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How to Find a Good Patio Contractor

Have you decided you want a flagstone, limestone or concrete patio for your FLORIDA home. Wondering how to get it done and who you should use? Well, I’m going to tell you how. I’m going to give you a step by step process stating the 3 red flags that signal a bad or uneducated [tag] contractor. These 3 things will ensure you get it done the right way, by the right ready mix concrete delivery and pumping contractor in FLORIDA .

Steps To Finding The Right Concrete Contractor in FLORIDA

First step, first things first. Every Stone Installation Needs A Concrete Footing which might also be called a concrete foundation . This is not opinion but fact. If you want it done right and want it to withstand the test of time, this is the way it’s done, no exceptions. A red flag should go up when any contractor is offering bypassing a concrete foundation as a cost saving option. Unfortunately 85% of the ready mix concrete delivery and pumping contractors out there will tell you they can lay the stone right on top of compacted granite or base material. This type of contractor is exactly who you want to avoid. While what they are recommending to you gives the appearance of a patio, it won’t withstand the climate, erosion and soil movement beneath the patio in FLORIDA .


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You might get a few crackless years at best, until it begins to fall apart. This method is the most recommended scam or shortcut of trying to lower pricing and still get the job. Notice the price came down because the concrete footing was removed from the job cost. This option of ” no concrete necessary” is most often offered to those with strict financial limitations. The contractors offering this solution don’t care about your patio or home, they just want your money.With no concrete foundation you get a type of patio, but it’s really just a veneer laid on the ground.

How much concrete do i need?

A concrete patio or sidewalk slab or footing should be a minimum of 4 inches thick. This is sometimes reduced to around 3 1/2 inches due to preexisting structural limitations for ready mix concrete delivery and pumping in FLORIDA . If you encounter space limitations, you really do need a good masonry contractor to resolve the issues with other options. this leads us to our next step.

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The 2nd step is hire a knowledgeable masonry contractor in FLORIDA . Do a little research before you start getting pricing. Most good masonry contractors will be able to talk concrete chemistry and technology with you. Yes, I said technology. In the last 10 years there have been some really cool advances in concrete additives and mixes. These advances have provided solutions for the problems and limitations of old. A true patio or masonry professional will be able to talk shop with you, it’s his livelihood. A contractor who can’t do this or doesn’t seem comfortable is more than likely a novice at best. This should be the other red flag that goes up. Basically, Concrete slabs and mortar are like a cake mix. Correctly mixing the ingredients and correctly letting the slab or masonry product cure, are the factors that determine a good solid installation. Again, Talk with your contractor and Make sure he’s knowledgeable about the chemistry, additives and curing process of concrete & masonry. If he is this will ensure the likelihood of a great patio. 3rd step and last but definitely not least, Check references, check reviews and ask to see work they’ve done. Really check this stuff out and try to look at at least 1 job they have done. Ask point blank if the previous client is related to the contractor. Any resistance or confusion in this process would be red flag number

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3.So, in order from 1 to 3. All masonry installations need a concrete footing. Make sure your patio contractor is knowledgeable about masonry chemistry, additives and enhancing solutions. Check references, reviews and stay away from the dirt cheap deals of a lifetime from any concrete contractor in FLORIDA .If you get even 1 red flag, get another contractor. There are enough guys out there that do know what they’re doing.

Concrete Sealer

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What can be done to combat climate change?

Most scientists believe that the earth’s climate is warming, because automobiles and various smokestack industries are pumping more carbon into the atmosphere than the planet’s ecosystem can absorb, potentially leading to the calamities of climate change about which folks have been hearing for many years. Most of the change appears to be in the Arctic and Antarctic, where ice is melting at an alarming rate. For those who don’t believe the earth’s climate is warming, look there!

Fortunately many people, countries and companies throughout the world are trying to reduce carbon emissions. One major way to accomplish this task is to produce “green” cement. Please read further and find out how using green cement could greatly reduce humankind’s “carbon footprint” and perhaps help save the planet in the process.

What Is Cement?

The Romans invented concrete and built their marvelous empire with it, using a mixture of lime, volcanic ash and chunks of stone to construct immense buildings such as the Pantheon and Colosseum. These days, the primary ingredient in concrete is cement, commonly known as Portland cement, which is produced by burning limestone, mostly calcium carbonate and loaded with CO2, to which clay is added, and then water, sand and aggregate to produce concrete, which is inexpensive, pourable and dries as hard as a rock. Concrete is essentially artificial stone.

According to the article “Green Cement” in the December 2011 issue of Smithsonian magazine, in 2010 the world produced about 3.6 billion tons of cement, and that amount could increase by a billion tons before 2050. Interestingly, the only substance the world uses more than concrete, in total volume, is water!

Why Is Cement Dirty?

As useful and cheap as cement is, it has environmental drawbacks. Fossil fuels are used to burn the limestone at 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit, and this process releases large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. Cement production accounts for five percent of the world’s human-produced carbon dioxide emissions; only automobiles and smokestack industries used to make electricity and steel release more greenhouse gases in the United States and China, the world’s largest producers of cement.

Per an article entitled “Cement from CO2: A Concrete Cure for Global Warming?” in the August 2008 issue of Scientific American, making a ton of cement results in the emission of roughly one ton of CO2.

What is Green Cement?

The Smithsonian story mentioned above stated that since 2004 companies throughout the world have been trying to make Portland cement more environmentally friendly. Producers have added steel byproducts, such as slag; coal residues, such as fly ash and other materials to try to bulk up concrete, thereby requiring less Portland cement in the mixture. They’ve also used mineral additives, trying to reduce the temperature needed to prepare the materials, thus reducing the CO2 spewed when heating the limestone. Unfortunately, compounding the problem, nobody understands exactly how Portland cement works!

A potential breakthrough came when researchers at a company named Novacem, located in the United Kingdom, began using magnesium oxide instead of limestone to produce the primary ingredient in cement. Magnesium oxide can be prepared for cement by heating it to 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit, half of what is required for limestone. But something else had to be added to the magnesium oxide to make the cement harden, so magnesium silicates have been put in. These carbon-free compounds are made from talc, serpentine, olivine and other minerals, all of which are quite plentiful and found throughout the world. Otherwise, Novacem’s process is kept a secret.

Of some importance, Novacem’s cement is pure white, rather than gray like Portland cement. White cement can be colored, enhancing its possibilities, particularly when used to make houses and office buildings.

Available on the Internet, the company overview for Novacem claims that for every ton of Portland cement replaced by Novacem’s, emissions will be reduced by 850 kilograms. But the jury is still out on whether Novacem’s cement will be as strong as Portland cement. If it isn’t, few construction companies will use it.

Recycling CO2 to Make Green Cement

Calera, a company in California, has an innovative procedure, perhaps the dream of recyclers. It uses CO2 emitted from a power plant and mixes it with seawater to create carbonates used to make cement. These carbonates can be added to Portland cement to replace some or all of the limestone. Using similar technology, the Chinese plan to build a cement plant next to a coal mine in Inner Mongolia, where they hope to use the carbon emissions to produce cement.

More Ideas

Researchers at Louisiana Tech University are doing away with limestone entirely, using instead a paste called geopolymer, which is made of fly ash, sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide.

Calix, an Australian company, makes cement by using superheated steam, which modifies the cement particles and make them purer and more chemically reactive. The process also makes it easier to separate the carbon dioxide and keep it from escaping into the atmosphere.


The stakes are high to produce green cement, for cement production is a $170 billion-dollar per year industry. Make it, and many construction companies will come. Naturally the stakes are also very high for the planet to significantly reduce its output of greenhouse gases. It appears the technology is emerging. It will simply take time to find the best “green” cement.

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How to Maintain Concrete Patios, Driveways and Walkways

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Transforming Our Patio by Changing the Pavers to Concrete

After 14 years of pavers on our patio, we decided to switch to a concrete surface. The pavers looked great at first, but over the years became prone to mold and had weeds coming up between them.

This switch from pavers to concrete was part of our project to expand our screen room. In Florida, the weather is great for outdoor living, so we wanted a bigger space and one that was easier to take care of.

Follow along below to see what was involved in switching from the original pavers to a new patio of concrete. Although, it took some time, we expect to enjoy our outdoor living space more now without spraying chemicals on the weeds or having to pressure wash to remove mold.

Rain Delay

The time between removing the pavers and getting the concrete poured was several weeks. Rain every day delayed the project. Then we had several days of fine weather but the concrete companies were behind schedule.

Finally, our turn came and the rains held off. The concrete was poured in one day and smoothed for drying.

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