The oldest column in this magazine is Problem Clinic, which began in the very first issue in 1956 (initially it was Questions & Answers but the name changed in 1961). Despite the variety of online forums available today where people can post questions, Problem Clinic remains valuable since the answers have been thoroughly researched and usually reviewed by industry experts. I find that too many online answers are biased or off-the-cuff opinions or just plain wrong! This month’s Problem Clinic on page 55 focuses on air-entrained concrete for a hard-troweled garage floor and is answered by Jerry Holland, one of the world’s most knowledgeable people on concrete slabs.
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog concerning burns from exposure to wet concrete. This drew some interesting comments and stories about burned knees and hands and a few horrific photos (see page 16). Many of the responses recommended using vinegar to neutralize the alkalinity of concrete. Bill Hime (perhaps the world’s expert on concrete burns) says to rinse with water, then with diluted vinegar, then water again until the soapy feeling is gone. Don’t ever take this issue lightly. Make sure your workers (and friends) understand the dangers.
Some of you are old enough to remember when slides became popular—my dad’s best friend used to come over to show us slide shows of his vacation to Florida or some other incredibly boring place (at least it was for my brothers and me). Today, we have a new version of this that hopefully you’ll find more interesting. For many of the stories we develop we end up with many more photos than we can use in print. Take for example the March 2013 story on deck formwork. While we printed five photos, we had another seven good shots. Those have been assembled into a slide show that is available at www.concreteconstruction.net. There’s another great slide show on the most recent World of Concrete Artistry demos, including video. My dad was bored with Frank’s slides, too, but I think he would like CC’s slide shows.