Broken Window Theory


“Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it’s unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside. Or consider a sidewalk. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of trash from take-out restaurants there or breaking into cars.  One example of disorder, like graffiti or littering, can indeed encourage another, like stealing.”

This paragraph was published in an article in The Atlantic Monthly entitled “Broken Windows” written by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling in March of 1982.  This theory has been repeatedly tested in various locations – in New York under Rudy Giuliani when he cleaned up the subways and the neighborhoods and reduced crime; in Lowell, MA which resulted in a 20% reduction in crime; and in Albuquerque, NM to reduce roadway lawlessness.

So what does this have to with concrete sealing??  Simple – maintain your concrete by cleaning it, making the necessary repairs, and sealing it to prolong its useful life and your home looks better and so does your neighborhood.  If you live in a homeowner’s association, require that everyone in your neighborhood do the same thing.  Maintain the concrete at your commercial property.  One example of disorder, like cracked, dirty, or broken concrete, can indeed encourage another, like petty theft or vandalism.

www.SealGreen.com

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Words of Wisdom from George Washington Carver


George Washington Carver Poster

One thing that was of extreme importance to George Washington Carver was that everything was simple enough that everyone could understand and use his methods. Safe, simple, friendly for the environment

I am still so consumed with all that I learned about George Washington Carver and his love of nature.  Carver discovered hundreds of new uses for peanuts, soybeans, tomatoes, etc. so that farmers could rotate their crops and not deplete the vital nutrients of the land while still earning a living for themselves and their families.  One thing that was of extreme importance to George Washington Carver was that everything was simple enough that everyone could understand and use his methods.  Safe, simple, friendly for the environment – keys to some of the most important agricultural discoveries of his time.

That is what SealGreen tries to do for the concrete sealing  industry – create products that are safe and simple to use but that do no harm to the environment.  Products that do not evaporate into the air or break down and run off into the water.  Products that do not harm plants, pets, or people.  I think George Washington Carver would have liked our products.

For more information on SealGreen product visit www.SealGreen.com

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The Original Recycler


George Washington Carver The Ultimate Recycler

George Washington Carver The Ultimate Recycler

This weekend we were fortunate enough to go to the George Washington Carver National Historic Site.   And it turns out that George Washington Carver was the original recycler.  Born a slave, Carver struggled for many years to get an education.  After he graduated from the University of Iowa with a Master’s Degree in Botany, he could have had his choice of jobs.  He chose to go to Tuseagee Institute to teach his people to free them from the tyranny of King Cotton.  Two things about this choice of employment that really stuck out in my mind.  One – George Washington Carver worked for Tuskegee Institute for 47 years for $1,500.00 per year, turning down raises and numerous opportunities to profit from his discoveries.  Two – when he went to Tuskegee he was given no lab, no equipment, and no money to get any of it.  So he made all of his lab equipment out of what other people considered to be junk.  He got glass bottles and cut the tops off of them to make beakers.  He made dishes out of hubcaps.  He made all of his lab equipment out of a hodgepodge of junk that he found around the campus.

He recycled everything – the string off of packages, clothing,  etc.  And he believed that farmers should learn to reuse everything.

George Washington Carver – the original recycler Biography

For more information on concrete sealing products visit www.SealGreen.com

 

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Happy 4th of July! Happy Independence Day!


fourth of July

And remember that freedom doesn’t come cheap. We have to work for it and yearn for it. We have to be educated and stand up for it.
Happy Independence Day!

In the spirit of freedom, release yourself from oil stains on your driveway or rust spots on your entry way.  Release yourself from having to worry about salts and deicers (not to mention the freeze-thaw) will do to your driveway this winter.  Free yourself from worrying over whether water evaporation through your driveway during this current nation-wide heat wave will leave voids under your driveway encouraging heaving and breaking this winter.  Free yourself – go to www.SealGreen.com and use promo code GREEN to save 10% through Saturday July 7th, 2012. 

And remember that freedom doesn’t come cheap.  We have to work for it and yearn for it.  We have to be educated and stand up for it. 

Happy Independence Day!

For videos on how to free yourself with our products visit our website at www.SealGreen.com

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Just Say No…………..


Just Say No!

When you have the control over when your concrete is going to be poured and the temperature is over 100 degrees – Just Say No!

Just Say No!…….

  • When you have the control over when your concrete is going to be poured and the temperature is over 100 degrees – Say No!
  • When your contractor is in a hurry to finish the job but the temperatures are too hot or there is rain in the forecast – Say No!
  • When they want to pour your foundation or driveway or patio when it is going to be very cold – Say No!
  • When they tell you that they don’t need rebar or gravel under the concrete – Say No
  • When someone tells you that fiber in the concrete will replace rebar – Say No!
  • When they tell that the new additives make it OK to pour concrete in any weather – hot or cold – Say No!
  • When they tell you they are going to add water to make the concrete easier to work – Say No!
  • When they tell you that they don’t need expansion joints for whatever reason – Say No!
  • When your contractor has no references older than 3 years that you can visit – Say No!
  • When your contractor says if it rains he will cover it with plastic – Say No!

Your foundation, your driveway, your garage floor, your patio – all made of concrete and all very expensive to replace or repair – do your homework.  Check out what the contractor tells you.  Research and then research some more.  Don’t believe everything that is on the web.  Don’t be swayed by price alone.  All concrete is NOT the same.  All contractors do NOT know how to pour good concrete.  And everyone is NOT looking out for your best interests.  Read, question, read some more, and then when someone wants to do something that isn’t right –  Say No!

Some great places to get the straight scoop –
Portland Cement Association – Link
American Concrete Institute – Link
Concrete Producers Group – Link
Midwest Concrete Industry Institute – Link
SealGreen – ReUse Concrete Sealing Specialists – Link

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The Worst of All Possible Scenarios


Stamped concrete sealer failure

And further down the street where the driveways had already been “washed” and “sealed” were driveways already turning white with haze from the moisture encapsulating under the sealer.

All week we have been talking about stamped decorative concrete (sorry if I have bored you but there is a lot of information to impart) and then I see the “WORST POSSIBLE SCENARIO” in real life.  There is an entire neighborhood of homes that have stamped concrete driveways.  As we entered the neighborhood, we see a young man power washing the driveways – no cleaner, just power washing.  The weather this week was very hot so the driveways were “drying” quickly.  And there, about 3 driveways behind the washer came a young man with a can of sealer, sealing the driveways.  And further down the street where the driveways had already been “washed” and “sealed” were driveways already turning white with haze from the moisture encapsulating under the sealer.

I am sure that the quote for washing and sealing the driveways was the lowest quote the neighborhood got.  Do you think saving money will make them happy? Video

www.SealGreen.com

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A Concrete Way to Enjoy Your Summer


Before after sealer application

Most people come to us to talk about their stamped colored concrete not to protect it but to bring back the color and shine

All week we have been talking about cleaning and sealing your stamped colored concrete in order to maintain it.  Most people come to us to talk about their stamped colored concrete not to protect it but to bring back the color and shine.  More people worry about cleaning and sealing stamped decorative concrete because when the sealer starts to deteriorate, the beauty of the concrete is compromised.  It LOOKS like it needs restoration so people take care of it.  Your concrete driveway has no such obvious way of crying out to you that it needs to be cleaned and sealed also.  It LOOKS the same, year after year, UNTIL it starts pitting or develops cracks.  Then people look at it and do something.  Concrete breaks down slowly INSIDE as the water freezing inside breaks down the cell walls.  Only after significant damage has been done does the damage appear on the surface where people can see it.  Sort of like certain diseases inside the human body – diabetes, heart disease, etc.  Don’t wait until your concrete LOOKS like it needs help – be proactive and diagnose the illness before it becomes a major disease.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Small dollars spent on maintenance early on will prevent major expenditures including replacement later.

A concrete way to enjoy your summer – do your maintenance early and then sit back and enjoy your concrete all summer – knowing that you won’t have to scurry around this fall and do something before winter comes.  Surprisingly,  September, October and November are the busiest months for concrete sealing.  Humans procrastinate and then hurry to seal the concrete before winter comes.  Especially seal your stamped concrete now so you can enjoy the beauty all summer. For more information on how to seal your stamped concrete follow this LINK

www.SealGreen.com

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Living Well with Stamped Concrete (or any Concrete for that matter)


Concrete color entry

Concrete of any type – stamped, colored, plain – located anywhere – driveway, patio, basement, entry, walkway, garage, monuments – needs care

Stamped colored concrete is beautiful – no doubt about it.  It is expensive to install and many people who buy a home with stamped concrete already there have no idea how expensive it is to install or how to care for it when they do have it.

If you are thinking about selling your home and you have stamped decorative concrete, it would be a very useful thing to include care instructions in a book that you present to the new owner.  And as a potential new owner of a previously lived-in home, it would be a good thing to request (perhaps demand would be a better word) a manual with care instructions on all the appliances and other items in the home you are about to own.  We talk to people every day who have purchased homes (some even new homes) and do not receive information on how to care for stamped colored concrete.  For that matter, they do not receive care instructions on how to care for their regular concrete.  Why is that??  Is it because people don’t believe that concrete needs care?    We need to change that perception.

Concrete of any type – stamped, colored, plain – located anywhere – driveway, patio, basement, entry, walkway, garage, monuments – needs care.  Concrete is expensive to install and stamped concrete is VERY expensive to install.  Learn today how to care for your concrete and it will serve you well.  Don’t be like so many people and wait until problems show up before you do something.  You change the oil in your car before the engine light comes on – clean and seal your concrete BEFORE the cracks, pits and pops show up. For more information on concrete damage click…. Concrete problems

www.SealGreen.com

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Proper Patio Sealer Installation


process to seal concrete

Manufacturers recommend two thin coats at least 12 hours apart for maximum strength and endurance

Not a very jazzy title today but apt.  People can re-seal their own stamped decorative concrete patios with just a little bit of knowledge (or have them done by someone else but done properly).  If you are re-sealing your stamped colored concrete, the first thing you should do is clean the concrete.  And not just power wash it.  Power washing blows off the dirt that is on the surface but does not touch the oily residue that accumulates on surfaces from the air.  Imagine painting an interior kitchen wall without washing it.  The sealer needs a clean, dry surface to adhere to.  Use a cleaner and you will achieve better long-term results.  I like to tell people that it is like washing your clothes with no laundry detergent.  The cleaner breaks down the dirt and oily residue and lifts it up and off of the concrete to give you a better surface for the sealer,  Many people will short-cut this step because “it looks clean”.  Don’t be deceived by looks.

Allow the surface to completely dry.  Here is another area where looks can be deceiving.  It looks dry on the surface after a couple of hours so let’s seal it.  Many installers can offer better pricing if they get the job done quickly  However, if there is still moisture inside the concrete and you put an acrylic sealer on top of it, as the weather heats up, the moisture will come out of the concrete and leave a haze or fog trapped between the concrete and the sealer.  This will dull out the color and make an unattractive appearance.  It is recommended to allow the surface to dry for at least 8 hours.

Sealer application should be done in thin coats.  This is another area where many installers short-cut the process in order to offer a cheaper price and still make money.  They apply one thick coat of sealer and leave.  Manufacturers recommend two thin coats at least 12 hours apart for maximum strength and endurance.  If you keep the sealer in good shape on your stamped decorative concrete one coat of sealer every 18 to 24 months will be enough.  However, it you have let a long period of time go by, two coats are necessary.  Perhaps even three coats if the concrete is really dry and porous.

Quality maintenance of the sealer is the key to long-term happiness with your stamped, colored concrete patio, driveway, entry, screened-in porch, etc.  If the stamped concrete is inside and protected such as in a screened-in porch, the sealer will have a longer life because it is not exposed to the extremes of the outside temperatures.

For more information on Sealing Stamped Concrete Click….. Stamped Concrete Sealer

www.sealgreen.com

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Perfect Patios for Patio People


Stamped Concrete Sealed

An average patio 20 years ago was about 100 sq feet. Today we see stamped, colored concrete patios that are up to 1,600 sq feet or more.

Is there such a thing as a perfect patio?  People enjoy their patios so much that they are constantly working on them – adding concrete pavers or bricks to line the patio, or pouring more concrete to enlarge the patio.  An average patio 20 years ago was about 100 sq feet.  Today we see stamped, colored concrete patios that are up to 1,600 sq feet or more.  People are increasing the living space of their homes by adding outdoor living spaces and many of those spaces include stamped, colored concrete.  And once those patios are installed they are beautiful and glossy and everything that people want.

Time passes and the color seems to fade and the people become unhappy.  They are convinced that their beautiful patio has deteriorated and wonder what can they do to restore the color, the shine, the beauty to their concrete patio.  And the people are in pain because of a lack of education that they should have received when their beautiful decorative concrete patio was installed.

Once a stamped colored concrete patio is installed and the proper time has elapsed, it is sealed to prevent water, usage, and the weather from harming the concrete.  The sealers used for this purpose are primarily acrylic-based sealers.  This type of sealer is used because it brings out the color and gives a sheen or a gloss to the concrete.  These sealers are wonderful for their purpose.  However, they have short-lives – usually between 18 to 24 months depending on how many solids are in the original sealer.  Acrylic sealers break down with extreme temperatures – either hot or cold.  So in the Mid-West (Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, etc) these sealers can start breaking down rather rapidly.  They need to be reapplied every 18 to 24 months in order to not only keep your stamped concrete looking beautiful but also to provide maximum protection against the weather and especially the freeze-thaw damage so common in winter.

If your patio is looking old and tired, has lost its color and shine, then clean your patio and put on some good quality acrylic sealers (and not all acrylic sealers are equal!).  The less expensive sealers are less expensive for a reason – they usually do not have the same level of active ingredients that the higher priced sealers have.  Remember the old adage – you get what you pay for.  Tomorrow I will talk about proper installation for acrylic concrete sealers. For more information on sealing your stamp concrete click… Stamped Concrete Sealer

www.sealgreen.com

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