Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Hot Weather Concreting

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Chill out! 

Hot weather doesn't have to leave you cold!
Do you face the the same problems every summer when the sun shines and the heat rises?  Hot weather can cause concrete to be weaker, it can heighten the potential for uncontrolled cracking and it's durability will be compromised if you don't handle the situation correctly.
Why is hot weather a problem in the first place?
Concrete hydrates as it sets, this is an exothermic reaction and generates heat. When the concrete is already a higher temperature than the ideal temp of less than 80 degrees and is exposed to elements like hot sun, humidity and wind this process is accelerated.  The real issue here is the temperature of the concrete, not the temperature of the air.

Crystals grow around the aggregate particles when cement hydrates and absorbs water.  When the concrete temperature is too high those crystals form too rapidly without a chance for them to grow strong.

The strength will seem to be sufficient for the first 28 days but then it declines markedly.  For example, concrete that is 18 degrees higher than the ideal when poured will have a 10% decrease in compressive strength after the initial 28 days.

Slump diminishes rapidly as cement sets in hot weather, and adding more water when mixing is necessary however, by doing so causes the concrete's strength to diminish.  In colored concrete it can even lead to variations in color when the amount of water added to one batch is significantly more than the next batch. 

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What steps can I take to ensure properly finished concrete in extreme temperatures?
If temperatures are over 90 degrees precautions need to be taken to ensure your concrete sets correctly.

Getting concrete that is as cool as possible is a priority, preferably less than 80 degrees.  Being the main ingredient in concrete, aggregate should be kept in a cool place and out of the sun.  Lowering the concrete temperature can be as easy as using cold water or even ice in place of water.

There are a few other simple steps to take when concreting in hot weather:
  • cooling down concrete materials before mixing
  • using cold water and even ice for mixing concrete
  • set-retarding admixtures can be used if done correctly
  • putting up shelter from the wind and sun
  • misting and fogging
  • placing and finishing as quickly as possible
  • having extra hands to help finish more quickly
  • placing after dark when the heat has gone down or in the morning before the sun rises

Gator Skin Tool Protector, Conditioner, and Lubricant

Protect your hard earned investment with the one and only Gator Skin® Tool Protector, Conditioner, and Lubricant.  This specially formulated product was designed to lubricate, condition, and protect your concrete and masonry tools from rust and corrosion.

Support American Manufacturing and the American Worker.

Gator Tools is committed to producing products in the U.S.A. with 100% U.S. content.  Every Gator Tool purchased supports American Manufacturing and the American Worker.
Fall River Manufacturing Company/Gator Tools manufactures professional tools and accessories for concrete, plaster, and EIFS.  

Copyright © 2016 Fall River Manufacturing/Gator Tools, All rights reserved.

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4160 South 13th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53221

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Floating Concrete? Your Guide to Choosing the Right Tool.

Floating concrete: The guide to help you choose the right tool.
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Channel Float or Bull Float,
Round vs Square

How do you choose?

Use this guide to help you choose your next Gator Channel Float or Bull Float and when to choose round or square ends.

Channel Float or Bull Float?

Bull floats and Channel floats appear similar, so what's the difference?  When would you choose one over the other?

Basically it comes down to the type of application and the amount of concrete being finished.

First lets identify the similarities and differences between the two:

Gator Bull Floats and Channel Floats both have four stiffening ribs which run the full-length of the blade keeping it straight and rigid, exhibiting excellent stability.  

Floats of all kinds are used to cut high spots, fill low spots and voids, while leveling and smoothing the concrete. The floating process also embeds the concrete aggregates while bringing the concrete mortar or paste to the surface.

Floating should be done immediately after screeding. 
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Bull Floats
Bull floats are available in blade lengths of 24" to 60" and come in handy when the area is too large to use a darby but not large enough for a channel float.  The ideal application for bull floats is for finishing areas of concrete such as driveways, patios, walkways and sidewalks.  
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Channel Floats
Channel floats come in blade lengths of 4 ft - 10 ft and are best suited for larger areas of concrete such as large driveways, warehouse floors and roads.  Channel floats have higher side channels compared to  bull floats which create stability and can handle the excess concrete being pushed. These types of applications generally require extremely flat and level surfaces which are judged by "F" numbers, often referred to as FF/FL. The higher the "F" number the more flat and level the floor.  Gator Channel Floats are an excellent tool to achieve these strict "F" number requirements and are equipped with two extra stiffening ribs within the channel resulting in a straight and stable float.
Shop Channel Floats

Round vs Square

What is ultimately comes down to is user preference. Round end finishing tools are less likely to leave finishing lines or lap marks in the concrete and are generally easier to use.  They also are known to be easier to use in tight spaces.

Getting your tools to the work site has never been easier

Channel Floats and Bull Floats are only one part of the equation. Their use requires an Adjustable Leveling Head Bracket and poles. With so many finishing tools to transport to and from the job site, make transporting your floating tools a little bit easier with the Gator Glide Float and Trowel Kit.

Each kit includes
  • Bull Float, Channel Float, or Walking (Fresno) Trowel in the length and shape of your choice
  • Four 1-3/4" x 6'(ft) Snap Button Extension Poles
  • Gator Glide Adjustable Leveling Head Float and Trowel Bracket
  • Heavy Duty PVC Carrying Case

This tool really is the fastest most economical way to get tools to the work site not to mention, items sold separately simply cannot beat the price of our kits which are sold as one item.
Float and Trowel Kits
Copyright © 2016 Gator Tool Company, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
4160 South 13th Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53221

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