Flatwork Completed - Work Continues on Ramp, Firestopping and Interior Painting

June 24, 2011 - This week the ready-mix cement truck showed up for the second time and now we have our driveway and walks completed. Does it ever feel good to walk on a finished surface. We also had our first significant rainfall on Wednesday - almost 2 inches! That gave the new cement some additional time to cure and it allowed us to do some painting on the interior walls and trim. We also were able to get all the remaining wall penetrations sealed with Rectorseal's Metacaulk Firestop product. We also had a chance to work with Tightbond 4319, a super strong construction adhesive by Franklin International.

But the week was not without some moments of drama - here are the details.

The week did not start off good. The cement contractors who did such a great job on Friday, did not show up for work on Monday. Early in the job, David Cox our Construction Manager warned me about scheduling any serious work on a Monday. His point was that things happen over the weekend, and by the time you find out about it on Monday, it could be too late. Since we had such a good experience with this crew on Friday, I thought we could trust them to show up for work on Monday. These were subs hired by Jeremy Crow of Crow's Construction, and he was really upset as well. Jeremy called Porter Ready-Mix and they let us postpone the load without charging us for it.

We used the extra time on Monday to finish doing some dirt work around the building and getting everything ready for the pour on Tuesday. Jeremy assured me that it the crew was not there by 8:00am, he had a substitute crew standing by. The crew did show up and the first concrete truck arrived at 11:00am. With temperatures in the high 90's it was destined to be a long, hot day. Luckily, they had one more worker with them, because the heat of the afternoon sun got to the crew chief, and he spent most of the afternoon in his truck trying to recover.

On Friday we poured 10 yards of concrete (which is a full truck load), so we thought we would need more than a truck load to finish the job. When you need a partial load to finish a job, it is called a "kick", and if you let the yard know in advance, they do not charge you a second trip charge for the partial load. We did, and needed an additional 3 yards to complete the job. We also used about a yard to fill up the 5 gallon buckets we have been using as footers for the ADA ramp.

On Wednesday we got some much needed rain and that was good for the concrete, the plants and helped to keep the temperatures in the low 90's for a change. We used the day to paint the interior walls and finish up on the fire-stopping work on the wall penetrations. We have been buying all our paint from the local Glidden store, and they have really treated us well. They have been very generous with color samples, and their technical support. Unlike the Behr paint we used several months ago, we have not had any problems with their products.

For our fire-stopping needs, we turned to a Houston based company by the name of Rectorseal. Rectorseal was a client of ours for several years, so we know their products well. While the company has a strange name, they do make some excellent construction products. Their Metacaulk line of fire-stopping caulks and sealants are designed to seal wall and floor penetrations in buildings - which is mandated by code in commercial structures. Earlier in the construction process, we used their sealants around the EMT electrical pipe conduits, and for holes in the containers that adjoin one another. This week we used their sausage pack product to seal the HVAC vents, and the metal door frames around the building. Metacaulk products have a characteristic called intumesence, which causes the caulk to actually expand when heated. It is pretty amazing to see it enlarge as heat is applied (you can see some photos I shot in their test labs a couple of years ago in the portfolio section of our site).

We also received several cans of Tightbond Construction Adhesive #4319 from Franklin International. Franklin has been a wonderful company to work with. Early on, we decided to skin the exterior wooden walls with Mitsubishi's ALPOLIC Aluminum Composite Material (ACM). We wanted to make sure that the construction adhesive we selected would provide years of service. A friend at Franklin suggested we talk with them about the ACM and get their advice. We did, and they to have been great to work with. We sent them several samples of the Mitsubishi ALPOLIC, and their lab tests confirmed that their #4319 was the product for the job.

This week we did some testing of the Tightbond product on the ADA ramp. The product comes in a large metal can and is applied with a 1/4 inch notched trowel. It goes on easy, and cleans up with just mineral spirits. We are really looking forward to using it on the ACM in a few weeks.

The deck for the ramp now goes 160 feet around the south and west sides of the building to get up the 9.5 feet of the second floor. We have just a few more welds to get the railing and vertical supports finished. Next week we give the steel a primer coat, then a finished coat of black paint. If time allows, we will add the wire rope to the ramp.

In addition to doing some more painting work on the interior, we will also begin laying the tile and flooring in the units. This means that we wlll have to relocate the shop from units 1 and 2 into the video production studio and that is a big job in itself.