat better prepared than they would be if they had trained in a building that leaked air and energy.

Sorry, Jayhawks.


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Participants at the "Installing polished concrete floors" seminar, hosted by PROSOCO -- (L to R) Dana Rickerd, Ace Concrete by Design, Salem, Mo; Deb and Jim Carson, Unique Concrete LLC, Sioux City, Iowa

We’ve got company today.

About 40 or 50 contractors, distributors, consultants and manufacturers, all who are involved in polished concrete flooring or who would like to be, are attending the year’s fifth professional seminar and hands-on demo “Installing polished concrete floors.”

PROSOCO is hosting this edition of the seminar here in Lawrence. We’re providing info on hardening/densifying, coloring and protecting polished concrete floors The program’s other sponsors are Metzger/McGuire and SASE.

Metzger/McGuire will teach participants about joint installation and protection and floor repair. SASE is handling the grinding and polishing.

SASE's 1,050-pound PDG (Planetary Diamond Grinder) 8000 is one of the pieces of gear participants will get hands-on experience with during the polished concrete flooring seminar.

“This is not about sales,” Joe Reardon, of PROSOCO’s Concrete Products Group, says. “It’s for education only.”

Along with demonstrating basic techniques for making a gleaming colorful floor out of a rough steel-troweled concrete surface, the seminar leaders will discuss with participants many of the commonly encountered problems and situations encountered in this work.

“Color situations are an example,” Joe said. “High moisture content in the concrete can affect appearance. So can high atmospheric humidity. We’ll talk about how to deal with those and other problems.”

Though the seminar is free, participants still pay to attend, in terms of travel costs, and time away from work.

Deb and Jim Carson, Unique Concrete LLC, Sioux City, Iowa, drove 300 miles to attend.

“We do mostly overlays and countertops,” Deb said. “We want to expand into grinding and polishing.

“I’ve seen some horrible work in our area. I know with my attention to detail we can do better.

“Most of the polished concrete floors I’ve seen are just boring single colors. I want to bring some design and movement to our polished concrete floors; make them more artistic.”

Dana Rickerd, Ace Concrete by Design, Salem, Mo., does acid-staining. He’s here to learn the basics of polishing and water-based dyes.

Dana, Deb, Jim and other participants will get hands-on experience on a concrete floor. PROSOCO and Deco-Pour, Snohomish, Wash., put down a 12 by 20-foot overlay Wednesday for the seminar.

Deb Carson wrangles the half-ton PDG 8000 planetary diamond grinder during the "Installing polished concrete floors" seminar, Nov. 2.

“The overlay went atop of an old slab we’d poured back in 2008,” Joe said. “Actually, it went over another overlay we poured two weeks ago as practice for our upcoming World of Concrete demo.”

The overlays work just as well as a slab, but give you a fresh surface on top of a slab that’s badly damaged, Joe said. They’re also good for topping floors covered with mastic or old adhesive that you don’t want to go through the time and trouble to remove.

This is the fifth edition of “Installing polished concrete floors.” It’s previously been hosted by SASE at locations in Tennessee, Texas and Pennsylvania. Another seminar was hosted by PROSOCO distributor CPD in Ontario, Canada. About 400 concrete professionals have participated in the seminars, including today’s program here in Lawrence.

Though this is the final seminar for 2011, another round is planned for 2012, Joe said. The first of them is set for Feb. 16 in Kent, Wash. Check the “Latest News” column at www.consolideck.com for updates and information on how to register.

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Marcus Turek, SASE, one of the seminar instructors, displays the heads and drum of the PDG 8000. "Planetary" refers to the fact that all three heads revolve in one direction, while each individual head rotates in the opposite direction. The double motion minimizes the chances for gouges and "cornrows" during grinding and polishing.

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