Posts Tagged With: concrete

Spring Refresh DIY Idea #3 – How to Build a Patio

How to Build a Patio

Now that spring is here it’s time to get outside. Time to put those DIY plans you’ve had rattling around in your head all winter into action. Let’s build that patio you’ve been dreaming of.

First things first, make a few key decisions before starting to haul in the pavers.

  • How will you use the patio? – For entertaining? To relax? How you plan to use it will determine the size and materials you will need.
  • Where will you build the patio? – Look for an area that has good drainage, isn’t too close to trees, and is away from any buried utility lines. Call the power company before you start to dig and they can mark the location of the lines.
  • How much do you have to spend on the project? – Figure out how much you have to spend and let that help you determine the size of the patio and the materials to be used.
  • Do you need help? – Don’t forget that much of the materials needed are heavy and will have to be delivered. You may not be able to deposit the sand, gravel or stones close to your project site which means you may need to use a wheel barrow or front end loader to move the materials around.

Once you have determined your design plan, location and budget, then you will need to choose the materials you want to use. Here are a few options:

  • Concrete – This is probably the cheapest way to add a hard surface to your landscape but it can be problematic. If you choose to dye it with a coloring agent then you will need to be prepared to reapply the coating every couple of years in order to keep the color.
  • Natural Stone – Flagstone, slate, bluestone and limestone cost more. The thicknesses vary so you have to carefully install each stone in order to keep the patio level.
  • Brick – Offers Old World charm but needs maintenance. It is very porous and cold weather can cause it to crack leaving space for weeds or moss to grow through.
  • Pavers – Home improvement stores carry a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors. They are all uniform in thickness so they are easier to install than natural stone and they are fairly inexpensive.

Get Down to Building

Your materials have been delivered and you are ready to begin. All patios need to be built on a level surface no matter what materials you use. Cracks, uneven surfaces and water pooling can all be traced back to not having a proper, level foundation. Let’s get started.

  • Mark the site – Whether you use the old string and stake method or the new aerosol paint technique, outline the area where you plan to build.
  • Dig, man, dig – Excavate down at least 8 inches for the sub-base of your patio. Whether you are going to pour concrete or lay pavers, the process is the same.
  • No sub-standard sub-base for you! – Clear the area of all roots, rocks and debris. Stamp down the dirt with a hand or power-driven stamper. Check to see if the ground is level. If it is, add a layer of gravel and pack it down. Once again, check to see if it is level.
  • Power to the pavers – Time to add the paving stones. Once you have laid them out in the design you want, stamp them down, and check to see if they are level. Adjust where needed.
  • Sand in your pavers? – Spread sand into the joints between the stones. Don’t scrimp on the sand. Work it in between the pavers to help lock them in place.
  • Wash down – Spray the remaining loose sand into the joints and now you are ready to clean up the patio and decorate.

Now, you are the proud owner of an outdoor room. “What will I do next?” you may be saying to yourself as you roll that shiny new grill across the new patio surface. Anything! The world is your oyster. Go forth and build more.

Expert Advice

Need more inspiration? Read our recent blog, Stir Up a Little DIY Inspiration with these 3 Project Ideas. Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with your yard and garden projects.

From power driven stampers to front end loaders and more, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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Categories: DIY Projects, How-To's | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Create Curb Appeal with Concrete Resurfacing

Repair Your Cracked and Eroded DrivewayToday’s the day for that do-it-yourself concrete repair project you’ve been meaning to accomplish for a while now: restoring your driveway, walkway and patio. The weather’s been cooperating all week long — there’s been no rain and temperatures are ranging between 70° and 75°F — which is not only great for your mood, but perfect for your concrete, which needs to maintain a surface temp of at least 50°F before you can repair those cracks or crumbles successfully.

No jackhammer needed. Unless your concrete has extremely wide cracking and an uneven surface, there’s no need to tear it out, repair the sub base and pour new concrete. The existing concrete can be restored to look like new with a little repair and resurfacing. Smaller cracks are relatively simple to fix, if you have these tools and products on hand:

*A quick note about power trowels: available for rent, this equipment comes with accessories for working out surface imperfections and creating a satin smooth concrete finish with ease. As always, let us know what questions you have, or if you need advice on which tools will help you effectively complete a project.

Small cracks up to a half-inch wide are the simplest to repair. Use a wire brush or chisel to scrape any debris from the crack, then spray or hose clean with water. A latex concrete patch can be injected with a caulking gun or troweled into the crack, leveled and smoothed out.

Tiny cracks up to a quarter of an inch wide should be worked with a chisel to widen slightly, enough to help hold the patch material in place. Spray the crack clean with water and let dry before applying a concrete adhesive, then a concrete patch compound. Level the patch with a trowel. Once any crack is filled, cover the repair with plastic and allow it to dry slowly before moving on to resurfacing.

If you plan to resurface your concrete, mask the expansion joints. These are the dividing areas of large slabs that help control cracking. Mask them with duct tape before applying a dressing. Mix the resurfacer with a portable mixer or electric drill fitted with a mixing paddle, pour it onto the clean slab and spread it out immediately with a trowel. Remember to texture the surface with a push broom, to create slip resistance.

Time is of the essence. Experts say is takes about one hour to resurface 60 square feet of concrete. If you use a polymer-based cement resurfacer, you’ve got less than 30 minutes to apply once water is mixed in, so prepare it in batches. The treated surface can be walked on after about two hours; wait six hours before driving a car onto a driveway. After 24 hours, protect the new surface with a clear, waterborne masonry sealer.

Learn more about restoring cracked and eroded surfaces from our blog post, The 7 Step Process to Restore Your Cracked and Eroded Driveways.

About the Author

Jack Runyon is the president of Runyon Equipment Rental. He has 21 years of rental experience, as the 3rd generation son to carry on the family tradition and his grandfather’s vision. He prides the company for its devotion to ethics, quality products and customer service. Jack is known for his passion and vast expertise.

Categories: How-To's, Restore and Renovate | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

7 Steps to Cutting Concrete Like a Pro

Repairing and renovating homes very often involves cutting concrete with precision. Removing or resizing kitchen slabs, making holes in ceilings and reshaping driveways are a few instances when it becomes imperative to cut concrete.

Tools Required:

  • Concrete Saw: A good option is the Bosch 12″ Electric Concrete Saw that has AC/DC capacity and features a reversible handle for added convenience and versatility. It also has a large footplate that improves stability and cuts at a greater depth.
  • Electric cut off tool (optional)
  • Pneumatic Chisel (optional)
  • Jackhammer (optional)

Process:STIHL Concrete Saw

  1. Layout: Use chalk to mark the area to be cut. A concrete saw cuts in straight lines.
  2. Prepare the saw: Fit the concrete saw with a diamond or abrasive blade. Set the blade at the required depth, which may be 50.8 mm (2 inches) to 152.4 mm (6 inches). Most house slabs, driveways and retainer walls fall within this range.
  3. Cut: Start cutting from the edge of the concrete, slowly following the line drawn in chalk.
  4. Pour water: Keep the blade cool by pouring water over it as the cut progresses. This also helps to reduce dust.
  5. Progress slowly: Proceed slowly, with minimum RPM as this helps to keep the saw in line, prevents overheating and prevents the tossing up of shrapnel into the air when the cutting is in progress.
  6. Remove the concrete: If the concrete is thicker than what the saw would cut, a jackhammer may have to be deployed to pound the excess concrete away. An alternative is to use heavy-duty concrete saws that cut up to 18 inches deep.
  7. Chip off the edges: If clean corners are required, score off the corners using a 4-inch diameter electric cut off tool and chip away the rest of the concrete using a small pneumatic chisel.

Make sure to take appropriate safety precautions. The process generates high levels of noise and dust. Ear plugs and goggles are a must, as are other safety precautions when cutting large chunks of concrete. Keep in mind that the majority of concrete cutting problems (and injuries) can be solved by using the appropriate tools for the job. Still have questions? Talk to an expert to provide advice on your project.

About the Author

Jack Runyon is the president of Runyon Equipment Rental. He has 21 years of rental experience, as the 3rd generation son to carry on the family tradition and his grandfather’s vision. He prides the company for its devotion to ethics, quality products and customer service. Jack is known for his passion and vast expertise.

Categories: How-To's, Restore and Renovate | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Give Your Floors a Touch of Epoxy for Added Protection and Shine

Over time, the application of concrete epoxy coatings has become an essential part of maintenance and overhauling. Considering the nature of paint, epoxy is used to coat the floors in garages and other areas that need protection from heat and chemicals. By and large, this is a DIY project you can complete easily once you understand the process.

Concrete EpoxyWhy is Two-Component Epoxy Better?
There are two kinds of epoxies – single component and two-component. Both are easily available. The one you should essentially choose is the two-component version as it has many advantages. It comes in two separate forms and needs to be mixed in a predetermined ratio. It can be thinned down just a bit to add a colorant. Two-component epoxy benefits:

  • Anti-slip properties
  • Dry harder and are durable
  • Easy to maintain and protect your concrete well
  • Different colors epoxy floor colors are available in shades of grey or tan, and in most cases with added paint chips to help you up the color quotient of your flooring

Application of Epoxy:
1. Prep your Floor: the first step in prepping your floor is to do a moisture test on the concrete. Here is how:

  • Use plastic: take a piece of plastic, maybe a large Ziploc bag, and tape it to the floor. Make sure that you do not allow any air into it. Leave it in place for a day and then take it off the concrete.
  • Begin when dry: if the patch of concrete below is dark, or you find condensation on the Ziploc, then your floor is moist and will not hold on to the paint. You can only begin when it is dry.

2. Clean the Floor

  • Spray detergent and water: the floor also has to be super clean before you begin, so moisten your floor. Next mix together a laundry detergent proportionately with 5 gallons of water and spray it all over your floor.
  • Scrub the floor: spend a good amount of time scrubbing your floor with a bristled brush and then rinse off with a strong pressured water nozzle.

3. Get Rid of Stains

  • Use degreaser: you may have a few grease or oil stains that persist. You can get rid of them by pouring a bit of degreaser over the stain and scrubbing it away.
  • Use rough sand: put a bit of rough sand on it and press it down. Let it sit that way for a day. The next day you just have to sweep the sand away and your stain will be gone.

4. Etch the Concrete

  • So the paint sticks: this is an important part of the process because it opens up the concrete and allows the paint to stick to the floor in the right manner. Using a resurfacing grinder tool can help.
  • Follow product instructions: most epoxy kits will come with their etching product, so all you have to do is follow the instructions.
  • Or check with the store: if instructions are not provided you can always get it from an expert here at Runyon Equipment Rental.

5. Apply your Paint

  • In batches: work in batches of around 6 X 6 inches at a time. This is important if you plan to use paint chips.
  • Use aggregate: always throw them up into the air and have them land on the fresh paint, rather than flinging a handful directly onto the paint. The randomness you get is much better this way.

Finish by Sealing and Coating
You will have to use an epoxy joint filler to seal in the edges of the floor and can wrap up the process with a glossy coat of clear epoxy.

The most important thing to remember is that you need to prep your floor the right way before you apply the epoxy. Also, following the instructions on the package to the ‘T’ is essential.

About the Author

is the current Marketing Coordinator at Runyon Companies. She graduated from Butler University in the spring with a double major in International Business and Marketing, a minor in Spanish, departmental honors distinction and cum laude. She specializes in all things internet marketing, with an emphasis on content creation, website maintenance, blogging, social media, lead tracking and marketing strategy.

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How to Effectively Jackhammer Your Concrete Patios and Floors

Home renovations and repairs invariably require breaking through stubborn concrete floors. The hard nature of concrete puts off DIY enthusiasts from attempting to break concrete themselves. However, with the right tools,this task is not as difficult as you may think.

Use a Jackhammer to Break Down ConcreteTools Required:

  • Concrete jackhammer (breaker) with chisel point bit
  • Pry bar (5” to 6” long)
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Bolt cutter
  • Wheelbarrow

Process:

  1. Make an estimate: Assess the task on hand, to pace the work and also to ensure the proper disposal of debris.
  2. Position the jackhammer: Take the concrete breaking hammer and grasp it firmly using both hands, positioning it 6 to 12 inches away from the edge of the concrete. Hold the jackhammer vertically. Make sure to face away from windows or anything else that may be damaged by flying debris.
  3. Apply the jackhammer: Press the trigger of the jackhammer and drive it straight down into the concrete, 2 or 3 inches, and back up the same way. If the drill does not produce a crack, stop and try at another nearby spot.
  4. Apply again: Move away to another position and repeat the process, ensuring that cracks form in a way that the debris becomes manageable chunks: neither too large nor too small.
  5. Use a saw or bolt cutter: If there is wire or rebar reinforcement in the concrete, use a reciprocating saw to cut off such reinforcements at the cracks, to facilitate the removal of the concrete. If the reinforcement is wire mesh, a bolt cutter is more apt than a saw
  6. Use the pry bar: Use the pry bar on the cracks created by the jackhammer, to remove large swathes of concrete in one go.
  7. Cart away the debris: Cart away the debris to its designated location in a wheelbarrow. For large jobs, a heavy-duty wheelbarrow is appropriate.

Caution: Although a concrete breaking hammer makes the task easy, it still involves some hazards. It would therefore be wise to use safety gear, including: gloves, ear protection, eye protection and steel-toed shoes.

The jackhammer is considered to be one of the most widespread, robust tools utilized in removing concrete floors and patios. Jackhammer types and bits should be carefully selected according to the task and application. Talk to an expert at Runyon Equipment Rental to provide advice on your project.

About the Author

Jack Runyon is the president of Runyon Equipment Rental. He has 21 years of rental experience, as the 3rd generation son to carry on the family tradition and his grandfather’s vision. He prides the company for its devotion to ethics, quality products and customer service. Jack is known for his passion and vast expertise.

Categories: Featured Products, How-To's, Restore and Renovate | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

The 7 Step Process to Restore Your Cracked and Eroded Driveways

Cracked DrivewayMany homeowners spend a lot of time, and money, on landscaping and home improvements to give their home that “curb appeal.” But often, the first thing people notice when they come to your home is the condition of the driveway.

How Do Driveways Wither Over Time?

  • Erosion – Wind and rain can cause cracks on the surface of driveways
  • Sun Rays – The harsh effect of the sun weakens the concrete and causes expansion joints on concrete driveways.
  • Water – Annual freezing and thawing cycles as water permeates through the cracks in the concrete to settle at the base, weakening the foundation.
  • Gas, Spills and Grass – Gas and oil spills, and the growth of grass through the cracks break down the driveway even more.

Repairing the Damage

One however need not spend a fortune relaying damaged driveways. It is possible to restore driveways using driveway sealants and driveway expansion joint fillers.

Restoring your Driveway

Tools needed to restore the driveway:

The Restoring Process

  1. Fill the cracks – If the cracks are small, which is less than half an inch deep, rubberized crack fillers available in small tubes may suffice. For medium sized cracks, joint fillers are required. Squeeze the patch filler into the cracks, until it reaches the level of the driveway. Use a trowel to spread the joint filler and ensure a level surface.
  2. Repair crevices – When large cracks, gaps between the concrete blocks that constitute the driveway or crevices in the driveway are present, it is better to use grout instead. Use cement-based grout, which is a mixture of cement, fine gravel and water. Use a grout hand pump to mix the grout and make the task easy.
  3. Wait for grout to dry – Allow the grout to dry for a day or so before you proceed.
  4. Clean the driveway – Next, use a push broom to remove any dirt or debris, and wet the driveway with a garden hose lightly.
  5. Water and solvent-based sealants – Water-based sealants are environment friendly, but solvent-based sealers are more durable and better suited for heavily used driveways.
  6. Apply the sealant – Mix the water based or solvent based grout sealer, as per the manufacturer’s instructions, and apply the sealant over the driveway in thin coats. This helps the driveway resist water, oil and other contaminants. Use the push broom to spread the sealant evenly.
  7. Wait for sealant to set – Do not use the driveway until the sealant has completely set in, which may take as much as 48 hours.

If you want your driveway to have the bright look all the time, you can seal it annually. Most good seals will last two or three years, depending on the type of winter you have and how much stress is put on the asphalt from plowing or snow blowing during the winter.

About the Author

 is the current Marketing Coordinator at Runyon Companies. She graduated from Butler University in the spring with a double major in International Business and Marketing, a minor in Spanish, departmental honors distinction and cum laude. She specializes in all things internet marketing, with an emphasis on content creation, website maintenance, blogging, social media, lead tracking and marketing strategy.

Categories: How-To's, Restore and Renovate | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Concrete Grinders Make for a Handy DIY Tool

A concrete grinder is a handy tool for anyone seeking to upgrade the appearance of his or her home or office. It serves multiple purposes, providing finish for graffiti-covered surfaces, smoothing rough edges, and also roughing up floors before applying the finish.Concrete Grinder

Concrete grinders come in many different kinds, ranging from small, hand-held angle grinders to heavy-duty industrial equipment that polishes concrete, granite or marble. The grinders also differentiate by being suitable for wet concrete, dry concrete or both. Small angle grinders work well as a DIY tool.

The key to operating concrete grinders is handling the power switches diligently. However, a smooth operation requires adhering to time tested tips and best practices:

  • For a smooth and uniform finish, ensure that the motor reaches its operational speed before grinding the surface. A good practice is to press down the handle before starting the machine, to release pressure from the grinding disc. The resulting weight shift allows the motor to reach its operating speed smoothly. Once the operational speed is attained, settle the grinder on the slab and begin grinding the surface.
  • Concrete grinder wheels have two settings: transportation and grinding. Always make sure that the concrete grinder wheel setting is correct. Grinding when the wheel setting is for transportation or vice-versa may damage the accessories.
  • When grinding, move the machine from side to side to eliminate swirl marks on the surface.
  • The machine uses an abrasive, usually diamond grinding cup wheels, to grind or polish the surface. The shine depends on the grit of the abrasive surface. Grit starts as low as six, and 1800 provides the highest shine for a floor surface.

Concrete grinder rental offers significant cost-savings. You pay only for what you use. You do not have to use a significant amount of your capital on machinery, and you also do not suffer from the machinery depreciating in value over time. You are spared the hassle of storing and maintaining the machinery, and also get to select the latest and the most relevant machine, rather than having to make do with a single machine that may not suit your purpose.

About the Author

 is the current Marketing Coordinator at Runyon Companies. She graduated from Butler University in the spring with a double major in International Business and Marketing, a minor in Spanish, departmental honors distinction and cum laude. She specializes in all things internet marketing, with an emphasis on content creation, website maintenance, blogging, social media, lead tracking and marketing strategy.

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Does Your Garage have a Pressure Washer Surface Cleaner?

Pressure WasherMost homeowners see the pressure washer as industrial or painting equipment — ideal for servicing vehicles or for a thorough cleaning before a paint job. However, a pressure washer is a handy tool for the home as well, and you might need one in your garage.

Why would this be the case? Pressure washers perform a variety of tasks – cleaning driveways, walkways, garages, gutters, and dog kennels, to name a few. You can also use them to clean garden equipment, outdoor furniture, lawn movers – practically anything that is covered in heavy dirt and grime. Using an ordinary garden hose can be ineffective, and will certainly involve additional cleaning and scrubbing. Using a pressure cleaner not only saves you from back-breaking scrubbing and cleaning to remove the grime, but also gets the work done in half the time.

Working with a pressure washer surface cleaner is extremely easy. Start a good distance away from the spot you want cleaned and work your way closer. In addition, if you would like to increase your cleaning power, consider using a rotary nozzle. A rotary nozzle can assist in tougher jobs such as wrought iron furniture.

Whether you are using it for an everyday task like cleaning out the dog kennel, or for a bigger job, like prepping the surface of your home for new paint, a pressure washer can be an invaluable tool to have around your home. Pressure washers can help you save water, money and time by cutting jobs in half and making cleaning into a simple, quick task.

About the Author

Jack Runyon is the president of Runyon Equipment Rental. He has 21 years of rental experience, as the 3rd generation son to carry on the family tradition and his grandfather’s vision. He prides the company for its devotion to ethics, quality products and customer service. Jack is known for his passion and vast expertise.

Categories: Featured Products | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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