Menu
Blog | All Posts
Working Safely Outdoors: Beat the Heat Before It Beats You
July 27, 2017 | Tips and Advice

Hot summer days aren’t all fun and games. For outdoor workers who are exposed to extreme conditions, summer’s heat presents significant hazards such as sunburn, dehydration and heat stroke. The combination of heat and dehydration can pose a particularly serious health threat during summer for Utah concrete and construction workers. Knowing how to work safely outdoors in hot weather is critical when it comes to preventing heat illness.

Heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke –
what’s the difference?

Heat illness can occur in various degrees, most notably heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heat cramps are muscle pains caused by loss of fluids and electrolytes during sweating. Outdoor workers who experience heat cramps should rest and replace lost fluid by drinking water and/or sports drinks.

Heat exhaustion is a serious heat-related illness that causes dizziness, nausea, extreme thirst, weakness, confusion and elevated body temperature. Outdoor workers with heat exhaustion should be moved to a cooler location, given water to drink, and apply cold compresses to the head, face and neck. If symptoms persist, medical services are necessary.

Heat stroke is the most extreme form of heat illness and happens when the body’s temperature regulating systems fails. Signs of heat stroke include:

• Confusion
• Loss of consciousness
• Seizures

Heat stroke is a medical emergency that can be fatal and requires immediate medical attention.

How to avoid heat-related illnesses

Occupational hazards that can contribute to heat illnesses include high temperature, direct sun exposure, extreme physical exertion, heavy lifting, wearing protective clothing and gear, and low fluid consumption. Protect yourself in hot weather with these tips from OSHA and the American Red Cross for working safely outdoors:

• Stay hydrated drink small amounts of water frequently, even if you don’t feel thirsty. The average person has 2.6 million sweat glands that activate when the body needs to cool down. While sweating is good for the body, it can also lead to dehydration. The general rule of thumb is 8 ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes. Prevention is key when it comes to minimizing risk of dehydration!

• Dress for the weather – Loose-fitting, light-colored, breathable clothing (such as cotton) are good choices for outdoor workers in hot weather. Avoid dark colors that absorb the sun’s rays. A wide-brim hat can help shade the head, face and neck. Be aware that protective gear such as respirators or coveralls can increase heat stress on the body.

• Adjust work schedules – Establish and enforce work/rest schedules to control heat exposure and allow workers to recover. Take into account the level of physical exertion and type of protective equipment being used, and schedule heavy tasks earlier in the day when it’s cooler.

• Take short, frequent breaks in a shady or air conditioned location; OSHA advises employers to provide workers with water and regular rest periods in a cool recovery area.

• Check the weather forecast – be aware of both the temperature and the heat index so you can dress accordingly

• Protect yourself against the sun. Long-term exposure to the sun not only causes skin damage but increases the risk of skin cancer. For outdoor workers, sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 and both UVA and UVB protection is recommended. Even on a cloudy day, 30 to 50 percent of the sun’s rays reach the skin, so sunscreen should be liberally applied every two hours, or more if perspiring.

• Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat; learn to recognize signs of heat illness, and act immediately if you recognize signs in yourself or a co-worker.

• Get trained in First Aid to learn how to treat heat-related emergencies and what to do in an emergency

Utah heat can be especially harmful for those who work outdoors in direct sunlight and high temperatures. Concrete workers and employers should take steps to avoid potential heat hazards and stay safe when working outdoors in hot weather. Taking the above precautions can help outdoor workers beat the heat and work safely outdoors.

 

Get out of the midday heat – visit your local Intermountain Concrete Specialties store.

 

Read More
What’s In Your Summer Concrete Tool Arsenal?

Some concrete products are seasonal, some you’ll need year-round. Find out what’s new in store at Intermountain Concrete Specialties.

1. Efflock by NewLook International
This is the time of year when efflorescence—that white powdery substance caused by vapor migrating to the surface of a slab—begins to appear on concrete. Think of it as dandruff on your concrete (nobody wants that!). Efflock is a fast-acting, water-based concrete and masonry cleaner that removes chemical impurities at a nano-molecular level, so you can get rid of the problem for good.

2. Jackson Wheelbarrows
The professional’s choice for superior quality and performance, the latest Jackson Wheelbarrow at ICS features steel handles, a flat-free tire, and a 6-cubic-foot steel drum that can carry huge loads. This thing is made to be tough!

3. Sikaflex Self-Leveling Concrete Sealant
It’s a great time of year to seal cracks and joints in concrete sidewalks, balconies, garages, terraces, pavements and more. With SikaFlex Self-Leveling Sealant, you get a high-performance, premium-grade polyurethane sealant with accelerated curing capacity. Stop by your local Intermountain Concrete Specialties and let us show you the best way to use it!

4. Keson Industries Measuring and Marking Tools
Just in from Keson Industries! Check out the variety of long and short tape measures, chalk, chalk boxes, string lines and measuring wheels. Make your mark with the best measuring and marking tools!

5. MBW Concrete Equipment
Check out the latest MBW equipment. MBW has always been stellar, but the 2017 models offer new safety standards and a patent pending “low vibration” feature.

6. Topcon RL-H4C All-In-One Laser
For more measuring perfection, check out this cool laser. The Topcon RL-H4C all-in-one laser combines the functionalities of three lasers in one. Horizontal, slope and long range in one tough package—where distance and accuracy meet. Get it at any ICS location.

CURRENT PROMOTIONAL ITEMS
Occasionally we have surplus items (see below), or really great deals to pass on to you. Check our promotional items page for current deals.

7. Norton 4×4 Max Cut Diamond Blade (14 inches)
Dependable performance and quality assurance is what every concrete contractor asks for—and Norton’s 4×4 MaxCut Diamond Blade delivers. The 4×4 Max Cut delivers true cutting performance, longer life, and anti-crack gullets that help resist core cracking under extreme conditions. Visit our Salt Lake City location for a great promotional deal on this blade now.

8. Re-Grip Yellow
Improve the grip on hammers, shovels, hatchets, pipe wrenches, trowels and more. Re-Grip adds durability and comfort to almost any handle.

ICS Re-Grip Yellow

9. Husqvarna Fuel (Quart)
Husqvarna pre-mixed fuel is ready-to-use, ethanol-free, 95 octane premium blend designed for optimal engine performance. 50:1 fuel to oil ratio stays fresh. Get it at ICS Salt Lake.

10. Briggs & Stratton 6-Gallon Air Compressor
Available at our Salt Lake City location, this Briggs & Stratton 6-gallon air compressor brings power to portability. Equipped with tough wheels to move across rugged job sites, an oil-free pump for less maintenance, and a removable handle for easy storage.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest products and promotions!

 

Read More
VOC Compliant Concrete Sealers

Confused about new and changing VOC laws? Learn which VOC compliant concrete sealer products you can use as stricter VOC laws are put into practice.

What exactly are VOCs?
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) are carbon-based compounds that release into the air from certain solvents, plastics and rubber. When these compounds react with the atmosphere, they can have an adverse affect on the ozone and the environment.

Why do we need VOC regulations?
The goal of improved VOC laws is to protect the ozone and improve air quality. Architectural coatings, including concrete sealers, are addressed under Section 183(e) of the 1999 Clean Air Act. The rule limits the amount of VOCs that manufacturers can put into their products, and includes labeling requirements. Most concrete sealers, coatings, cures and waterproofing fall within these regulations.

What are the VOC guidelines?
New federal VOC laws took effect in 2015, requiring manufacturers to change their solvents to a quicker flashing solvent at a lower VOC. Local laws vary from state to state. In Utah, concrete suppliers have three years to deplete any remaining stock manufactured through 2014. That means, current supply can be sold through 2017.

It’s not all black and white. Concrete Network reports that there are 61 subcategories of concrete sealers and coating, each with its own VOC limit that varies according to state or even county. The bottom line? State regulations trump federal regulations when it comes to VOC limits.

Where can I find out VOC limits?
VOC content specs are listed on all Manufacturer Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for individual products. For example, our best-selling CS-309-25 Non-Yellowing Acrylic Curing and Sealing Compound from W.R. Meadows currently complies with U.S. EPA maximum allowable VOC requirements.

For more information on VOC compliant concrete sealers, talk to the experts at your local Intermountain Concrete Specialties.

Read More
ICS Ogden Open House – June 8, 2017
May 26, 2017 | ICS Showrooms, Open House

Join us on June 8th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at our ICS Ogden store for an open house event!

We’ll have representatives from your favorite concrete product manufacturers, plus we’ll be serving lunch. (Everyone loves the World’s Best Corndogs!)

As the Intermountain West’s leading concrete supplier, we’re proud to host representatives from many prestigious manufacturers. Stop by ICS Ogden during our open house event and visit with reps from W.R. Meadows, Dayton, Husquvarna, Innotech, Allen Engineering, Mapei, HH Sales, BASF, MBW, Greenstreak, SIKA, Kraft Tool, NewLook, ADA Solutions, Zurn, and Adhesive Technologies.

Previous open houses at our Salt Lake City and Logan stores have brought more than 500 attendees. We hope to see you this year at ICS Ogden!

#concretestrong

Read More
10 Concrete Products You Need For Spring

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a difference, and sometimes it’s the big things. From safety glasses to walk-behind cutters, we’ve rounded up 10 concrete products you need, big and small, to help you out with your next spring concrete project of any size.

Stabila Tech Levels | Concrete Products You Need

1. Stabila Tech Levels
Stabila takes electronic measuring technology to the next level with precise measurements, fast and accurate readings and single button calibration in this lightweight and strong tech level.

Epoxy coated rebar Concrete Products You Need

2. Epoxy coated rebar
Rebar has a tough job reinforcing concrete. Protect your rebar’s tensile strength from corrosive damage with green rebar.

PIP Safety Gear | Concrete Products You Need

3. PIP Protective Gear
PIP has been an industry leader in safety gear for 30 years. Come see us for the industry’s best hard hats, safety vests, safety glasses and more.

ScreeDemon Concrete Products You Need

4. MBW Screed Demon
MBW’s answer to the wet screed: the low-vibration, low maintenance ScreeDemon. Patent pending mount retention method minimizes operator control, so hand/arm vibration is 50-90% lower than other screeds.

Max Rebar Tying Concrete Products You Need

5. MAX USA CORP.RB398 Rebar Tying Machine
Featuring a lithium ion battery, the RB398 Rebar Tying Tool makes ties in less than 1 second per tie with consistent tie strength. Save time, money, and impact on your wrists!

Albion Backer Rod Rover | Concrete Tools You Need

6. Albion Backer Rod Rover
This walk-behind inserter can transform a labor-intensive job into an efficient and hassle-free one man operation. Achieve higher speed, quality, productivity and craftsmanship.

204 Universal Adaptor Concrete Tools You Need

7. 204 Universal Adaptor
The go-to adaptor for many types of concrete tools that gives the user a 360-degree angle that other adaptors won’t. The 204 Universal Adaptor is locally manufactured in Utah.

SwissMex Foaming Sprayer | Concrete Tools You Need

8. SwissMex ProFoam Foaming Sprayer
This foaming sprayer is a great accompaniment when using cleaners that need to stay on the surface.

Grout Pump | Concrete Products You Need

9. Kenrich Products GP-1HD Grout Pump
Designed for ease of use, the GP-1HD Grout Pump is designed for grouting hollow metal door frames and windows in place. Compact and requires minimal maintenance.

Plews Lubrimatic Barrel Pump | Concrete Products You Need

10. Plews Lubrimatic Pump
Need to get some sealer, form oil or cure out of a 55-gallon drum? Plews Lubrimatic Barrel Pumps will get the job done.

 

Intermountain Concrete Specialties has been the leading distributor of concrete supplies to the Intermountain West for 67 years, providing a wide range of products and world-class customer service. Visit one of our six stores in Utah and Idaho, and we’ll get you the concrete products you need to make your next concrete project a success.

Read More
The Many Faces of Concrete
March 24, 2017 | Uncategorized

Once upon a time concrete was gray, boring and strictly utilitarian. Modern advancements in concrete products have made decorative concrete one of the most desirable finishes—with the added bonus of versatility, durability and cost effectiveness. The many faces of concrete include stamped or textured concrete, stenciled concrete, patterned finishes, paint and stain. These decorative finishes can be applied to concrete patios, interior floors, countertops and more.

Stamped Concrete
Stamping is a decorative finish designed to mimic stone, slate, tile, brick, pavers, even wood. Creative and affordable, stamped (or textured) concrete offers great versatility when it comes to mixing pattern and color. Intermountain Concrete Specialists carries a wide selection of texture mats, skins and stamping tools for a variety of natural-looking and man-made pattern options.

Stenciled Concrete
As a decorative surface finish, there are virtually no limitations to stenciled concrete designs. Stenciling is fairly easy for DIYers, and pros are able to offer custom designs, making it a great alternative to the many faces of concrete.

Concrete stains and dyes | Many Faces of Concrete

Concrete Color
Color can be the most distinguishing trait of decorative concrete, and there are a multitude of color applications. With the exception of integral color, most concrete color methods can be applied to existing concrete. Concrete color methods include:

  • Integral color, applied when wet, achieves deep color throughout the depth of the concrete slab.
  • Stain imparts a deep, rich color that infuses into the concrete. Concrete stain comes in two types, acid-based chemical stains and water-based acrylic stain. Staining is a great way to bring new life to old concrete.
  • Concrete dye is a time-saving color enhancer ideal for vertical and surface applications, such as stenciling.
  • Hardeners are commonly used on industrial floor applications due to durability

Overlay concrete topping one of the many faces of concrete

Overlays / Microtoppings
Create a new blank canvas with microtoppings, a thin cement-based layer applied to existing concrete. Once the overlay has been applied, it can be stamped, stained or stenciled.

Bring life to decorative concrete ideas with the many faces of concrete. We carry the latest innovations in decorative concrete trends, including premium concrete stamps and texture mats, seamless texture skins, integral colors, color releases, hardeners, dyes and stains, coatings, sealers, border and accessory tools, forming equipment and much more. Visit an Intermountain Concrete Specialties location and let our expert staff show you how decorative concrete can enhance your space.

Read More
Tilt-Up Concrete Construction

Tilt-up concrete construction has become the building method of choice for large-scale projects such as retail stores, schools, apartment and office buildings, warehouses, commercial structures, and even residential homes. Used since the early 20th century, tilt-up is a construction method where huge concrete panels are cast on site and then lifted up into position—think barn raising but with concrete instead of wood. Today, tilt-up concrete construction is used on virtually every type of large building project, due to reasonable cost, durability, and construction speed.

Tilt-Up Concrete Construction

Tilt-Up Prep
Much of the effort happens up front during planning, site layout and evaluation. This helps ensure that proper procedures and methods are followed, and that a safety perimeter is established for the actual lift. A flat work site is best (although not always possible) as the huge concrete panels are cast on site. Typically, wall forming occurs while laid out on the foundation of the building or on a temporary casting slab.

Tilt-up Concrete Construction concrete slabs laid flat

Construction Process
It’s not uncommon to lay the exterior façade, such as brick, on the cast concrete panels before tilt up occurs. If no façade is laid, a release agent is applied to the slab after proper curing. This helps the panels lift easier without breaking.

Steel reinforcements are installed in a grid pattern to add structural integrity to the concrete panels. Lifting/bracing sensors are secured to the reinforcements. A vibrator ensures even concrete placement throughout the panel. Contractors use laser screeds to improve the quality of casting slabs, and ride-on trowels to give the surface a smooth finish. Tilt-up forms are then laid out and measured precisely with laser technology. Engineering inspections occur at every step of the process.

Tilt-up Concrete Construction ICS raising panels

Upon curing, formwork is stripped from the panels and prepared for tilt up with appropriate lifting mechanisms, clutches and cables. Safety briefings are critical prior to lift, and one person is usually assigned to communicate with the crane operator. After an engineering inspection, the tilt-up crew guides the concrete panel into position and adds structural shims after precise measurements and placement are confirmed. Temporary braces hold each panel in place as others are raised.

Once all of the concrete panels have been lifted and secured, the project engineer inspects and signs off on the tilt-up construction so the building exterior and interior can be completed.

A crane lifts a concrete panel

Product and Equipment Innovations
The growth of the concrete tilt-up construction industry has led to many product, method and equipment innovations. Lifting inserts, braces, brace anchors, aluminum strong backs, rear supports, dobie, bolsters and spacers, bondbreakers, ground release and gyro tilt systems are just a few of the products available to ensure safe, efficient lifting and placement of the massive concrete panels.

Intermountain Concrete Specialties Tilt-up Concrete Construction

As experts in tilt-up concrete construction, we offer tens of thousands of products, vast project knowledge, and a continuous history of construction innovation. No job is too large or too small. Call Intermountain Concrete Specialties today at 801.486.5311 for the products and support you need for your next tilt-up concrete construction project.

Read More
Self-Leveling Concrete

Self-leveling concrete is a polymer-modified cement that helps even out floors and create a flat, smooth surface. When properly applied, it has a similar compressive strength to traditional concrete. Depending on the type of self-leveling concrete used, it can be applied prior to applying a decorative finish or installing interior flooring.

Different self-leveling concrete formulas are recommended for different applications, finishes, and types of substrates. Here are three of Intermountain Concrete Specialties’ top recommendations for self-leveling concrete products.

Self-leveling concrete | Intermountain Concrete Specialties

MAPEI NOVAPLAN EASY PLUS
This easy-prep, self-leveling concrete underlayment and repair mix creates a high-strength surface for interior concrete and engineer-approved floors. NOVAPLAN’s high-strength formulation is ideal for direct application on clean, properly primed and securely bonded substrates. NOVAPLAN EASY PLUS can be used over radiant-heated floors, and is recommended for interior residential, commercial, and institutional locations.

W.R. MEADOWS FLOOR-TOP STG
This single-component, self-leveling floor topping and underlayment is ideal for smoothing out rough, uneven concrete surfaces or slightly deteriorated interior concrete floors. It can be enhanced with integral colors, dyes, acid stains, and sealers. FLOOR-TOP STG cures to a hard surface suitable for standard foot traffic and light rubber-wheeled traffic. We recommend FLOOR-TOP STG for residential, commercial, retail, and office applications.

LYONS FLOWCRETE
When you need a job done fast—and correctly—FLOWCRETE’s cement-based, self-leveling concrete formula is designed for rapid leveling of interior concrete floors. Use FLOWCRETE to level and smooth concrete prior to installing carpet, wood floors, tile and more within just 12-16 hours. FLOWCRETE is mixed with water, hardens through hydration, and does not require any troweling or curing.

We can help you choose the best self-leveling concrete for your next interior concrete project application. Visit your local Intermountain Concrete Specialties location for the expert advice, high-quality products and equipment you need to make your next concrete project a success!

Read More
Choosing the Right Concrete Walk-Behind Saw
December 23, 2016 | Concrete Product Recommendations

At Intermountain Concrete Specialties, we know that a walk-behind saw is a handy piece of concrete equipment to have in your arsenal. When it comes to choosing the right concrete walk-behind saw for your construction project, here are three great options.

SRX Concrete Walk-Behind Saw

MK Diamond SRX-150
Compact and lightweight, the SRX-150 is a walk-behind saw designed for early entry dry cutting of crack control joints. The SRX-150 is effective within a couple of hours of concrete finishing, and features an upcut blade rotation and blade guard to help keep debris and dust out. The SRX-150 concrete walk-behind saw also features:

• Remotely mounted throttle with stop switch for quick operator access
• Folding handle for compact storage and transport
• Anti-spall quick-change skid plate

Blade shaft with self-aligning bearings, 3-inch non-marking wheels, and a poly V-belt for positive power transmission make this walk-behind saw powerful and operator-friendly.

MK Diamond CX3 Series Concrete Walk-Behind Saw

MK Diamond CX-3®
Engineered for small to medium jobs, the CX-3 Walk-Behind Saw is lightweight and compact for easy maneuverability. Small yet powerful, this walk-behind saw can be used for dry or wet cutting. A built-in water distribution system supplies water to both sides of the blade, which can be mounted on either side, and cuts within one inch of curbs or walls. The hinged, cast-aluminum blade guard allows for easy blade changes.    

Norton CG55 Concrete Walk-Behind Saw

Norton GC55
The Norton GC55 Walk-Behind Concrete Saw is engineered for tough jobs in a lightweight, compact design. Powered by a Honda 5HP gas engine, the GC55 is an early entry saw that can be used on green or cured concrete, and for decorative cutting. The small walk-behind saw has a low, wide profile and a fold-down design for easy storage. The weighted front blade mount and improved wheel design help guide straight cuts, so your concrete cuts have never looked better.  

Intermountain Concrete Specialties carries the MK Diamond SRX-150, MK Diamond CX-3, and the Norton GC55 Walk-Behind Saws. Stop by your local Intermountain Concrete Specialties for demos and expert advice about which concrete walk-behind saw is right for your next concrete project. 

Read More
4 Products For Winter Concrete Projects

Mixing, curing, and sealing concrete properly is especially important when it comes to winter concrete projects. Concrete may be safely placed in cold weather, as long as necessary precautions and best practices are used. Here are some of Intermountain Concrete Specialties’ top product recommendations to help avoid surprises in your winter concrete projects.

1. Anti-Hydro® Admixture for Cold Weather

Anti-Hydro Admixture provides increased workability with lower water requirements, enhances internal curing time, and produces high strength concrete early in the curing process. This helps prevent damage due to frost and other cold weather hindrances. When added into concrete, Anti-Hydro Admixture produces dense, durable, water and damp-proofed concrete, while improving workability and reducing shrinkage and cracking. Fortify your concrete with Anti-Hydro® Admixture for cold weather. Learn more! 

2. Concrete Curing Blankets
Even mildly cold temperatures can affect concrete curing time. Concrete blankets provide warmth when Mother Nature can’t. Temperature is actually the number two cause of concrete sealing problems, second only to moisture, so cold weather protection is critical to winter concrete projects. Concrete blankets offer the R-factor necessary to prevent winter concrete projects from freezing, which can strengthen finished concrete. Click to learn more about protecting exposed concrete with concrete curing blankets.

3. FLOOR-TOP STG Concrete Floor Topping
If you’re moving indoors to work on winter concrete projects, here’s another ICS favorite from W.R. Meadows. FLOOR-TOP STG is a single-component, self-leveling floor topping and underlayment designed to smooth out uneven or rough interior concrete floors. FLOOR-TOP STG cures to a hard surface suitable for standard foot traffic and light rubber-wheeled traffic, and can be enhanced with integral colors, dyes, stains, and sealers.

4. CS309-25 Non-Yellowing Curing and Sealing Compound
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, W.R. Meadows CS309-25 is one of our all-time favorite exterior concrete sealers. This industrial-quality workhorse sealer is specially formulated with acrylic polymers that cure and seal freshly placed concrete for a durable, long-lasting finish.

 

Visit your local Intermountain Concrete Specialties location in Utah or Idaho for the best tips and product recommendations for your winter concrete projects! 

 

Read More

Categories