The best of polished concrete was on display Sept. 12 to 14 in Atlanta at the International Concrete Polishing & Staining Conference (see Vikki Sicaras’s analysis of the ICPSC for Concrete Surfaces on page 43). There are some amazing things going on in this business, with one polishing contractor telling me that all of his equipment reports back wirelessly to his iPhone with extensive data on the condition of the equipment and its operating parameters. If anything is outside of his tolerances, he can turn the machine off remotely to get things right before the job proceeds. Now that’s control!

Safety is Critical

A big crowd of concrete contractors gathered in Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 12 to 14 for the American Society of Concrete Contractors annual meeting. Among the many outstanding seminars and workshops was one from Ruttura & Sons Construction’s safety director, Janet Greco, on starting a safety program for a small contractor. Starting with a skit demonstrating how horrible it would be to have a worker killed on a jobsite, she made point after point about how critical it is to have a well-thought-out safety program in place and to make sure workers follow it. We will be working with Janet to develop an article in an upcoming issue.

Finishing Tools

What’s the difference between a float and a fresno? Using the proper finishing tools in the proper sequence is essential for a durable, trouble-free slab. On page 58 in Concrete Surfaces, Kim Basham goes through the steps. We have defined CS’s mission as our supplement that covers processes done to hardened concrete, such as polishing or staining, so finishing tools wouldn’t seem to fit. But all too often these subsequent steps are heavily impacted by how the concrete floor was installed. No one wants a decorative stained floor that has spalling or delaminations. Kim is one of the world’s top experts on concrete floors and helps us develop the seminars program for World of Concrete. Even an experienced finisher will find this article enlightening.

Resilient Construction

The small Colorado town where I live (Lyons) suffered a devastating flood in early September. Touring the destruction two weeks later was heartbreaking, but one bright spot for me was this concrete home only a few feet from the river that seems to have survived relatively unscathed. I actually designed the concrete walls for this addition a few years ago—the older wooden portion of the structure is completely gone, as are many nearby wooden structures. Maybe a few people will learn from this, the resiliency of concrete construction.