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Retaining Walls: Concrete Block or Poured Concrete?

If you’re thinking of having a retaining wall installed, consider the advantages and disadvantages of concrete block versus poured concrete.

Having a retaining wall installed is a good way to improve the curb appeal of your home, control your yard’s landscapes, and to combat soil erosion. There are many considerations to take into account when deciding what type of retaining wall you want. Explore the benefits and drawbacks of both a concrete block and a poured concrete retaining wall.

Concrete Block Versus Poured Concrete
Concrete block is one of the most common materials used for retaining walls. Blocks are placed on top of one another for height, and their interior cells are reinforced with rebar and filled with concrete for strength. Concrete block retaining walls can be as high as about four feet, and the retaining wall can have curves and right angles. They are a structurally sound option, but concrete block retaining walls must incorporate footings to ensure optimal strength. 

There are a number of different types of blocks to choose from, such as the basic “cinder block” and interlocking blocks. While standard concrete block is visually unappealing, options like split face blocks—concrete blocks with a face that resembles broken stone—or adding a veneer resembling stone, brick, or other decorative masonry can add interest and match a home’s style.

Poured concrete retaining walls utilize rebar and poured concrete to create a smooth, sleek wall, and there are numerous design options. While poured concrete retaining walls are stronger than concrete block retaining walls, there’s a lot that can go wrong with a poured concrete retaining wall. It takes a great amount of knowledge and skill to install a poured concrete retaining wall; the process is unforgiving of mistakes. Waves or bulges can form, as can cracks. Generally, there are few to no options for fixing problems like cracks with a poured concrete retaining wall, and the entire wall must be replaced if one part of it fails.

Tucker Paving has over 25 years of experience in the concrete and asphalt paving construction industry, and we’ve been serving Central Florida for over 50 years. We offer site clearing, site grading, stabilized subgrade, base work, asphalt paving, underground utilities, and concrete curbs, sidewalks, slabs, and tie-beams. Call us at (863) 299-2262, or contact us online, for your next concrete project! 

Curious to Know More About Asphalt’s Worst Enemies?

Meet asphalt’s worst enemies and help keep them away from your asphalt.

Asphalt is a favorite material for driveways and other pavements, and it can last a long time if it’s taken care of and maintained. However, asphalt has some serious enemies that it needs to be protected from. If you’re serious about helping your asphalt driveway or other pavement to last for decades, you’ll need to keep asphalt’s worst enemies at bay.

Asphalt’s Worst Enemies
Asphalt’s worst enemies are the things that are most likely to cause damage to your asphalt driveway or other asphalt pavement. If you want to keep your asphalt in good repair for as long as possible, then you’ll need to ensure these things and your asphalt don’t meet in any long-term way.

  • Standing Water. It’s fine for your asphalt to get wet, say from a rain shower or a sprinkler, but standing water that puddles on asphalt for an extended period of time does immense damage to your asphalt. Standing water wears away at asphalt’s protective top layer, and then the water gets into the asphalt itself and weakens the asphalt. If it’s not fixed, standing water will lead to potholes, cracks, and crumbling asphalt. The solution is to have your asphalt driveway or other asphalt pavement seal coated regularly and have any areas fixed where water is able to pool.
  • UV Rays. The sun’s UV rays are damaging to asphalt’s tar, oxidizing it so that it ages and breaks down faster than other parts of the asphalt that are shaded. While you can’t control the sun, you can make sure to have your asphalt seal coated regularly to protect it from UV rays.
  • Tree Roots. A good rule of thumb is that a tree’s roots can extend out below ground as far as the branches do above ground, and even farther for some tree species! Tree roots can cause upheaval and cracking to the concrete as they grow. Be careful about planting trees near asphalt pavement, and consult with an asphalt pavement expert if you’re having problems with tree roots. For large roots, you should also consider consulting an arborist as removing large roots can lead to the death of the tree.
  • Motor Oil and Other Chemicals. Chemicals from your vehicle, like motor oil, cause your asphalt to degrade and break apart. Keep your asphalt driveway clear of oils and chemicals from vehicles, clean up spills as soon as possible, and have seal coating done at regular intervals, usually every one to three years.

Tucker Paving has decades of experience in the asphalt and concrete paving construction industry, from residential jobs like asphalt driveways to large commercial jobs like theme parks, schools, developments, and more. Contact us online, or give us a call at (863) 299-2262, for your next driveway paving project!

Sustainable Construction: What’s the Big Deal?

One of the trends seen in the construction industry recently is a focus on sustainable construction. Focusing on sustainability is important in any industry, but it’s especially important in the construction industry as it is responsible for 36 percent of worldwide energy usage and 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, according to statistics from the International Energy Agency (IEA), an international forum for energy cooperation. Sustainable construction is good for both the environment, for the companies utilizing it, and more.

What Is It?
Sustainable construction can be defined as having the end goal of a construction project to go beyond the building itself and also creating a healthy environment that’s based on ecological principles, such as reducing the industry’s environmental impact. Charles Kilbert, a professor with the M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Construction Management at the University of Florida College of Design, Construction and Planning, maintained that sustainable construction should focus on six principles: “conserve, reuse, recycle/renew, protect nature, create non-toxic and high quality.”

Sustainable construction can include using renewable and recyclable resources, reducing energy consumption and waste, utilizing sustainable materials, employing energy efficiency principles, creating a healthy environment, utilizing green technology, and protecting surrounding ecosystems.

What Are the Benefits?
Obviously, using sustainable construction is good for the environment by protecting resources, minimizing waste, and reducing harmful chemicals, gases, and other materials. However, sustainable construction has additional benefits as well.

For one, many studies have found that sustainable construction offers benefits to those who utilize the spaces. “Green buildings” have been linked with an increase in cognitive performance, improved decision-making, and overall satisfaction.

Sustainable construction can also benefit the construction companies that use it as well. There is a benefit to a company’s reputation as a sustainable company, but sustainable construction can have benefits to a company’s bottom line as well. Costs can be reduced through minimizing waste, using recycled materials, savings on fuel and energy, and more.

While converting to sustainable construction is not something that happens overnight, it is a move that can benefit both the company, its clients, and the environment.

Tucker Paving has over 25 years of experience in the asphalt and concrete paving construction industry, and we put a lot of focus on sustainable construction. For example, we accept used asphalt and concrete, recycle it, and sell it as recycled aggregate as part of our commitment to sustainable practices! Call us at (863) 299-2262, or contact us online, for your next asphalt or concrete construction project!

Get the Job Done the Right Way at the Right Rate

When you need asphalt laid for a project, you want it done right the first time. No worries with Tucker Paving! We can guide you through every step of the process for any asphalt project, so don’t hesitate to consult with us. However, whether you hire Tucker Paving or another company for your paving needs, we want you to be satisfied with the work that’s done. Therefore, we have a few tips for you when looking to hire any asphalt contractor.

Get the Right Team for the Job
As with any construction, it’s important to get the right company doing the work. The first thing you should look for is that they have the proper licensure and certifications for the job you need done. If they can’t provide you with that information up front, that’s a big red flag.

Hire an asphalt company that owns their own equipment, like Tucker Paving does. If they have to rent their equipment from another company, it can cause variances in pricing that can throw your budget off.

Word of mouth is still the best form of advertising there is. Check with your friends and business contacts and see what companies they’ve hired for similar projects, and what their honest opinions are of those companies. Ask how the work has stood up over time, and if the job was finished on time and within budget. A company might hire some fake reviewers to post glowing recommendations online, but it’s unlikely that your own acquaintances are going to lie to you about the experience they’ve had with a particular business.

When You Need the Job Done Right…
Remember, when you need paving done, you can always trust Tucker Paving to get the job done on schedule, within budget, and to your specifications. We believe in providing our customers with the highest standard of service and quality in the site construction industry, and you won’t be disappointed.

Ease the Workload With Cribbing

When a structure needs to be lifted from its foundations, or a really heavy object needs support during construction, what do you do? We at Tucker Paving recommend making use of a box crib. Cribbing is used as a temporary structure to help support weighty or cumbersome objects during construction. It can make a huge difference when it comes to getting a job done right and on time.

What Is Cribbing?
Typically, cribbing is built from wood timbers stacked together sort of like you would in the game Jenga, except the middle is empty. It can also take the shape of a parallelogram, a triangle, or an A-form, depending on the needs of the project. Cribbing is adjustable as the construction takes place – you can make it taller or shorter as the project requires by simply adding or removing the blocks of wood.
Another type of cribbing is called “shims” or “wedges.” Theses crib forms are used to help brace other segments to prevent them from moving or to provide some angling support that might be necessary in order to achieve a stable and level platform.
The kind of wood you choose for your cribbing is important. At Tucker Paving, we recommend a good, sturdy hardwood that will resist breakage, or, alternately, a soft wood, such as spruce or pine. The benefit to using a soft wood is that if they do start to bend, they will crack slowly and make a loud noise before completely failing, thereby alerting workers to the potential problem. 

Tucker Paving Can Help with Cribbing
If you have a major construction project in the works that needs a little extra support, call on Tucker Paving for help with cribbing. We have the materials on hand to build a box crib or other type of support to make sure that your project rises without a hitch.