Garden Curbing

Spring Dreaming: Planning Projects for the Months to Come

Here in Utah, we’re all dreaming of springtime. If you’re a homeowner in these parts, you know that early spring is the best time for planning your forthcoming garden designs and implementing large scale projects. But have you considered the best ways to frame your beautiful plans? Below, we’ll talk about the many useful applications of concrete in landscape design, and how you can bring it into your garden this season.

Both Durable and Pliant

PatioWhen many people think about concrete, they envision simple pavement or curb applications. However, the increasing demand for and utility of this material has given rise to a burgeoning panoply of tints, prints, presses, and various forms that permit your creativity to blossom like wildflowers. As well, advances in concrete technology have permitted us to use formulas that withstand weathering, cracking, and salt efflorescence, in order to provide any homeowner with a concrete that will last for many years.

If you want a special color for your borders, pathways, patios, or pond foundations, tinting can easily be added to the mix. As well, you can have the durability of concrete while also having the look of masonry or field-stone for landscape curbs and pathways. The possibilities are profuse.

Anything under the Sun

PatioPouring border curbs for permanent planting beds can help to define the shape of your landscaping vision. Pathways winding amongst these beautiful beds will allow family and friends to fully enjoy the beauty of your garden. But there are other ways concrete can be employed that will enhance the pleasure of being out of doors. Some home lots are situated in areas where steep inclines limit the usable space, and hamper movement around the property.

A wonderful solution for this issue is the construction of terraces, which can be designed with the help of our in-house professional team. Whatever the terrain, you can create islands of level space for planting or poured concrete patios, connected by pathways or whimsical flights of steps. Any concept you select can be created and ready in time for the season of outdoor entertainment, which is why many homeowners start large projects during this time of year.

If you’re ready to begin designing and creating the formal structure of a new landscape design, we at All About Curb are ready to help. It’s our privilege to be a part of the communities of Salt Lake and Utah counties, and we’re pleased to offer all homeowners our expertise. Simply call All About Curb at 801-369-4423. to schedule a consultation, and we’ll come ready to assist.

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Sun Room

The Sunny Side of Winter

Concrete Foundations for Sun-rooms and Greenhouses

Sun PorchOver the past few months, we’ve talked about everything from curbs to Koi ponds, pathways to sidewalks. Now, as autumn enters its final stretch, letting us know that winter on its way, we’d like to talk about projects that can be enjoyed in every weather, and all year round.

The Sun Porch

Many residents of Utah are enterprising souls, who make the most of a good thing. That’s why the concept of a sunroom during the cold of winter can be so appealing—double-paned windows, stout construction, and even electricity. But before you build, you must have a sound foundation. That’s where our expertise can come in handy. Pouring a pad for your new sun porch can be done quickly and professionally, allowing you to proceed with your construction just in time for the winter months, when it will see the most use.

Plus, while the human occupants of your house will be glad of it, you can help tender perennials and biannual plants thrive this winter. A sun porch will give them the necessary space to make it through the cold months with success and start the next growing season with a head start.

The Greenhouse Effect

Green HouseAvid gardeners know no season. One popular project that makes the most of the winter sunshine to stock pantry and table are residential greenhouses. Unlike major nurseries or farms, these are easy to construct, either DIY or with the help of a local contractor. You could certainly erect your garden house on bare earth, but it’s often advised to install a floor for several reasons.

In many personal greenhouse projects, elevated plots and tray plantings are popular. This reduces the strain on back and knees when the weather is at its chilliest, and can enable residents of all ages to enjoy gardening year round. A concrete floor will help to insulate the greenhouse from the cold, which radiates up from the earth. As well, it will help you to keep your construction truly weather tight. But it also helps to keep things tidy when you’re done playing in the dirt.

At All About Curb, we’re a part of the communities we serve in the counties of Utah and Salt Lake. If you’re ready to keep the sunshine in life, call All About Curb at 801-369-4423.  Our professional team brings years of experience working with concrete in all contexts, and will have just the solutions you seek.

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Concrete Flatwork

Why install in the fall?

Stamped CurbingFall is here, but don’t let that fool you for yard work.   Did you know fall is a great time of year to install your curbing and flatwork?   Don’t get caught up in the summer is over and time to prepare for Christmas.  (even though we do Christmas lights☺) If you missed getting your curb installed this spring or summer, don’t fret, there are many benefits to installing curb in the fall.

  1. Cooler weather – Cooler weather makes yard work very pleasant and almost enjoyable.  Also, with the cooler weather, your concrete will cure much slower than summer time installations, making it a more durable product.
  2. Installing garden beds and planting – Great for new trees,  bushes, and flowers.  You may not see the growth that you normally do during the summer days, but if you plant now, you will enjoy the beauty that comes in the spring.
  3. We love working in the fall – It’s easier on us installers!   While summer is great for working and getting things accomplished, the cooler weather in the fall, is a big relief from the hot summer days.
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House Pathway

Home Upgrades Deserve New Pathways

House PathwaySummer has drawn to a close, along with many wonderful home renovation projects. Some of these have been quite substantial, altering the way your home appears from without, as well as the interior makeup of the house. Whether you’re preparing to put it on the market for a spring sale, or intend to spend the next several decades enjoying these upgrades, there’s a crucial detail you may have overlooked—how the home is accessed from without. Below, we’ll talk a little about the benefits of concrete to your curb appeal, home value, and overall feeling of the property.

Pouring a New Path

We at All About Curb know that many homes in Utah may be a bit older. As such, upgrades to their structure often include new, more spacious garages, porches, and even additions to living space. Those renovations often necessitate the removal of existing sidewalks or pathways that connect driveways to points of access. Even in cases where these surfaces are not broken up and carted away, they may not align with the new layout of your home.

That’s why you need to contract with a company that can design a new pathway and has the essential knowledge to install it. Poured concrete is an excellent material with which to work. It’s durable, and will stand the test of time. As seasons change and climate conditions shift, our concrete will not buckle or crack, because we use a special admixture to ensure water resistance and increase plasticity.

New Driveways

House DrivewayBy the same token that you may need to redesign an access walkway or path around your newly renovated home, you may need to consider a new driveway. Because the drive is often poured when the home is built and then quite forgotten, the daily stresses can take a serious toll on this essential part of your home. If your house is two decades old, it’s entirely likely that the concrete of your driveway is also getting long in the tooth.

Advances in eco-friendly, durable concrete technologies have been made since then. While you may elect to simply patch or ignore cracks, both approaches can end up being quite costly in the long run. Our team at All About Curb is proud to serve the communities of Salt Lake and Utah counties. We can assess your needs and provide you with a brand new pathway or driveway in no time at all. So if you’ve made some changes and are in need of updated pathways or a drive, call All About Curb at 801-369-4423.

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Stamped Curbing

Putting the Garden to Bed

The Importance of Implementing Structure Before Winter

Stamped CurbingDesign elements in landscaping are almost as subject to fads and features that reflect the tastes of the moment. However, there are elements that speak of timeless good taste, balance, and a tradition of proportion. One of these elements is permanent garden pathways. As we move from summer into the cooler weather of autumn, gardeners know that it’s a time to put finishing touches on long-term projects. Autumn is a season made for completing, harvesting, laying to rest the ideas and inspirations of the warmer months in preparation for the sleep of winter.

Your Very Own Primrose Path

While there are a number of materials that are easily sourced as you plan your pathways, concrete has the most advantages. As opposed to metal or vinyl edging that can contain loose river or sea pebbles, sand or bark chips, concrete doesn’t rust or deteriorate in the elements. Concrete is also a stable matrix. How many of you have put your gardens to bed with neatly shored up mulch only to find that the winter has commuted your landscape material elsewhere?

At All About Curb, we know the struggle is real. Our dedicated team of experts will assist you in designing and implementing a pathway or network of paths that works best for your property. Plus, we use a special concrete mixture that has both greater elasticity and water resistance. It’ll take whatever the Utah winter has to offer and emerge shining as if it were brand new.

Why Pour Concrete Now?

FlatworkWhile our mix is a cut above the rest, environmental factors do play a role in how well it hardens, how quickly it dries, and its ability to remain impervious to moisture and efflorescence. Late summer and early autumn offer ideal warmth and humidity conditions to ensure that your paths, patios, and garden bed edging are fit to stand firm against the test of time. Plus, if you work with us now, you’ll still have time to attend to all the garden bedtime tasks that the upcoming winter requires.

We are so pleased to be a part of the communities in Salt Lake and Utah counties, and feel that it’s a privilege to work with homeowners to realize their landscape and home improvement dreams. If you feel that your garden needs a bit of shaping up before the turn of the season, call All About Curb at 801-369-4423. Our friendly team is ready to cheerfully assist you in any concrete need.

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Koi Pond

Pouring a Pond, Stream, or Water Feature: The Advantages of Concrete Construction

Many landscape projects seem more ambitious and complex than they truly are. If you feel that your beds and pathways would benefit from a water feature or a koi pond, but have balked at the apparent effort of creating a long lasting and easily maintained water feature, don’t despair. We’ll talk about some of the various approaches to these beautiful additions to your landscape design below, and offer some reassuring advice on best practices.

Koi Ponds and Water Features

Water FeatureIn Utah, the seasons are well defined, which can mean a warmer, drier summer climate and a colder winter. This pattern of temperature and precipitation can be a cause for concern when it comes to features that involve water, plants, and even living animals. However, there are ways to ensure that everything stays happy and healthy, including the lining of your water feature.

The charming ambiance a water feature brings to any landscape design makes these elements an important focal point in many gardens. During high summer, the sound and scent of water offer a soothing note to the hottest days. A shaded pool in which bright fish lazily swim is an idyllic image, and can provide a valuable point of repose. Many individuals design a patio or organized planting around the edge that invites people to linger and enjoy the shade.

Advantages of Modern Concrete

While pre-form liners do have advantages in wetter, more sub-tropical climates, they don’t offer the level of insulation against colder soil temperatures that concrete does. When properly mixed and poured by professionals, concrete linings will not only withstand seasonal flexing of soil bases, but also help to protect plants and animals that live in the water.

Water FeatureIn the past, concrete was subject to developing cracks, efflorescence, and other major flaws. However, today, concrete mixes are more flexible and less permeable than they once were, allowing them to retain their structure and maintain a watertight barrier that’s perfect for fountains, built stream beds, and aquatic environments. As well, a poured concrete pond or water feature offers you the opportunity to fully design a unique environment—from lighting to plant selection, overall shape and other unique touches.

All About Curb is proud to serve the communities of Salt Lake and Utah Counties, providing expert services and top-notch concrete forms for landscaping and home improvement projects. Whether your plans are large or small, our dedicated team of concrete experts has the skills to help you realize your design dreams. Please call All About Curb at 801-369-4423 or email us today!

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Effloresence Curbing

An Ounce of Prevention: A Recap on Efflorescence

In our last article about efflorescence and concrete, we focused on what causes this phenomenon, what it is, and the mediums in which it occurs. While this buildup of salts in masonry products is a well-known occurrence and has been treated with pH basic solutions in the past, there are new ways to control it. At All About Curb, we believe that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and the labor involved in scrubbing, too.

Efflorescence, A Quick Recap

Effloresence Curbing

This phenomenon is the buildup of various salts within the fabric or structure of man-made masonry products—bricks, terracotta, and, of course, concrete. It occurs because salts are chemically soluble in water—groundwater, runoff, and precipitation in this case. Man-made masonry building materials are permeable, with plenty of voids through which water saturated with these salts can travel. The water evaporates, but leaves the salt crystals behind, and over time, they grow. Salts will then appear on the surface of the material, and must be removed through scrubbing and pressure spraying.

Prevention, EFC Plus, and the Environment

All About Curb uses an admixture called EFC Plus to curtail the accumulation of salts within the structure of the concrete. Efflorescence doesn’t simply damage the surface of concrete, it can cause cracks to form, crumbling and flaking of the concrete, and other unsightly damage. EFC Plus makes the concrete that goes into your patio or garden edging less permeable to water, more elastic, and seals out salts. But why go to the trouble of mixing special concrete?

While concrete is relatively simple to produce and pour, it can become costly to demolish and re-pour sections of patio or landscape curbing repeatedly. While efflorescence can be scrubbed away, temporarily, that doesn’t undo the damage the salt crystals caused on the structure of the curb or patio. Nor does it preclude it from happening again. With EFC Plus, All About Curb is ensuring that your concrete will last longer and remain beautiful for many seasons to come.

EFC Plus is especially important in a region such as Utah, which has a seasonally variable climate. This can cause cracked concrete or that which is damaged by efflorescence to buckle or flake in an unsightly and potentially unsafe way. Because EFC Plus renders the concrete water resistant and more resilient to flexion of earth beneath or against the concrete surface, this won’t occur. All About Curb is proud to serve the communities of Salt Lake and Utah counties. Our team of experts works hard to provide excellent concrete surfaces and edging to beautify your home, along with expert knowledge and fast, friendly service.  Please contact us for more information, 801-369-4423

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Stained Patio

Summer Fun on the Patio

Flat workSummer is the season for spending time outdoors, entertaining family and friends, and enjoying the beauty of your surroundings. However, many homes aren’t necessarily equipped with the essential foundations for family barbecues or al fresco dinner parties. A sound patio or floor for a covered porch area are the biggest oversights that may put a cramp in your summer entertainment plans. However, this is an easy remedy, especially when it comes to installing a professional, durable concrete entertainment space.

A Sound Basis for Fun

If you’re in the market for something that is an expression of your personality as well as a durable outdoor surface, there’s no need to go to the expense and trouble of laying flagstones or bricks. While the look of these is lovely, they have their own maintenance worries that may make them more trouble than fun in the future. Cracking of the grout or the stones, uneven settling leading to structural issues, and special maintenance are key things to consider when thinking about such building materials.

All About Curb’s professional team of experts uses a specially formulated concrete mixture that ensures durability over the seasons. We mix, pour, and finish a patio surface or concrete base that will serve admirably as the foundation for a covered porch area. While many masonry and stone surfaces may buckle, sink, or develop cracks due to seasonal flexion, their concrete is formulated for a greater level of plasticity and density. This prevents damage caused by water infiltration or salt efflorescence.

Stamped or Stained

Flat WorkIf you’d like the look of bricks or flags, All About Curb offers a special design service that can accommodate your needs. Our stamped patterns achieve a high level of realism and offer the look and feel of beautiful herringbone brick or rustic flagstone. As well, unlike other masonry and stone materials, your new concrete patio can be stained in a wide variety of colors to suit your tastes and fashions.

We are proud to serve the communities of Salt Lake and Utah counties, and proud to consider ourselves a part of those neighborhoods. If you’re ready to see how we can help to beautify and enliven your outdoor entertainment space this summer, don’t delay. Call us today at 801-369-4423 for a consultation with our friendly concrete specialists.

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Efflorescence Curbing

A Brief Guide to Efflorescence Management

Efflorescence CurbingWhile concrete curbing in gardens and other outdoor areas has proven its superiority to other materials, it is still exposed to processes of weathering and evaporation. The experts at All About Curb in Utah would like to take a moment to provide some vital information about one of the major causes of weathering you may observe—Efflorescence. We’ll also offer tips on how to maintain and enhance the structural integrity of your concrete edging in relation to this natural process to ensure a longer lifespan for garden edging, concrete curbs, and other poured surfaces around your property.

What Is Efflorescence?

At its root, this is a process of evaporation that impacts any masonry, stucco or concrete materials in direct contact with earth, subject to rain and groundwater, and exposed to weather. Also known as whiskering, it refers to the evaporation of water carrying salts through any porous, created building material. These salts—molecular forms which may include many naturally occurring chemical elements—dissolve in water and percolate through the void spaces in the material in question.

As a part of an evaporation cycle, the process is subject to air humidity levels. When the air is moist, the cycle is arrested. When it is dry, the cycle is expedited. This results in a seasonal appearance of whiskers or salt crystals on the surfaces of concrete or masonry. During dry seasons, the salt crystals may form beneath the surface of the material, which can have a disruptive effect on the material’s stability if unchecked.

How to Remove It

Concrete is well-saturated with water on a molecular level, which actually makes coping with efflorescence far easier than in other masonry products. Pressure washing with a very weak hydrochloric acid solution—muriatic acid—or a slight more concentrated vinegar solution is the first step. Then, the surface is scrubbed or brushed thoroughly and an alkaline solution—diluted household ammonia—is applied. This process dissolves the salts that have formed below the surface, brings them out, and neutralizes them on a pH level. It’s also a part of future prevention of salt formation.

Efflorescence CurbingOf course, the best solution for this issue is to keep it from happening in the first place. Efflorescence isn’t a new phenomenon, and a great deal of research has gone into developing the most effective ways to curtail the formation of salt crystals within and upon porous masonry materials. All About Curb offers you an efflorescence-resistant concrete product by incorporating an EFC Plus admixture to their product. This renders the finished concrete curbs and surfaces both more flexible and more densely packed. The end result is a more durable product that is also highly resistant to salt efflorescence. If you’re ready to explore a landscaping edging and surfacing solution with a long life and lasting beauty, call us today for a consultation – 801-369-4423.

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Stamped Curbing

Variety and Durability of Concrete Landscape Curbing

Stamped CurbingWhile unbroken lawns are still fashionable and even feasible in some parts of the country, during the hot weather in Utah, it’s not always possible. Many homeowners have turned to the tasteful, economical, and eco-friendly concept of planted islands that often incorporate the beautiful indigenous or hardy plants imported from similar climates. This cuts down on labor, water usage, and worrisome pest or climate-related depredations. However, those islands do need to be contained.

 

The Best Landscape Edging

If you’ve chosen to employ this time and money-saving method for keeping your property beautiful, chances are you’ve shopped around for an appropriate way to contain and define your islands, pathways, and organized plantings. There are a variety of materials available, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Vinyl and metal edging is thin, generally unobtrusive, and can be durable when properly cared for. Masonry and stone units are also available.

However, in the case of the former, rusting, bending, and deterioration are a concern in the long run. With discrete units, you will need to maintain your borders, replacing broken or deteriorated tiles immediately to prevent loss of topsoil, mulch, or the incursion of weeds. The best landscape edging in Utah is a poured concrete border. It incorporates the benefits of all the other types of edging materials, without the drawbacks of each.

How It Works for You

Landscape curbing offers homeowners many benefits. It certainly increases curb appeal, since you can elect to evoke a certain look. Many homeowners like the variety offered by stamped and colored curbing, which mimics stone, brick, or simply adds a striking color to landscaping. The permanence and easy maintenance of this material will also add monetary value to your property, which is a bonus, even if you plan to stay in your home for years to come.

Concrete PatioWith extreme temperatures and swings in the amount of moisture in the soil and air, many materials flex, crack, or disintegrate. Especially when it comes to masonry and decorative stone, this is a concern. Concrete edging has no such weakness. When appropriately poured by a team of consonant specialists, it will remain stable, level, and unblemished for many seasons. This brings a settled, purposeful shape to your landscaping that’s far easier to install and maintain than other popular materials.

At All About Curb, we make it our business to be the best, and are proud to be a part of the communities in Salt Lake and Utah Counties. Show your garden a little love this season and contact us at 801-369-4423 for a free consultation.

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