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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
• 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
8. Keson Measuring Wheel
Sturdy, strong, reliable – Keson Industries leads the industry in precision, quality and safety.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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:
• Loss of consciousness
Heat stroke is a medical emergency that can be fatal and requires immediate medical attention.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
2. Epoxy coated rebar
Rebar has a tough job reinforcing concrete. Protect your rebar’s tensile strength from corrosive damage with green rebar.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
8. SwissMex ProFoam Foaming Sprayer
This foaming sprayer is a great accompaniment when using cleaners that need to stay on the surface.
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.
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.