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Light-emitting Cement Could Light Roads Without Electricity

Light emitting cement Phys.org announced research that could lead to a way to light roads, highways or bicycle lanes without electricity.

Scientific Principles of Concrete

Schematic illustration of the pores in calcium silicate through different stages of hydration.The importance of concrete in modern society cannot be overestimated. Look around you and you will find concrete structures everywhere such as buildings, roads, bridges, and dams. There is no escaping the impact concrete makes on your everyday life. So what is it?

A Tool to Help Visualize Decorative Concrete by Depiction Software

Deco-con wizard screen shot.Potential clients often struggle with visualizing what decorative concrete will look like at their home or business. The new Deco-Con Wizard from Depiction Software can help remove the mystery by quickly and easily showing them what selected decorative concrete patterns will look like on their property.

Are You Ready to Be a Project Manager?

Concrete installation project managerYou’ve worked hard, become skilled at making things, developed relationships with architects, gotten specified on a commercial project, bid to all of the generals involved and been told the winning bidder is going to go with you. Now what?

Beat the Heat with Evaporation Retarders

Doug Carlton using evaporation retarder on a concrete slabWinning the battle with Mother Nature becomes a little challenging when the weather heats up. This is also the same time our services are in highest demand. There are ways to combat the heat and the challenges it creates, but few are profitable.

Trade Shows: What's in Them for You?

man at tradeshow with attendeeThe decorative concrete industry is a niche market with a lot of players competing for work. An internet search for “decorative concrete contractor” will bring up nearly 3 million entries, and “concrete artisan” generates nearly 1 million. In local phone books, however, there are typically no such entries.

How to Measure RH in Concrete

RH measurements in concreteHow valuable is 48 hours to you and your business? Can you put a price on it?

And does the price go up if you run into a moisture-related problem with a concrete slab in the later phases of a project?

Carbon-based Concrete Additive Wins Civil Contractors Federation (CCF) Environment Award

Eden concrete additive made from carbon nanotubes Architecture and Design announced last week that a carbon-based concrete additive won the Civil Contractors Federation environment award. The technology uses carbon nanotubes to give concrete a flexural strength 200 to 300 times that of steel.

Growing Your Decorative Concrete Business by Offering Less

a concrete contractor sprays a driveway with concrete stain using a sprayerDecorative concrete has become the fastest growing segment of the concrete industry. But in part because of this, the decorative market rarely allows individual contractors to effectively master and install each type of decorative concrete.

Teaching Maintenance to Your Customers is Key

A contractor seals the concrete with a roller.From presale to reseal, educating customers in how to maintain their decorative concrete is a lengthy process.

Build Your Business on a Foundation of Innovation

Two people shaking hands at the Concrete Decor Show.For your decorative concrete business to grow, it must be built on a foundation of innovation. If you don’t do so, you will find it increasingly difficult to create lasting value for your business and your customers.

Are You Afraid to Seal Concrete?

Serene setting at a upscale hotel where luxurious lounge chair sit atop a stamped concrete pool deck.I firmly believe that the lifeblood of our industry is new and innovative products that continue to move the decorative market forward. A close second, the oxygen of our industry, is word-of-mouth advertising by satisfied clients who have had their expectations met.

Contractors Should Have a Resource Network in Place

Unrepaired concrete that is in desperate need of improvement.The air temperature is 97 degrees F, the concrete arrives late and it turns out it’s a hot load. A set retarder is added, which only makes matters worse. The concrete now sits for eight hours before you can do anything with it. Now what?

Improve Your Sales and Customer Relations with a Decorative Concrete Design Center

Colorado Hardscape's Concrete Design Center Showroom - In 2001, Colorado Hardscapes made a move that forever changed its approach to sales and marketing. The company moved into a new concrete design center, the first of its kind in Colorado.In 2001, Colorado Hardscapes made a move that forever changed its approach to sales and marketing. The company moved into a new concrete design center, the first of its kind in Colorado.

Concrete Professionals Gather to Discuss Decorative Concrete Makeover

A group of people listening to a presentation.Concrete professionals, including architects, interior designers, landscape architects, artisans and students from the Concrete Industry Management (CIM) Program came to a day-long session where they envisioned and designed decorative concrete walls, floors, seating, counters and more for the 33,000-square-foot facility, which occupies a former industrial building.

Cement Makers Test Cleaner Concrete for Carbon Capture

Clean cementCement production contributes an estimated 6 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions, and some scientists are trying to chip away at that pollution problem. Two start-ups, one in Canada and another in Arizona, are among the newer entries in the effort to produce cleaner cement and concrete.

Marketing Your Work With Photos

Bank entrance stained with images of coinsIn today’s world, we tend not to listen anymore. There are so many of us, we are all talking, and our words have become background noises for the stimuli that really distract us. If you want to say something today, you have to use the language that transcends culture, geography, and time. You have to use imagery.

The Importance of Managing Expectations in Polished Concrete

An ipad and a piece of paper tracking business progress.Possibly one of the most-discussed topics in the concrete polishing industry today is managing the customer’s expectations. Many an instance has occurred in which the floor has been ground, honed and polished within a hair’s thickness of perfection in the contractor’s eyes, only for him to be informed at collection time that it isn’t what the customer had in mind.

How to Take Jobs Beyond Decorative Concrete

concrete contractors installing water featuresThe phrase “decorative concrete” means many things. Depending on your operation, it may mean specializing in one facet, such as concrete countertops, or it may mean everything from stamped concrete to polished concrete.

Concrete Maintenance Programs Can Cement Client Relationships

Concrete is a very durable material and some contractors and a lot of their clients believe itConcrete is a very durable material and some contractors and a lot of their clients believe it’s a maintenance-free product. But the reality is that no product lasts forever, not even concrete, without occasional maintenance.

The Top 7 Mistakes that Can Make or Break Your Concrete Countertop Business

concrete countertop at catch kitchen and barAvoiding certain pitfalls can mean the difference between a struggling hobby and a thriving business. When it comes to countertops, here are a few of the most common mistakes we at the Concrete Countertop Institute think are the biggest stumbling blocks for aspiring concrete countertop contractors.

Disorganization Is Hurting Your Contracting Business

Paper clips scattered.When you put in years perfecting your decorative concrete craft , you start to consider yourself an expert in your field. Past customers appreciate your skill, courtesy and professionalism, and they refer friends and relatives to your services. But recently you have noticed something is changing, and this change makes you uneasy.

Grow Your Concrete Business with Customer Service

A red pen that is about to fill out a check.Referrals from satisfied customers will propel you to the top.

Historic Mazza Castle Restored and Repaired for Next 100 Years

Mazza Castle restoration projectEmily McCloskey, the young wife of attorney and Irish immigrant Henry Harrison McCloskey, had grown deathly afraid of earthquakes after the “great earthquake” of San Francisco and the subsequent fire that killed 500 people and left 220,000 homeless in 1906.

Transitioning Your Concrete Business into Pool Construction

Pouring concrete pool decksThe success of your decorative concrete future hinges on one word: anticipation. The ability to anticipate where to find the potential buyers of services over the next year or two is one few professionals even consider.

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