Concrete Step Repair
Get That Concrete Step Repaired!
Concrete steps are everywhere. They are a common feature of American architecture. They serve us well. They are hardy no-fuss structures that get stepped on all the time and you never hear them complain. After all that wear, it should come to us as no surprise that every now and then we need to give them some upkeep. When it comes to concrete steps, the damage can come in many shapes and forms. It’s a good idea to call your professional contractor. However, let’s get you through the basics.
Assessing the Damage
Most defects are cosmetic in nature. For example, the nose on landing steps chips away quite easily. The tread can suffer damage or simply wear away with time. Repairing these is a straightforward job. Other times, the flooring could be damaged, making the step unsafe. Someone could trip or get a shoe stuck. If the riser is damaged, then you need to take a careful look, because the whole step could be compromised.
Common Repairs
Small defects can be repaired with patching cement. Depending on the size of the crack, that could be the end of it. If the corner of a step has chipped away, it could take a knack with the trowel to get things just right. Especially with corners, the repair will probably need something to hold the structure. One way to do this is to bore holes into the damaged area with a hammer drill. Using expansion anchors and leg screws you can create a metal structure to hold the cement. This prevents the new corner from falling off! Make sure to use a bonding agent, otherwise it will crack.

Getting the texture right might require mixing in some sand with the cement. Also, to get the best finish, use a damp rubber float to ensure that the two surfaces blend well together. Getting these details takes a lot of practice with the trowel. Consult with your contractor if you run into trouble.

For large or structural defects, more comprehensive masonry might be necessary. For example, it is common for the rise of concrete steps to collapse. This will require a more intensive approach. Your contractor will decide which mix is best, and what elements will yield the best results. To repair large defects, sometimes you need to build a form, or a wooden structure that will hold the cement while it sets. Professionals know how to assemble these and ensure that the mix will not spill, and that the concrete will set correctly without cracking.

Taking Concrete Steps
In conclusion, most concrete step defects are cosmetic. Repairing these takes some skill, especially with the trowel, but can be safely done by almost anyone. However, larger defects need to be assessed by a professional, and involve more advanced building techniques. Please feel free to contact us and we will help you take the necessary steps to achieve the best repair.
cracked foundation repair portland
Cracked Foundation Repair
We are always told to build on firm foundations. These are wise words. They apply as much to daily life as they do to construction. So when a homeowner finds cracks on the foundations of their property, it’s only natural to worry. Nowadays, there are many methods to repair foundation cracks, and fortunately you can access them all right here in Portland. As a matter of fact, cracks and concrete go together. That does not mean that you should overlook any damage. Your contractor can help you evaluate the extent of the problem.

Portland and Pisa?
We have all seen pictures of the leaning tower of Pisa. Don’t worry! Nothing like that is likely to happen to your property. However, the same forces that were at work in the famous tower, act over buildings all around the world. The ground might seem solid to you, but it is always moving and changing. The hardest part of the ground, the bedrock, is not flat. That is why the tower started to tilt: the ground was much softer on one side than the other. When a property stands on different ground densities, it is normal for foundation cracks to appear.

The watershed plays a big part in this problem as well. As the ground loses or gains water, it can shrink or expand. These movements will cause the foundations to shift and crack. Portland is a somewhat rainy city, and the installation of drainage systems and drain tiles is a good option. Your contractor can guide you and help you make the best choice for your property or building project.
Nothing to Crack Up About
While not necessarily serious, foundation cracks should not be ignored. The best thing you can do is contact your contractor to assess the problem. Some cracks can be repaired quickly and cheaply, but that has to be determined by a professional.

Small cracks can be repaired by filling them with epoxy or polyurethane foams. This is both affordable and a lasting solution. Larger cracks often need true cement and concrete products. Approach your construction professional to find the best option for you.

However, if the problem is more serious and the foundation has begun to sink, then the only solution is lifting the property ― literally ― using hydraulic piers. This is an expensive process that requires extensive excavation. After the foundations are lifted to their original level, the spaces are the filled with speciality foams.

If you have identified cracks on your property’s foundations, only your contractor can tell you which option is best! Don’t hesitate to call.



concrete foundation repair portland
Slab-Lifting with Concrete?
Foundation Repair in Portland
Foundation problems range from those than can be fixed by the DIY enthusiast, to those that require expensive hydraulic equipment and are best left to professionals. These are the extremes. Often, a better and more affordable solution can be found. There are several methods to repair foundations. Approach your construction professional and he can guide you to the best option for your case. Foundation cracks should not be ignored.
So, You Found a Foundation Crack…
Foundation cracks can have many causes. Movement and drainage of the ground is a common issue. However, if the foundations of the property were not filled with the correct materials, foundations slabs could begin to crack and sink. The ground for new constructions should be filled with gravel or sand, substrates that are easily compacted and allow good drainage.

If the problem is already present, then you must have it evaluated by your contractor. Foundation cracks need to be assessed according to location, length, width and depth. Only construction professionals have the experience and the equipment to correctly determine the extent of the problem.
What is Piering?
Piering is a foundation repair method. It consists in anchoring the foundations to steel piers that are then driven into the ground all the way to the bedrock. Then hydraulic jacks are used to raise the foundations to their original level. The voids are then filled with speciality foams.

Piering is expensive, but it is cheaper than replacing the foundation altogether. It could be the only option in some cases.
What is Slabjacking?
Slabjacking or concrete levelling is a foundation repair method. It consists in pumping concrete or grout underneath the sinking slab to raise it. Your contractor drills strategically placed holes in the problem slab, and pumps concrete to fill the voids and return the slab to its original level.

Some small cracks can be filled with epoxy foams. Larger ones usually require cement products. However, if the problem affects the foundation slabs, then slabjacking could be your better choice.

Slabjacking has many benefits, not least of which is its affordability, when compared to piering or replacement. A valuable characteristic of concrete foundation repair, especially for commercial areas, is that it can be done without disrupting daily business. Additionally, this method does not require extensive landscape disruption such as digging and excavation.

Concrete foundation repair and piering are both available to you in Portland. Approach your contractor to find the best option for your case.



walkway construction and repair
A Walk Through Walkways
Construction and Repair
Walkways are great way to improve the value of a property. They have a very long service life ― up to half a century! They are pleasing to the eye and a statement of order. A walkway guides our guests to the “Welcome” mat, and separates a well kept lawn from a flower bed. They are a common feature of American houses and gardens.
Many Ways to Walkway
Depending on local materials, walkways can be constructed in many different ways. Traditionally, bricks or rocks joined with mortar have been used to build walkways. These could be straight or winding, they can be regular or tapering. It is really a matter of taste.

Nowadays, it is common to build walkways out of concrete. This has many advantages, such as widespread availability and affordability. The characteristics of concrete make it a great material for this type of construction.

It’s Just Good Practices
The most important factor to consider when constructing a walkway is ground preparation. A granular material should be placed on the ground and thoroughly compacted before placing the concrete. This can make the it more regular and it will prevent the walkway from cracking.

You also need to keep an eye for vegetation. Tree roots can crack a concrete walkway with ease. Consider that a tree that is young and unintrusive now, could spread its roots in a couple of years. Also, some grasses and weeds could damage your walkway.

Transverse control joints should be cut into the walkway. Your contractor will decide where to place these. A good rule of thumb is to cut one every four feet. Control joints are a very good way to relieve pressure from the walkway, which will prevent cracking. Skilled contractors can integrate control joints with decorative details to give a seamless effect. Ask your contractor what he can do! You could be pleasantly surprised.

During the curing period, you should protect the walkway from freezing temperatures at least five days after construction. If the weather gets hot and dry, wet curing is necessary to avoid cracking.
In Case of Repair
Traditional walkways can be repaired with common tools. The simplest ones need only a shovel. To repair a simple walkway, you need to clear the vegetation that could be growing over it, tidy things up a little and simply put the stone or brick back in its place. If these were joined with mortar, then the clean up will be harder and to get the best results you should approach your contractor.

Concrete walkways are tough, but they can also crack or sink. It is possible to simply fill in the cracks, but to achieve the best finish, and to preserve decorative details, your trusty contractor is your best bet.



walkway construction and repair vancouver
A Walk Through Walkways
Construction and Repair in Vancouver
Walkways are great way to improve the value of a property. They have a very long service life ― up to half a century! They are pleasing to the eye and a statement of order. A walkway guides our guests to the “Welcome” mat, and separates a well kept lawn from a flower bed. They are a common feature of Vancouver’s houses and gardens.
Many Ways to Walkway

Depending on local materials, walkways can be constructed in many different ways. Traditionally, bricks or rocks joined with mortar have been used to build walkways. These could be straight or winding, they can be regular or tapering. It is really a matter of taste.

Nowadays, it is common to build walkways out of concrete. This has many advantages, such as widespread availability and affordability. The characteristics of concrete make it a great material for this type of construction.
It’s Just Good Practices
The most important factor to consider when constructing a walkway is ground preparation. A granular material should be placed on the ground and thoroughly compacted before placing the concrete. This can make the walkway more regular and it will prevent the it from cracking.

You also need to keep an eye for vegetation. Tree roots can crack a concrete walkway with ease. Consider that a tree that is young and unintrusive now, could spread its roots in a couple of years. Also, some grasses and weeds could damage your walkway.

Transverse control joints should be cut into the walkway. Your contractor will decide where to place these. A good rule of thumb is to cut one every four feet. Control joints are a very good way to relieve pressure from the walkway, which will prevent cracking. Skilled contractors can integrate control joints with walkway decoration to give a seamless effect. Ask your contractor what he can do! You could be pleasantly surprised.

During the curing period, you should protect the walkway from freezing temperatures at least five days after construction. If the weather gets hot and dry, wet curing is necessary to avoid cracking.
In Case of Repair
Traditional walkways can be repaired with common tools. The simplest ones need only a shovel. To repair a simple walkway, you need to clear the vegetation that could be growing over it, tidy things up a little and simply put the stone or brick back in its place. If these were joined with mortar, then the clean up will be harder and to get the best results you should approach your contractor.

Concrete walkways are tough, but they can also crack or sink. It is possible to simply fill in the cracks, but to achieve the best finish, and to preserve decorative details, your trusty contractor is your best bet.



concrete repair vancouver
What You Need to Know about Concrete Repairs
When it comes to home repair, it is very tempting to get into DIY mode and take a shot at whichever problem we find in our properties. Concrete repairs, however, can be a bit daunting. Keep reading and you will find some pointers to help you along the way. If you run into trouble, your contractor right here in Vancouver can give you a hand.

Concrete or Cement?
We often get asked what is the difference between concrete and cement. Cement is a binding agent that is rarely used on its own. When you add sand or gravel to cement, the result is concrete. Depending on the aggregate you use, and the proportion, you get different properties such as resistance and hardness.

There are many concrete formulations, and each serves a different purpose. The three main types are concrete, mortar, and masonry cements. Concrete is we use to build structures, different aggregates are used to make it more resistant, fairing, and even expansive. Modern formulations often include polymers that make the curing process more regular to prevent cracking. These mixes have many other properties such as coloring and waterproofing.

Mortars are just cement with a fine aggregate. Mortars are used to bind different construction elements together, such as bricks, walls or stones. Mortars can be used for rendering and finishing touches. However, they should not be used for any structural repairs.

Masonry cements, sometimes known as stucco, are mixes for rendering and finishing touches. These are usually proprietary mixes. They are easy to shape and to handle. They do not offer high resistance and should never be used for structural concrete repairs.
That Sounds Cementitious!
With all that variety, how to chose? The most important factor when it comes to concrete repairs, is to understand the cause and the nature of the problem. Are you trying to fix a crack, a chipped wall, a slab or a doorway? To repair superficial problems, you might get away with using any masonry cement. If the problem is larger then you will probably need to modify the mix yourself. Also take into consideration that concrete is very resistant but not very flexible. Depending on the location of the problem you might need to add steel reinforcements. These give flexibility to the structure and prevent the repair from cracking or simply crumbling down.

For larger repairs, especially slabs, it is often necessary to maintain the humidity of the concrete for up to 5 days, or to add a coating agent. This is crucial in hot and dry weather. Keep an eye open during the summer or heat waves.

If you want to get the best results, consult with your contractor. He can help you choose the best mix for your concrete repairs, and will let you know if there is anything else you need before undertaking your project.


concrete repair portland
What You Need to Know about Concrete Repairs
Portland is not a cheap city. So when it comes to home repair, it is very tempting to get into DIY mode and take a shot at whichever problem we find in our properties. Concrete repairs, however, can be a bit daunting. Keep reading and you will find some pointers to help you along the way. If you run into trouble, your contractor right here in Portland can give you a hand.
Concrete or Cement?
We often get asked what is the difference between concrete and cement. Cement is a binding agent that is rarely used on its own. When you add sand or gravel to cement, the result is concrete. Depending on the aggregate you use, and the proportion, you get different types of concrete.

There are many concrete formulations, and each serves a different purpose. The three main types are concrete, mortar, and masonry cements. Concrete is what is used for building, different aggregates are used to make it more resistant, fairing, and even expansive. Modern formulations often include polymers that make the curing process more regular to prevent cracking. These mixes have many other properties such as coloring and waterproofing.

Mortars are just cement with a fine aggregate. Mortars are used to bind different construction elements together, such as bricks, walls or stones. Mortars can be used for rendering and finishing touches. However, they should not be used for any structural repairs.

Masonry cements, sometimes known as stucco, are mixes for rendering and finishing touches. These are usually proprietary mixes. They are easy to shape and to handle. They do not offer high resistance and should never be used for structural concrete repairs.
Sounds Cementitious!
With all that variety, how to chose? The most important factor when it comes to concrete repairs, is to understand the cause and the nature of the problem. Are you trying to fix a crack, a chipped wall, a slab or a doorway? To repair superficial problems, you might get away with using any masonry cement. If the problem is larger then you will probably need to modify the mix yourself. Also take into consideration that concrete is very resistant but not very flexible. Depending on the location of the problem you might need to add steel reinforcements. These give flexibility to the structure and prevent the repair from cracking or simply crumbling down.

For larger repairs, especially slabs, it is often necessary to maintain the humidity of the concrete for up to 5 days, or to add a coating agent. This is crucial in hot and dry weather. Keep an eye open during the summer or heat waves.

If you want to get the best results, consult with your contractor. He can help you choose the best mix for your concrete repairs, and will let you know if there is anything else you need before undertaking your project.



construction and repair of sidewalk portland
Sidewalks Give Life to Portland
When you think about public spaces, parks and squares are the first ones to come to mind. In the past, our children would play in the streets, people would meet and conduct everyday business on them. After the car, we were relegated to more private spaces. Sidewalks remain a proud testament to community life and how people interact with their city. From the beautiful brick sidewalks in downtown Portland, to the sturdy concrete sidewalks in the suburbs, the flavor of these public areas speaks not only of the property owner, but of all of us as Portlanders.
Getting It Right from the Start
When it comes to sidewalk construction, the most important factor is ground preparation. When the ground loses water it tends to shrink, which can cause the slabs to crack or sink. An uneven surface will give irregular support to the sidewalk and there is a good chance of problems down the line. A properly constructed sidewalk should last from 20 to 40 years! However, it is common to see cracked and “hugged” sidewalks as a result of substandard preparation.

The subgrade is the original ground where the sidewalk will be constructed. The subgrade should be compacted and graded to give it a regular surface. The sub-base is a layer, usually of sand or gravel, that allows good drainage, does not shrink, and can be easily compacted. The use of a sub-base can dramatically increase the life of a sidewalk.

Forms ― the wooden structures that will hold the concrete ―, need to be measured twice, as the saying goes. Form regularity is critical to ensure a quality result. Uneven and crooked sidewalks are not only an eyesore, but are prone to cracking.

As with any other large concrete project, control joints should be cut regularly. Large concrete areas will expand and contract over time: joints prevent cracking. The same principle applies to where the sidewalk will adjoin other concrete surfaces.

To get the best results, the surface of any sidewalk should never be glass-smooth. Sidewalks are for pedestrians, you wouldn’t want to make them slippery, especially in the rain. Ask your contractor about clever design solutions to this problem.
Repairing Sidewalks
Cracked sidewalks are common. Superficial defects, such as fissures or chips can be repaired with masonry cements. Small holes can be patched with ease. Take into consideration that achieving a perfect finish is very difficult, because the materials are bound to have different colors and textures. To achieve the best result, contact your contractor and he will guide you through the process.

If the damage is more severe, often the best solution is to remove the damaged concrete and start anew. If that is the case, the challenge is to achieve regularity between the damaged part and the rest of the sidewalk. In these cases, to get the best result, it is better to call a professional.


construction and repair of concrete steps portland
Let’s Step It up, Portland!
Concrete Steps: Construction and Repair
Concrete steps are everywhere. They are a common feature of American architecture. They serve us well. They are hardy no-fuss structures that get stepped on all the time and you never hear them complain. The construction of concrete steps is an endeavour that can be undertaken by DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike. There are some finer points that you should keep in mind, though.
One Step at a Time
Building concrete steps requires some more advanced techniques. Specifically, ground preparation, and the design and assembly of forms.

When the ground loses water it tends to shrink, which can cause steps to crack or sink. An uneven surface will give irregular support to the sidewalk and there is a good chance of problems down the line. However, it is common to see cracked and “chipped” steps as a result of substandard preparation.

The subgrade is the original ground where the steps will be constructed. The subgrade should be compacted and graded to give it a regular surface. The sub-base is a layer, usually of sand or gravel, that allows good drainage, does not shrink, and can be easily compacted.

Forms are wooden structures that hold the concrete in place while it sets. Forms will also give shape to the steps, so they should be carefully measured. You should keep the following in mind while assembling forms:
- The rise of each step should lie between 6 and 8 inches.
- The flooring of each step should be at least 12 inches.
- The landing step should be large enough to stand (keep in mind that some doors open to the outside).
- The complete stairway should be at least 6 inches wider on each side than the width of the doorway.

After pouring the concrete, use a float to level the steps and work with any “cream” that might form. Remember that concrete setting is a chemical reaction and heat and bubbles are produced. You should also use a sponge or a broom to give some texture to the steps: you don’t want them to be slippery! Also, larger steps might require steel reinforcements. Contact your contractor if you have any questions.
A Quick Word about Repairs
When it comes to concrete steps, the damage can come in many shapes and forms. Sometimes the edge of the tread gets chipped. This can be fixed easily with some mortar and a trowel, since this type of damage is mainly cosmetic. If the damage is more extensive, replacing the step might be the option. Especially if the sub-base has degraded or if it was not built in in the first place. If you have any questions and would like professional assistance, call your trusty contractor in the Portland area. concrete foundation


construction and repair of concrete retaining wall portland
Landscaping with concrete
Retaining walls
The American Landscape is rugged. Retaining walls are a powerful landscaping tool to deal with elevation changes, where the resulting slope would be too steep. These can be found in practically every city in America, and Portland is no exception. There are many types of retaining walls, and these can be built out of many materials. One of the better ones is concrete, both for functionality and affordability.
More than Meets the Eye
Retaining walls are simple enough structures. They are basically walls that support the mass of the ground above them. Given the complex ground dynamics that are in play, theses structures need to be carefully constructed by a professional contractor.
In fact, the City of Portland requires a building permit for any retaining walls above four feet, or those with large surcharges.
A common mistake is to build many small retaining walls instead of a single one that is taller. This is terracing badly applied. Some contractors do this to avoid obtaining a permit from the city. However, building a second retaining wall above or near the first one, simply increases the surcharge. The surcharge is the force that the terrain above the structure will exert on it. For example, if you build a driveway above a retaining wall, the weight of the driveway needs to be taken into consideration, otherwise it could collapse.
One of the main reasons retaining walls collapse is failure to use geogrid and correct draining aggregates. If the structure has nowhere to drain, then all of the water will accumulate near the wall and eventually it will bulge or crack.
When it comes to retaining walls, investing in quality now will save you a lot of headaches in the future.
A Quick Word about Repairs
Small retaining walls, usually built with blocks or stones, can be repaired by simply removing the affected section. Clearing the ground behind wall is paramount to a successful repair, as is adding the right draining aggregate. Concrete retaining walls usually require form assembly and concrete pouring to be repaired. The most important factor when repairing these structures is to make sure that the root of the problem has been addressed. This usually has something to do with incorrect drainage or overloading the wall with bad terracing. Ask your contractor if a repair might need geogrid or supporting steel for the concrete wall.

Are you in the Portland area? Call your concrete retaining wall expert!


concrete repair contractors portland portland
Meet the Experts
Concrete Repair Contractors in Portland
You have been dreaming about it for months, pouring through magazines or web pages or perhaps it took you by surprise… Either way it’s time to embark in that remodelling or repair project. It can be a daunting task or it can be smooth sailing. Portland is a big city. There are many construction projects and many contractors. Here are some tips to keep in mind before giving someone your business.
Good Contractors Are Servicemen not Sellers
Homeowners often dread remodelling and landscaping projects because contractors can quickly go over budget. This usually happens when the contractor has a salesperson mentality. Good contractors will make an honest ― sometimes too honest ― assessment of the situation and will get you an accurate quote.

Good contractors are trying to build a good business relationship with you. They understand that they are providing a service and that word of mouth spreads quickly. There is a big difference between someone who wants to build a lasting relationship, and someone who is just giving you a hard sell.
Take the Time to Do the Research
If you understand the basics of the project you need, it is more likely that you will create a certain rapport with your contractor. That way, you will be able to discuss budgeting issues and which techniques will be used in your property. Knowing even the bare basics will give you the confidence and the ability to know who to hire.
Interview before You Decide
A good way to get a sense of local contractors is to conduct a couple of interviews. There are many contractors in the Portland area, meeting them face to face will certainly narrow your choices. Remember that you need to have a good rapport with your contractor. Especially when it comes to urgent repairs, trust is of the essence.
Some Concrete Advice
Concrete is an amazing material. It has shaped the modern world. You can find it almost anywhere. However, achieving the best results requires expertise when it comes to mixing, rationing, setting and curing. If you have a project that requires this material, get in touch with a specialized contractor, they can certainly help.

The best contractor in the business is the one you feel comfortable with, surely you will make the best choice.

Portland is a thriving, wonderful city. It is one of America’s fastest growing urban centers. We are proud to contribute in the construction of this larger ― much larger ― project.


walkway construction and repair portland
Walkway this Way?
Construction and Repair in Portland
Walkways are great way to improve the value of a property. They have a very long service life ― up to half a century! They are pleasing to the eye and a statement of order. A walkway guides our guests to the “Welcome” mat, and separates a well kept lawn from a flower bed. They are a common feature of Portland’s houses and gardens.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/skateoregon/3461606030/
One to Suit Every Taste
Depending on local materials, walkways can be constructed in many different ways. Traditionally, bricks or rocks joined with mortar have been used to build walkways. These could be straight or winding, they can be regular or tapering. It is really a matter of taste.

Nowadays, it is common to build walkways out of concrete. This has many advantages, such as widespread availability and affordability. The characteristics of concrete make it a great material for this type of construction.
Getting It Right from the Start
The most important factor to consider when constructing a walkway is ground preparation. A granular material should be placed on the ground and thoroughly compacted before placing the concrete. This can make the walkway more regular and it will prevent the walkway from cracking.

You also need to keep an eye for vegetation. Tree roots can crack a concrete walkway with ease. Consider that a tree that is young and unintrusive now, could spread its roots in a couple of years. Also, some grasses and weeds could damage your walkway.

Transverse control joints should be cut into the walkway. Your contractor will decide where to place these. A good rule of thumb is to cut one every four feet. Control joints are a very good way to relieve pressure from the walkway, which will prevent cracking. Skilled contractors can integrate control joints with walkway decoration to give a seamless effect. Ask your contractor what he can do! You could be pleasantly surprised.

During the curing period, you should protect the walkway from freezing temperatures at least five days after construction. If the weather gets hot and dry, wet curing is necessary to avoid cracking.
In Case of Repair
Traditional walkways can be repaired with common tools. The simplest ones need only a shovel. To repair a simple walkway, you need to clear the vegetation that could be growing over it, tidy things up a little and simply put the stone or brick back in its place. If these were joined with mortar, then the clean up will be harder and to get the best results you should approach your contractor.

Concrete walkways are tough, but they can also crack or sink. It is possible to simply fill in the cracks, but to achieve the best finish, and to preserve decorative details, your trusty contractor is your best bet.


basement wall repair portland
Get that Basement Wall Assessed!
When damage appears on basement walls, usually in the form of a crack, homeowners fear that their property will have to undergo extensive repairs, that include costly excavations or even a complete replacement of the wall. In some instances, extensive repairs are required. However, there a few techniques that could save you the hassle. The most important thing is that you know what you are dealing with. Having your contractor asses the damage is the smart choice.
The Logic behind the Damage
If you think about it, basement walls are unsung heroes. They are underground for the most part! They are charged with keeping the ground out of your basement and your house. This means that enormous and unbalanced forces press on them constantly. This is made worse with clays, which take up a lot of moisture and expand. Now, Portland has a good loam so the situation is not terrible, but ground expansion does happen in this area nevertheless. If the expansion is too great for the wall to handle, it can bump or bulge.

During the summer months, the ground loses water so the ground tends to shrink. If the aggregate that was used to fill the outside of the basement wall was not correctly compacted, then voids are created. These will eventually cause the wall to crack. A cracked basement wall will let moisture in and it could seep during the wetter months.
What Repair Options Are Out There?
Small cracks can be filled with polyurethane foams, to prevent leaking. These cracks can also be repaired with concrete. You should keep in mind that if the crack keeps getting bigger, it shifts, or it is larger than 1/16”, you need to call your contractor and get it assessed.

If the wall is bulging, or has suffered structural damage, steel beams can be anchored to the foundation. These are then pushed against the wall with hydraulic jacks. The result is that the beams press against the basement wall and level the forces that are making it bump. Depending on the damage, your contractor might need to excavate the outside of the wall. This might sound like a huge inconvenience, but the repair can be done relatively fast and without disrupting the family life much.

Your should discuss your options with your contractor. The repair might be a lot less intrusive than you think, and addressing this problem now could save you a lot of headaches in the future.

driveway construction and repair vancouver
Driveway construction basics
Few projects require so much expertise with concrete like driveways. The problem has to do mainly with the surface area. The larger the surface, the more difficult it gets to prevent cracks or different issues down the line. Driveways are a common feature of the suburban landscape and Vancouver is no exception. While the more technical points of concrete driveway construction are best left to your contractor, there are a few key points that every homeowner should be aware of.
Mind the Subgrade to Get an A-Grade Result
The subgrade is the original ground where the driveway will be built. The subgrade needs to be grounded and compacted correctly. It is better to avoid soils that retain a lot of water, such as clays. It is better to have the soil analyzed by an engineer, than to have a cracked driveway down the road. The surface needs to be as flat and as regular as possible, otherwise, there is the possibility that the driveway slabs will not have the same thickness throughout. As a result, the loading capacity will vary, and that could lead to cracking.

Ask your contractor whether adding a sub-base could improve the durability of your project, or how could the ground conditions be improved prior to construction.
Get the Best Materials
When it comes to driveways, choosing high-performance cements is a very good idea. Depending on the weather conditions, the subgrade, and the area of the project, your contractor will help you decide which is the better mix.

Depending on the slope and terrain characteristics, it is sometimes a good idea to add reinforcing steel to the structure.
It’s All about the Curing
The most important aspect of concrete driveway construction is the curing. This needs to be done by a professional. Some of the methods she or he will use are adding a membrane-forming compound that will keep the concrete from drying too quickly covering the concrete with a curing blanket, or sprinkling it regularly. Another point to keep in mind is that the subgrade should be moist before pouring the concrete. A dry subgrade steals moisture away from the mix and defeats the purpose of curing.

As with any large concrete surface, control joints should be cut by your contractor. Decorative elements can be incorporated to the joints by skilled contractors, to give a seamless effect.

A Quick Word about Repairs
Repairing concrete driveways needs a correct assessment of the problem. Small cracks can simply be patched, while issues with the subgrade could require slabjacking. In the most extreme cases, it could be necessary to remove the damaged section and build it anew.

Your contractor can help you make the best choice. Get in touch, right here in Vancouver!


basement foundation crack repair portland
Basement Foundation Repair
Foundation problems, usually found in basements can spell structural damage. They should not go overlooked. There are some easy methods to fix some of these problems, especially cracks. However, you should seek professional aid. Turn to your trusty contractor right here in Portland to get your problem assessed.
Why do Cracks Appear?
Foundations are the part of our properties that is in direct contact with the ground beneath. Not only do they isolate us from the elements, but they have the all important job of supporting the rest of the structure. They distribute the load of the house to the ground underneath.

A common cause for basement foundation problems is excessive moisture and seepage. This can compromise the material integrity of the foundations. Another common cause is shrinkage from the ground underneath. Shrinkage happens when the ground loses a lot of water and the void left behind eventually collapses. This can be prevented by correct subgrade preparation and compaction.

A Word about Repairs
Only a contractor can assess the severity of the problem. If the ground is uneven, then water will collect in the lowests spots. If some of the slabs are sinking, then slabjacking might be a solution: pumping concrete into the slab to make it rise.

Smaller problems, usually cracks, can be repaired by patching the cracked surface. You need to evaluate carefully for seepage. If the crack is wet or water is collecting near the problem, then you will need to use a mix of hydraulic cement ― such as Portland Grey. Your contractor can advise which mix is best. If the defect is not seeping, then a masonry cement could solve the problem.
Also Check the Walls
Foundation problems, especially in basements, can manifest in walls and corners. A common sign that you might need to undertake basement repair, is when doors stop closing or opening as they should. Cracks can appear in the walls, and while these defects can be addressed just by patching them, they could be a sign that your foundation is suffering as well.

If you live in the Portland area, then get in touch with you contractor. She or he will assess the problem and save you some headaches down the line. It’s easy to forget about a small crack in the basement. After all, you don’t see it that often. Take our advice, keep this in mind: Foundation cracks are a problem that is best addressed early.


driveway construction and repair portland
Driveway construction introduction
Few projects require so much expertise with concrete like driveways. The problem has to do mainly with the large surface area. The larger the surface, the more difficult it gets to prevent cracks or different issues down the line. Driveways are a common feature of the cityscape and Portland is no exception. While the more technical points of concrete driveway construction are best left to your contractor, there are a few key points that every homeowner should be aware of.
The Trick Is in the Subgrade
The subgrade is the original ground where the driveway will be built. The subgrade needs to be grounded and compacted correctly. It is better to avoid soils that retain a lot of water, such as clays. It is better to have the soil analyzed by an engineer, than to have a cracked driveway down the road. The surface needs to be as flat and as regular as possible, otherwise, there is the possibility that the driveway slabs will not have the same thickness throughout. As a result, the loading capacity will vary, and that could lead to cracking.

Ask your contractor whether adding a sub-base could improve the durability of your project, or how could the ground conditions be improved prior to construction.
Material Wellness
When it comes to driveways, choosing high-performance cements is a very good idea. Depending on the weather conditions, the subgrade, and the area of the project, your contractor will help you decide which is the better mix.

Depending on the slope and terrain characteristics, it is sometimes a good idea to add reinforcing steel to the structure.
Curing to Success
The most important aspect of concrete driveway construction is curing. This needs to be done by a professional. Some of the methods she or he will use are adding a membrane-forming compound that will keep the concrete from drying too quickly covering the concrete with a curing blanket, or sprinkle it regularly. Another point to keep in mind is that the subgrade should be wet before pouring the concrete. A dry subgrade steals moisture away from the mix and defeats the purpose of curing.

As with any large concrete surface, control joints should be cut by your contractor. Decorative elements can be incorporated to the joints by skilled contractors, to give a seamless effect.
A Quick Word about Repairs
Repairing concrete driveways needs a correct assessment of the problem. Small cracks can simply be patched, while issues with the subgrade could require slabjacking. In the most extreme cases, it could be necessary to remove the damaged section and build it anew.

Your contractor can help you make the best choice. Get in touch, right here in Portland!