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Guide to Basement Bathroom Plumbing

Basement bathroom plumbing work takes considerable skill, experience and care. It is advisable to hire the services of a plumbing contractor for carrying out basement bathroom plumbing work. The existing floor needs to be busted and in the process drainpipes may also get broken if adequate safety measures are not taken up.

Basement Bathroom Plumbing Procedure

Some concrete may need to be removed for installing basement bathroom plumbing system. The fixtures required for setting up basement bathroom plumbing – bathtub, one-piece shower unit etc. may not be easily obtainable. Special effort needs to be made to secure them. Often, the concrete of the basement needs to be broken. Marks are made on the surface along some demarcations and the concrete is chipped away usually employing a jack hammer. The debris thus obtained has to be cleared and new plumbing pipes are well glued to the original setup. After completion the new setup has to be covered up with concrete. Another approach to basement bathroom plumbing is installation of a plastic sump beneath the basement floor. A sewage ejector pump or lift pump is used to pump out the waste as the sump becomes full. The pumps have devices to grind solids. In case the pump fails the toilet will not be draining properly. There may be some houses where the building drain lies below the basement level. So, no pump is needed. A plumber can help in this regard by providing various estimates of drain line locations and plumbing setup plans.Again, there may be homes where the main drain lies at floor level. To help out in such cases you may build a false floor for the bathroom. Of course your ceiling needs to be high enough in such case. The false floor erection would ensure that the fixtures are higher than the sewer line. This will do away with the necessity of installing a sewage ejector pumping unit. Basement bathroom plumbing is a special kind of plumbing setup. Therefore, special care needs to be taken while proceeding with the installation, maintenance and repair or replacement of the basement bathroom plumbing system. If you are contemplating basement bathroom plumbing for your home then you may conveniently hire some competent plumber for helping out. It is also important that you have a competent and experienced cement mason. Bill Sudlow with Sudlow Concrete would be glad to help anyone in the Metro Atlanta Area. 404-285-5995

Concrete Mixing Tips

In a field as diverse as landscaping, no one person is an expert at everything. So it’s always great to hear from a reader who is an expert from one of the many fields landscaping draws upon, be it arboriculture or horticulture or masonry or any of a number of others. Reader, Ed Adams is an expert in masonry, and he sent me a concrete mixing tip that I thought I’d pass along to everybody. Adapted

From Ed Adams’ Email on Mixing Concrete:

I’m a retired inspector, with structural concrete, prestressed concrete and masonry being part of this. In your section on curing concrete you said, “Remember, you mix water into concrete mix to activate the cement binding agent within. As the mix dries, it will harden. But the drying, or ‘curing’ should be gradual, otherwise cracking may occur. To prevent cracking, plastic is placed over the curing concrete to trap the water inside, ensuring gradual curing.” All of this is true, but you might want to point out strength, too.

Concrete uses water AND IT LOVES WATER. The strength of fresh concrete rises quickly during curing, then tapers down, but continues as long as it has water. Test cylinders, years old but kept wet, were still gaining in strength. Water is used up in curing, and plastic does slow down evaporation, keeping it wetter longer, but even plastic covered concrete or concrete sprayed with “curing agents” (a spray-on seal to slow evaporation) will eventually use up its available water.

Continued: Water and Mixing Concrete — The Curing Process

A useful step is to pull the plastic back and spray the concrete with a garden hose, then reset the plastic. Even a weak mix or poorly poured one will surprise you with its final strength.
Any surfaces that are to be poured against (bonded to) should be moist. If any concrete is later added to bond with cured concrete, the old concrete should be moist just before this new addition. If these
steps are neglected, a “cold joint” (a term from welding but used with concrete and mortar) will result. The joint can easily separate.

It’s a paradox that concrete with too much water at mixing is prone to cracking, but concrete without water at curing will also crack. A good trait to watch for in mixing is “shininess.” The mix should be dull in appearance. If there is a “shine” to the mix, it’s too wet initially. This is corrected by adding more dry ingredients- cement mainly. It will make the mix richer but this will only add strength eventually.

Once it’s set up, it will show its initial hardness (2 to 3 hours on, after pouring). Then keep it moist with spraying (with a spray nozzle) and sealing it with plastic. Your concrete will thank you for it!

Diagnosing Concrete Cracks

Diagnosing concrete foundation cracks can be tricky. You have to look at the shape, size, pattern and frequency of the crack as well as the correlation between cracks in the floors, location of the crack and other site factors to truly determine the problem.

Sound like hard work already? Sudlow Concrete is Atlanta’s top concrete contractor and has a line up of products to help deal with any type of concrete project including any kind of crack.

Let’s start with Horizontal Cracks. Generally horizontal cracks are either the result of inadequate reinforcement or the result of pouring new concrete on old concrete, which results in a cold joint crack. The latter is easily taken care with the epoxy and adding carbon fiber staples would be a plus. A horizontal crack which is not a cold joint is most likely a structural problem and needs carbon fiber straps along with the epoxy. You have to reinforce the whole wall for proper repair. The staples are used to keep a crack from opening where the stress is just affecting the area around the crack and not the whole wall. This is usually found on a diagonal crack.

Vertical cracks usually aren’t the result of a structural problem. It is usually the result of expansion and contraction due to thermal changes. But if a vertical crack is larger at the bottom than the top it is caused from settlement under the building. These cracks may be less serious than horizontal when found in a masonry block wall but they cracks could be quite serious when found in a brick wall, especially if bond courses are broken and there is risk of collapse.

In nonstructural cracks, it is best to use a polyurethane crack injector. Polyurethane flexes with the crack while it creates a waterproof seal to stop any possible leaks.

Sudlow Concrete is your one stop solution for concrete projects. Focusing on Gwinnett County, Dekalb County, Fulton County, Rockdale County, Forsyth County, Lawrenceville, Snellville, Tucker, Decatur,

Lilburn, Duluth, Suwanee, Dunwoody, Brookhaven, and the Metro Atlanta area.

How to Clean Concrete

You may be surprised at how dirty your concrete has become, even if you don’t see any drastic stains. Dirt slowly accumulates on the porous concrete, so slowly that it often goes unnoticed until it is cleaned, and the difference can be amazing to the previously unaware homeowner. It is a good idea to schedule regular cleaning of concrete surfaces to prolong the life and look of your driveway, patio, or other surface.

Power-Washing

The quickest and easiest method available for cleaning concrete is power-washing. High-pressure washers can be rented locally. Hot, pressurized water alone can do wonders for your concrete but often, especially for common oil, grease, or rust stains, chemicals can be combined with the water to lift and eliminate the stains. Cleaning agents should be available at the same place you rent the power-washer.

Common Stains

For oil and grease stains, perhaps the most common of driveway stains, use an alkaline degreaser. The hot water works to lift the oil from the concrete and the degreaser emulsifies the oil, allowing it to be washed off the surface.

Rust stains will require something a bit more powerful because of how deeply rust penetrates into the pores of the surface. Try cleaners containing oxalic acid combined with the power-washing.

Hot vs Cold Water

In the kitchen, hot water cleans better than cold water. And the same goes for power-washing and concrete cleaning. However, cold-water power washers are cheaper, lighter, and easier to use than hot-water power-washers. For most residential applications, cold water washers will work just fine but it will likely take longer to lift any stains. For severely stained concrete, or large, time-consuming jobs, you might consider hiring a local contractor such as Bill Sudlow with Sudlow Concrete. He would be glad to help anyone in the Metro Atlanta Area. Call 404-285-5995 for a free quote.

Cement Mason and Concrete Finisher Overview

Concrete is one of the most popular construction materials. The mixture of sand, water, gravel, and Portland cement is durable, inexpensive, and versatile. It is used in many different areas of construction, from foundations, floor, verandas, sidewalk in residential houses; to miles of highways or dams weighing tons. Metro Atlanta has many needs for Concrete and Sudlow Concrete has all the tools, manpower, and machinery to complete most any job. Focusing on residential houses – Including Driveways, Waterproofing, Decks, Patios, Sidewalks, Basements, Foundations, and anything else in the home; Sudlow Concrete is your one stop solution for concrete projects. Focusing on Gwinnett County, Dekalb County, Fulton County, Rockdale County, Forsyth County, Lawrenceville, Snellville, Tucker, Decatur, Lilburn, Duluth, Suwanee, Dunwoody, Brookhaven, and the Metro Atlanta area.

Call today for a free estimate! 404-285-5995

There are many different jobs that work with concrete.Cement masons/Concrete finishers: Their main job is to install and finish concrete. This might involve different things. They might make beams, plates, or columns of concrete; or make decorative finishes like colorization. Some masons perform the entire procedure from beginning to end on their own, such as Metro Atlanta’s Sudlow Conrete. Before applying concrete masons must first attach and line up the forms that hold the concrete. They then direct the workers to shovel or pour the concrete smoothly and correctly. The next step is to “screed” the surface, which consists of leveling the top of the concrete using a flat tool and straightedge. When the concrete is uniform the concrete mason uses a tool called a “bull float”, a long, thin tool that buries the rough parts of the concrete and raises a fine, full paste of the cement to the top. After this step is complete the concrete finishers take over. They use an edger to create founded and smoothed edges between the forms of concrete. This makes the concrete more durable by preventing flaking or cracking. Another way of preventing cracking is to use a “groover” that scores the concrete into smaller sections. After this is done they use a flat smooth tool called trowel to make the surface completely uniform.

To complete the process, they trowel the surface a second time to make sure it is completely smooth or make different finishes. Different jobs require different surfaces. Sometimes masons need to create a rougher surface to prevent slipping. To achieve this, they use a broom or brush with still bristles to score the surface. Other times they place small stone chips or gravel into the concrete, called aggregate, and then wash away the excess concrete to achieve a pebble finish. Sometimes masons use concrete that is premixed with coloring for certain colored finishes. When making ceilings, pillars, or wall panels where the concrete will be exposed after the frames are removed, masons chisel away loose concrete, patch up any gaps or dents with a paste made out of Portland cement, and use carborundum stone to create a uniform surface. To finish they cover the entire area that is exposed with a rich blend of Portland cement and use tools or cloths to smooth the concrete.

Cement masons have to take into account the complex ways in which the environment affects concrete. Warm or cool temperatures, wind, and weather can all make the concrete warp or crack. Masons have to know how the concrete responds to different changes, predict problems, and take preventative measures.

Segmental pavers: They install panels made of compressed brick or concrete. These panels are called pavers and are used in constructing walkways, verandas, playgrounds, steps, driveways, and many other things. Pavers come in many different textures, colors, and shapes that can be designed to form decorative patterns. Those who lay pavers begin by clearing and leveling the area to be covered. They then lay and compress the base material, which is a compressible grainy material. Then they can lay the pavers, beginning with the center and trimming the pavers on the end so the fit neatly. To finish they lay bordering materials to hold the pavers in place and fill in the joints between pavers with sand.

Terrazzo Workers: They construct paths, floors, verandas, and wall panels in decorative ways by making cement walls with surfaces of aggregates, or small stones, of marble or other materials. Installing terrazzo is very much like installing concrete. The procedure involves installing three layers of different materials. To begin, workers create a sound, 3-4 inch thick foundation of concrete. They then remove the forms from the concrete foundation and put in another layer, about an inch thick, of sand concrete. While the sandy layer is still damp workers insert divider strips made out of metal into the concrete in the pattern of the terrazzo. The third layer is a blended, sometimes colored mixture of marble chips which is sprinkled onto the concrete and pressed down with a light roller.

After the terrazzo is set, workers use a terrazzo grinder, which is a kind of heavy floor polisher. After polishing, the marks left by the grinder are filled in with a matching spackle and then smoothed with a trowel. To finish, the workers scour, polish, and apply sealant to the surface until it shines.

Cement Mason and Concrete Finisher Training and Job Qualifications

Some personal attributes will also contribute to becoming good cement masons, concrete finishers, terrazzo workers, and segmental pavers. They should enjoy doing detail-oriented work, be independent workers, like doing intense, short-term projects, and find satisfaction in craftsmanship. Bill Sudlow, owner of Sudlow Conrete is a master mason and excels in all these areas. With only the best and most experienced employees, Sudlow Conrete has the manpower and know how to knock out the most difficult concrete work in a timely and professional manor. Job and Employment Opportunities for

Cement Masons and Concrete Finishers

Cement masons, concrete finishers, terrazzo workers, and segmental pavers are predicted to have excellent employment opportunities in coming years – as cement is one of the building blocks of all construction. Bill Sudlow of Sudlow Conrete is going into the upcoming years with a strong highly skilled team that is well respected in the Metro Atlanta area.

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