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7 Tips for Maintaining Outdoor Concrete

Outdoor concrete is an investment – and one that is often at the mercy of the elements. Protecting this valuable investment is essential to preventing trouble down the road. With proper curing, sealing and maintenance, concrete is an asset that can last for years to come. We’re sharing 7 tips to help you maintain your outdoor concrete.

1. Know your environment
Here in Utah, we have extreme temperature variables throughout the year. Outdoor concrete surfaces can take a beating, especially in summer and winter. Snow run-off and spring rains can cause damage if it sits on the surface too long. Be sure to slope concrete away from the home to prevent water damage to the surface and the foundation. Rain, snow, ice and heat can affect concrete curing times.

2. Pouring and curing
The ideal temperature for pouring and curing concrete is between 50 and 90 degrees. Extremes in either direction may compromise the final product. Too cold and the freeze-thaw cycle can cause concrete to expand and contract, creating cracking and spalling. Too hot and the concrete will set faster but may compromise strength. In other words, concrete must be cured properly to achieve maximum durability.

3. Sealing concrete
Choosing the right sealer for your concrete project is an integral part of finishing the job right. This final layer of protection can enhance the appearance of decorative concrete; block against moisture, dirt, oil and stains; and protect against excess wear. The type of concrete sealer used will depend on the type of project. Two of our most commonly requested sealers are W.R. Meadows for commercial and industrial application, and ICS High Gloss Sealer for decorative concrete applications. Find the right sealer for your project here.

4. Keep it clean – basic maintenance
Practice basic maintenance by cleaning concrete surfaces immediately of spills and debris to minimize staining or other damage. This includes weeds and grass, oil, tire marks and more. Frequent cleaning keeps outdoor concrete surfaces looking their best. Once your patio is clean and repaired, protect it from future stains and damage with a concrete sealer.

5. Apply a fresh finish
A clean surface is key to properly staining or painting concrete. Before applying a top coat, stain or other decorative concrete, sweep and pressure wash the concrete surface. Recoat concrete every three to five years to protect the surface, especially in high-traffic areas like driveways, walkways and patios.

6. Check for cracks
Check concrete foundation walls, floors and slabs for cracking, heaving or deterioration as part of routine maintenance. Some cracks are minor and can be repaired. If the crack is the width of a nickel, it’s time to call a professional.

7. Consult an expert
Intermountain Concrete Specialties has locations in Utah and Idaho where our concrete experts can help you make the most of your investment by providing  maintenance and protection solutions for your specific concrete needs.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keep these 7 tips in mind when pouring, curing, cleaning and sealing concrete for a concrete investment that lasts.

 

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Exterior Spring Cleaning and Home Maintenance Checklist

Spring has sprung in Utah and the arrival of warm weather makes us want to head outdoors. It’s the perfect time to clear out the clutter and start fresh, but save the closet organizing for rainy days. Instead, tackle these outdoor spring cleaning and home maintenance projects to get your home ready for spring.

√ Decks, Patios and Porches
The first step to deck, patio and porch maintenance is a good spring cleaning. Sweep and power wash, clear weeds and debris, and check for loose steps or railings. If you notice cracks in concrete patios, follow the same steps we recommend below for sidewalks. Once your patio is clean and repaired, protect it from future stains and damage with a concrete sealer. Consider beautifying with decorative stamped concrete to enhance home value and appearance.

√ Concrete Sidewalks and Walkways
Concrete sidewalks can take a beating in winter. The first step to spring concrete maintenance is a good cleaning. Sweep away any debris so you can get a good look at the current condition. Next, carefully inspect concrete, checking for cracked or crumbling areas. Visit one of Intermountain Concrete Specialties six locations in Utah and Idaho the products, tools and tips you need to repair concrete cracks before damage progresses.

√ Foundation
Check concrete foundation walls, floors and slabs for cracking, heaving or deterioration. Some cracks are minor and can be repaired. If the crack is the width of a nickel, it’s time to call a professional.

√ Roof
Winter can take a toll on your roof so perform a close inspection each spring. Check flashings, and look for punctured, cracked, curled or missing shingles. Some are visible from the ground, but it’s a good idea to get a closer look to see if roof maintenance is required.

√ Gutters
Gutters and downspouts need to be clear of obstructions to properly manage rain water and to prevent moisture damage to your home. Clear leaves and other winter debris from gutters, reattach loose ones, and make sure water runoff is directed away from the house. If there are leaks, dry the area and use caulk or epoxy to seal.

√ Siding
Check for loose siding panels and ensure the flashing is in place. Clean siding with a pressure washer to remove winter’s dirt and debris. Take care of any necessary exterior siding repairs or painting.

√ HVAC
Routine maintenance on your central HVAC unit can improve airflow, which in turn can lower heating and cooling costs. If you have an outdoor unit, remove dust, leaves, grass clipping and any other debris that may be blocking airflow. Be sure to shut power to the unit before performing any maintenance. HVAC spring maintenance is definitely something you want to tackle before Utah’s summer heat kicks in.

√ General landscaping
This is a given when it comes to spring home maintenance. Clear dead leaves, branches and other debris; clean out garden and flower beds; prune and trim trees and shrubs; and reseed thin or damaged areas of the lawn.

√ Sprinklers
Check for leaky valves and broken or clogged sprinkler heads. Clean or replace poorly performing sprinklers, check operating pressure, and adjust sprinkler heads as necessary. Open the main water valve slowly to allow pipes to fill gradually and avoid bursting a pipe.

√ Windows and doors
Check screens for punctures or holes, and inspect windowsills and doorways for cracks and potential leaks. To protect from spring rains, remove eroded caulk and fill cracks with fresh exterior caulking. Repaint and seal for a beautiful home enhancement.

Your Utah home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make. Take care of it with spring cleaning and home maintenance so you can enjoy a safe and beautiful home for years to come. Don’t forget to check out our list of 7 Outdoor Concrete Projects for Spring  and the 10 concrete products you need to make them happen!

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15 Specialty Concrete Tools That Will Change Your Life

FOR REBAR

Using the right tools can be the difference between loving and hating rebar – and when you work with concrete, you need to love it!

1. HIT Cutter/Bender
If you have to cut and bend rebar on the job, make sure to bring your HIT cutter/bender (and a little muscle wouldn’t hurt!). With jaws made from high-grade alloy steel, this handy tool serves double duty as a rebar cutter and bender.

2. Rebar Ratchet Twister
There are so many ways to tie rebar. A rebar ratchet twister can make the process a little easier, especially when using pre-cut bar ties.

3. Dobies / Rebar Spacer Blocks
When using rebar or wire mesh in a concrete slab, you need something to keep it off the ground. Dobies, also known as dobie blocks or rebar spacer blocks, act as little chairs to help maintain rebar reinforcements at the correct height as the concrete hardens around it.

FORMING

A few small concrete tools that make a big difference in concrete forming. 

4. Pencil Rods
Thanks to its versatility and ease of use, pencil rod has many construction and industrial applications. Using pencil rod is especially ideal for those odd-shaped forming projects, where snap ties aren’t practical. It’s also a simple, economical alternative when surface appearance isn’t essential.

5. Cam Lock Bracket
When it comes to architectural walls, the Gates Cam Lock bracket is a proven must-have. The bracket engages the loop-end tie, securely holding 2×4 walers into place. Customizable and flexible, this system is adaptable to most types of wall forming systems, uses less lumbar and requires less nailing.

6. Chamfer Cutter
When you’re forming and need a perfect 45-degree angle, make sure to have a chamfer cutter in your bag. This deluxe hand tool creates precision miter cuts on the job site quickly and accurately.

 

POWER TOOLS

7. Concrete Vibrators
Powered by a Honda GXH50, these are a must have for most concrete pours. But when you don’t have power, try a gas-powered backpack vibrator.

8. Husqvarna FS400 LV
Ideal for concrete repair jobs, this all-around push floor saw from Husqvarna offers power, perfect cuts, weight distribution and excellent stability. Features a 6.625-inch cutting depth, 11 hp, and an 18-inch blade.

9. Metabo Hammer Drill
Quality right from the start, this is one amazing hammer drill brought to you by Metabo North America. Metabo hammer drills are perfectly equipped for demanding applications on the job site.

 

PROTECTION

10. Tiger Grip Gloves
Protect your hands with Tiger Grips. These orange nitrile gloves are powder-free with a raised, textured surface so hands don’t slip.

11. HEPA filters
Make sure that when you’re prepping floors, you have a HEPA filter in your vacuum. Remember, OSHA requires a HEPA-rated vacuum (99.97% efficiency at capturing particles greater than .3 microns) for dry cleanup work.

12. Joint Protectors
Soff-Cut joint protectors help eliminate incorrect breakage in concrete products to keep cross sections from blowing out. Why does this happen? If joint cutting isn’t done at just the right time, the concrete doesn’t have the tensile strength to survive the cross cut. Soff-Cut joint protectors apply just the right amount of pressure to keep concrete from cracking.

 

LAST BUT NOT LEAST

A few other products we recommend for tools and gear to make life easier on the job.

13. Keson Industries Giant Chalk Box
A chalk line is a very simple tool that performs an essential task: providing a perfectly straight line. When you need a longer, bolder line, reach for the Giant Chalk Box by Keson Industries.

14. T13 Tangs
Dayton Superior T-13 Tangs are designed for use in the floor slabs of tilt-up projects. Use them to securely attach and anchor wall braces.

15. Joint spatulas
Albion Engineering joint spatulas are used by professionals to make the job a little easier. Comfortable curved handle and rounded tip for standard application, precision ground for optimum flexibility for perfectly finished joints.

 

We have all of these tools and products available at all Intermountain Concrete Specialties locations, plus just about any other specialty concrete tool you can think of. Stop by and see your local concrete specialists.

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Concrete Projects You Can Do This Winter

The arrival of winter in Utah has the potential to wreak havoc on your outdoor concrete projects. Even mildly cold temperatures can affect curing time. That’s why winter is a great time to focus on those projects you can do indoors. Learn how to use concrete for your indoor projects with these DIY products and tips.

Basement Floors
Installing a concrete floor is a common basement renovation, and an ideal project to take on during winter. Once the concrete has been prepped, poured and leveled, use a trowel to smooth any rough areas, then level the surface using a float. A self-leveling floor topping and underlayment like FLOOR-TOP STG can help smooth out uneven or rough floors, while curing to a hard surface suitable for foot traffic. A benefit to this underlayment/overlayment product is that it can be mixed with integral colors, stains, dyes and sealers. More on this below.

innotech flooring Intermountain concrete specialties
Photo: Innotech

Countertops
Concrete countertops are a durable, affordable and rewarding DIY projects for homeowners. Smooth surfaces, plain edges and simple cutouts are recommended for rookies. Don’t despair – when you factor in the endless possibilities of stains and dyes you’ll end up with a pretty spectacular decorative finish. Quikrete Countertop Mix is a great starting point, creating a durable, economical finish that can be created to suit almost any décor style.


Photo: Quikrete 

Decorative Finishes
When introducing concrete floors and countertops to home interiors, there’s a vast array of decorative stains, dyes and finishes that can turn concrete from a gray slab into a statement piece with a wow factor. Pattern and texture set the tone, and color enhances the overall design. Innotech stains and dyes are available in a variety of options including integral colors, chemical stains, acid or water-based stains, color hardeners, antique releases and more to create just about any decorative concrete finish you can imagine.

 

Taking it outside
Still determined to pour outdoors in winter? While cold temperatures, snow and ice can disrupt outdoor concrete pouring and curing, you can still get some concrete projects done with the right conditions and products.

Concrete Network | Outside Concrete in Winter
Photo: Concrete Network

Concrete blankets will be your saving grace in any cold weather concrete pour. Moisture and temperature are the top causes of curing and sealing problems. Concrete blankets help prevent freezing and cracking while providing optimal insulation for your outdoor concrete projects. The blanket helps block out moisture and cold to help the curing process. Concrete blankets like those from Midwest Canvas provide the thermal resistance (R-factor) and protection necessary to prevent newly poured concrete from freezing in winter. In cases of cracked concrete, Ultrabond 365CC Cold Weather Epoxy comes to the rescue, delivering a full cure in just 45 minutes.

 

Visit us!
Winter is a great time for interior concrete projects. Don’t put a hold on your renovation plans. Intermountain Concrete Specialties showrooms are a great place to find out about the latest and most reliable concrete products. Stop by any one of our six locations to speak with a product expert!­

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Best Cold Weather Gear for Outdoor Workers
November 30, 2017 | Concrete Expertise, Tips and Advice

Utah may be known and loved for its Greatest Snow on Earth – but outdoor workers might feel a little differently. When you work concrete or construction jobs outdoors in winter, it’s important to dress in the best possible cold weather gear.

Hypothermia and frostbite are real threats to outdoor workers who aren’t dressed appropriately for Utah’s winters. Hypothermia occurs when the body’s core temperature drops below what’s required for normal metabolism. Small extremities such as fingers and toes are especially susceptible to frostbite. If you’re wondering what to wear for outdoor work in winter, we’ve rounded up some great cold weather gear for outdoor workers to help prevent cold injuries.

 

DRESS IN LAYERS

Layering is key to dressing appropriately for working outdoors in winter. Wearing several layers of clothing can help you stay warm – and having the ability to remove some layers can also prevent sweating, which can actually cool you down too much.

• Start with a wicking layer worn close to the skin. This can help transfer moisture from the skin and prevent you from cooling down too much.

• Next, add a light insulating layer, such as a sweatshirt or light fleece. Fleece is warm, quick-drying and versatile for temperature variances.

• For the final layer, a mid- to heavy-weight insulating layer can help trap body heat to keep you warm.

ICS hard hat liner Cold Weather gear

HEAD TO TOE PROTECTION

Hats and Hardhat Liners
Thirty to fifty percent of body heat is lost through the top of the head, making a winter hat as important as all your layers combined. Start from the top down with PIP hardhat winter liners to keep your head and ears toasty. We recommend:

• PIP 1-Layer Fleece Liner with Shell (364-SL1FB), a warm, fleece hardhat liner ideal for use in cold weather. The liner wraps around the front and offers shoulder-length coverage that can be tucked into a jacket and features a silver reflective strip for added safety.

• PIP Winter Liner (365-1620) This cotton twill/acrylic liner features a flame-retardant treatment on the outer shell, which can last up to 10 washes. The winter hardhat liner has a zip-off extended neck cover for extra warmth and protection.

ICS hard hat liner and boots Cold Weather gear
Gloves
For outdoor workers, thermal protection must extend all the way to the fingertips. Wearing insulated work gloves made for protection in cold weather is important. Another option is wearing glove liners inside your work gloves to keep bare skin protected when you need to remove gloves momentarily. A variety of thermal and insulated work gloves offer added protection and safety.

Socks and Boots
A double-layer sock system is recommended for outdoor work. Thin, moisture-wicking socks serve the same purpose as long johns – to move moisture away from the skin and keep feet warmer. A thicker sock, such as wool, should be layered, and boots should offer enough room to be able to wear both pairs with wiggle room.

ICS cold weather gear insulated reflective jacket

HIGH -VISIBILITY COLD WEATHER GEAR

It’s always important to be seen when working outdoors, but it’s even more important in winter when weather conditions can cause poor visibility. In the cold, sometimes a safety vest just doesn’t cut it. Bundle up and stay within ANSI regulations with class 2 and 3 garments from PIP. Available in high visibility yellow or orange.

Check out:

• PIP Class 3 Lime Green Zip-Front Hooded Sweatshirt (323-1370B) made from fleece with a water-repellent shell and silver reflective tape. Black bottom and cuffs help hide dirt.

• PIP Class 3 Hi-Visibility Ripstop Jacket (333-1550) offers breathable, water-resistant, windproof protection from the elements.

• PIP Class 3 Hi-Visibility Bomber Jacket (333-1740) offers quilted insulation and a water-resistant shell.

ICS cold weather gear insulated reflective jacket

ALL YOUR WINTER GEAR NEEDS

From hooded sweatshirts and high-visibility jackets to overalls, to gloves and headgear, we can help dress your concrete construction crew in the best cold weather gear for outdoor workers so they can get the job done safely. We carry a full line of PIP safety gear plus other industry favorites. Stop by and check out our cold weather gear selection and stay warm and safe while working outdoors this winter.

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Paving The Way With Stamped Concrete

Stamped concrete is a creative and affordable way to enhance any exterior or interior space. Also known as textured concrete, the process replicates the high-end look of stone, brick, tile, cobblestone, pavers and even wood, often at lower cost than the materials it mimics, making it especially popular with homeowners.

The wide variety of decorative concrete options knows no bounds when it comes to pattern and color. Stamped concrete is often used to beautify patios and pool decks, front porches and entryways, walkways and driveways, just to name a few. Many homeowners and businesses even use stamped concrete to make a dramatic statement on interior flooring and accent walls.

NewLook Stamped and decorative concrete width=

Stamped Concrete by Paul Patton, Certified NewLook Installer


Customization
With so much potential for customization, stamped concrete has a high “wow” factor. Aesthetically, stamped concrete is hard to surpass when it comes to customization of pattern and color. Pattern sets the tone for the overall design so it’s important to choose one that achieves your design goals. When done well, stamped concrete can be indistinguishable from the real thing. Most stamping mats are molded from the actual materials they mimic, adding a realistic element. Click here for tips on choosing texture, color and pattern.

Stamped Concrete Jim Currie certified NewLook Installer

Stamped concrete by Jim Currie, certified NewLook Installer


Prep and Maintenance
Preparation is always key to any concrete project. Maintenance is typically low, requiring only occasional reseals. A high-quality sealer can protect your investment against efflorescence, moisture and the elements, keeping it beautiful for years to come. Another benefit? No grouted joints for weeds to sprout through, which can require tedious maintenance when it comes to traditional stones and pavers.

Stamped Concrete Overaly by Tracy, Intermountain Concrete Specialties Ogden

Stamped Concrete Overaly by Tracy, Intermountain Concrete Specialties Ogden


Time and Cost
Decorative concrete can be less costly than high-end stones and pavers, depending on the complexity of the project. A single color and pattern can be more cost-efficient than multi-pattern and color designs. Simple stamped concrete can be poured in less time than it takes to place stones or pavers. While the process can be labor-intensive, it’s a different type of labor than the heavy and tedious placement of stones. Time is money, so even in cases where the materials break even, there’s often savings in labor.

Innotech Texture mats

Innotech stamp and texture mats


Color Options
Integral color is one of the most popular color enhancements for stamped concrete. The admixture infuses concrete with rich, long-lasting color. Layering colors, color hardeners, and chemical concrete stains can add natural variations to more realistically replicate natural surfaces.

Free Stamp Rental Promo ICS

Concrete Stamp Promo
Through the end of 2017, Intermountain Concrete Specialties is offering a great deal on stamped concrete. Get a free stamp rental when purchasing two of these three decorative concrete products: color, release and/or sealer.

We carry a complete line of high-quality stamping tools and seamless texture skins, borders and touch-up tools from trusted brands like Innotech and Brickform. For more information on the products, tools and equipment needed to achieve a high-end stamped concrete look, visit one our six showrooms in Utah and Idaho.

 

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9 Concrete Construction Tools and Products You Need This Fall

Fall is here and it’s a great time to take stock of your concrete tools and products to make sure you’re properly equipped for seasonal projects. In Utah, early fall typically brings stable temperatures ideal for pouring concrete, and it’s important to get the job done right before cold weather sets in. Here are nine concrete products you need!

Learn more:

ICS Concrete Sealers
1. Concrete Sealers
First things first – it’s sealer season! This is the time of year to seal your job well before cold weather sets in. Proper sealing concrete surfaces keeps them protected from moisture, dirt and excess wear, while enhancing the overall appearance. Click here to learn about our top selling sealers, and which one is right for your project.

Chapin Dripless Sealer Intermountain Concrete Specialties
2. Chapin Dripless Shutoff
Tired of sealer drips? Dripless shutoff is what you need! Chapin dripless shut-offs seal at the nozzle tip, eliminating excess buildup in the extension wand that can cause unwanted drips when the shut-off is disengaged. When the trigger grip is released from spraying, the shut-off seals at the nozzle tip keeping the excess left in the wand from dripping. Excellent for applying sealers where precise control is needed!

ICS precision concrete grout
3. ICS Construction and Precision Grouts
We have a variety of concrete grouts in stock and ready for use. Stop in and see us so we can help you pick the perfect one.

Halder Hammers ICS
4. Halder Hammers
Get the right hammer for your job. Dead Blow Halder Hammers are vibration-reducing even with high impact, ergonomic, noise dampening, and wear-resistant. A great choice for concrete formwork and construction!

MK Diamond Metabo Dust Protection
5. Dust protection
Filters and shrouds from Metabo and MK Diamond provide protection from concrete grinding dust. Helps control airborne particles for a cleaner working environment, while prolonging the life of tools by preventing abrasive dust from entering the motor.


6. True Temper Shovel
Having the right shovel is a must. This 6-inch wide shovel from True Temper Tools is great for pushing concrete in forms.

GrimeMonster remove grease from concrete
7. Grime Monster

From NewLook International, Grime Monster is an effective water-based formula that attacks oil, grease and grime so it can be easily be sprayed or wiped away. The bio-degradable formula breaks down the molecular bond between the grime and the surface and is effective for removing grease and oil from all types of surfaces including concrete.

Precision measuring | Intermountain Concrete
8. Keson Measuring Wheel
Sturdy, strong, reliable – Keson Industries leads the industry in precision, quality and safety.

VP_Fuel_SureCan
9. VP Fuel & Sure Can
What’s better than VP fuel? Putting it in a Sure Can. This innovative gas can has patented spill-proof technology so you won’t tip or spill.

 

Stop by any of our six locations in Utah and Idaho to see the latest and greatest in concrete tools, products and equipment. Click here to see current Intermountain Concrete Specialties promotions.

 

 

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Protect Your Investment with 15 Concrete Sealers For Every Project
August 31, 2017 | Uncategorized

There’s no time like the present to seal concrete, and it’s a step you just can’t skip on any project. Properly sealing concrete surfaces keep them protected from dirt, moisture and excess wear while enhancing appearance.

Keep in mind general temperature guidelines when sealing for the best possible application. Ideally, surface and environmental temperatures should be between 50 and 90 degrees. Any colder or hotter and the concrete may not penetrate or bond effectively.

The type of sealer used also makes a difference in the protection and appearance of the final concrete product. What’s the difference between penetrating and surface sealers? We’ll break it down for you, and share some of our old favorites and newest innovations in concrete sealing.

sharkseal penetrating concrete sealer

PENETRATING SEALERS

Penetrating sealers absorb into the concrete to protect exterior concrete surfaces from damage due to exposure to the elements. Ideal for exterior concrete surfaces, penetrating sealers form a chemical barrier that protects against ice, moisture, deicers, excess wear and more. Here are some of our top picks:

Pentra Sil 244: The best choice for protecting concrete against extreme elements. This premium concrete sealer reduces permeability and protects concrete surfaces with a single application.

Pentreat 244: This penetrating, 100% active silane sealer inhibits water and chloride ion penetration, helping to prevent rebar corrosion and concrete scaling, spalling and freeze-thaw damage. Excellent choice for parking structures, driveways, patios, median barriers, ramps and loading docks.

Creto DPS: The top choice for waterproofing new or existing concrete, Crete DPS penetrates deep to form a breathable yet moisture-blocking gel barrier.

Intraguard: A water-based, penetrating sealing compound for exterior concrete. Weatherproofs and protects concrete surfaces such as driveways, walkways and exterior walls from moisture and de-icing chemical damage.

Masterprotect H400: This deep-penetrating, heavy duty sealer provides long-lasting protection against moisture, freezing and thawing, making it ideal for concrete highways, stadiums and high-traffic outdoor concrete surfaces.

SharkSeal™: Designed for surfaces that require a high-end, yet cost-effective finish, SharkSeal penetrates deep into porous interior or exterior concrete surfaces while enhancing color. This low-VOC sealer from NewLook is breathable, dries quickly, repels water and dirt, and protects against the freeze-thaw cycle.

 NewLook Concrete Sealer

SURFACE SEALERS

Surface sealers work by forming an impermeable protective layer on concrete surfaces, or by blocking the pores in concrete to prevent water absorption. Surface sealers are great for high-traffic areas, concrete countertops and decorative concrete surfaces.

Decraseal 100: A premium, non-yellowing, acrylic curing and sealing compound designed for exterior concrete such as driveways, sidewalks and pool decks.  Cures, seals and protects concrete with a hard clear surface film that creates a high-sheen finish.

ICS High Gloss 100: Formulated to seal and protect concrete surfaces by producing a hard yet breathable, high-sheen finish, this non-yellowing, acrylic-based, sealing compound is transparent, durable, and easy to apply. We also recommend ICS Premium Gloss Sealer 100 and ICS ColorSeal.

CS309-25: This is one of our all-time favorite sealers, a true workhorse. CS309-25 is only available until our supply runs out due to changing VOC laws, so stock up while you can.

VOCOMP 20: A water-based, acrylic curing and sealing compound from W.R. Meadows that resists yellowing from ultraviolet exposure and provides a durable, long-lasting finish that offers improved resistance to chemicals, petroleum, and abrasives.

VOCOMP 25: This water-based, acrylic concrete curing and sealing compound is ideal for outdoor areas, industrial flooring, and vertical surfaces.

Decraseal WB: Specially formulated for decorative concrete, this clear, transparent and easy to apply sealer offers improved resistance to water, alkalis and mild acids with a hard yet flexible, clear film.

Smart Seal WB: This premium water-based sealer from NewLook creates an abrasion-resistant film that provides weatherproof protection against sun, rain, most acids, industrial chemicals, oil and grease.

 

Visit your local Intermountain Concrete Specialties store to speak with one of our experts to find the right sealer for your concrete project.

 

 

 

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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.

 

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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.

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