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Exterior renovationsHow to paint a wooden deck: step-by-step instructions
If you’re one of the lucky ones, your home may have a beautiful outdoor space or backyard. A popular fixture in many yards is the patio. Also known as a deck, whether large or small, wood is commonly used as a material to construct these beautiful features.
As you may know, your wood will need to be treated in order to be safe for outdoor use while also maintaining its longevity.
In most cases, this will involve staining, priming and painting. Painting may obscure the surface of the wood, but is an excellent option to breathe new life into an older surface or give a unique touch to a new one.
For a step-by-step guide, we met with one of the contractors in our network, Felix Deblois-Beaucage, as he and his team were working on a wooden deck renovation project. Here, we’ll go over the five main steps of this process.
Before you begin painting, you’ll need to be sure that you're working on a clean surface. Be sure to fix any popped nails or screw heads that may have come loose. Also, if you find large cracks throughout the surface of the wood, these will need to be filled in before painting.
This can be completed with epoxy putty and then stained to match the surrounding deck boards. This step is especially important when working on a deck you plan to use for a number of years.
If your deck has several years of dirt, grime, and dust build-up, a deep cleaning process with a specific wood-safe cleaner is necessary. If the cleaning process has dampened the wood, let it dry before the next step.
Sometimes the drying process can take up to 48 hours and painting any earlier than this can compromise the wood. Otherwise, removing dust with a dry cloth should be a good enough treatment to the surface.
Once the surface of the wood has been treated for holes while also being clean and dry, you'll need to sand it with 50-grit sandpaper. This is an important step because any trace of old paint, primer, or stain should be removed from the surface of the wood before you go forward with adding another paint or primer.
Not to mention that sanding the surface works to open up the pores in the wood, which will improve the new paint or stain adhesion. If there's no paint, varnish, or stain on the wood, we recommend using 100 or 120 grit sandpaper. An electric sander is another tool that will make this step easier and speed up the process.
For our specific project, the contractor needed to sand twice to remove the old stain. In some cases, including when working on very old surfaces, you may have to use a chemical stain and sealer remover or a thermal removing technique. If the product you want to apply is sheer, this sanding step is paramount, as wood will show through the finish.
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Since the surface we’re working with is wood, it's advised to use a primer. Although some paints now come with a primer mixed in, we’d suggest that you opt for a separate primer. A separate primer will help to seal the wood and greatly improve the adhesion level of the finished paint. Therefore, the final result will be more durable.
This type of primer or sealer can easily be found in any local hardware or specialized paint store. Make sure to protect the surrounding surfaces with painter's tape or a plastic sheet, and this includes any vinyl cladding or deck accessories.
For elements not on the surface level of the deck, such as rails, handrails or caps, use a brush to stain these surfaces. When it comes to the rest of the deck’s surface, we’d recommend using a roller, as it will be able to cover more of an area in less time. Then, simply follow the manufacturer's recommendations for application methods as well as drying time.
Only when the primer is completely dry should you begin the painting process. For this specific project, two coats of opaque 100% acrylic paint were used. As we mentioned above, use a roller to apply the paint. The workers in this project used one for large areas and a paintbrush for corners and edges. Once the entire surface was covered, they let it dry according to the paint manufacturer's instructions.
When it comes to the painting of your deck, you could also cover the wood using a sealant or a stain. Do bear in mind that when working with a stain, anywhere between one and three coats may be necessary. However, this will be dependant on the type of stain you apply.
Use your personal judgment when it comes to deciding on the number of coats. Remember that paints and stains may dry differently than they appear going on.
After you’ve applied the right amount of paint coats to your deck's wood surface, you’ll then need to let it dry for at least 24 hours. Drying time may be dependant on the weather and this is an extremely important factor to consider. Before you start this project, we’d recommend checking out your local weather forecast to reveal the 24-48 hours during which you plan on undertaking this project. This is to make sure it’s clean, dry and not too humid. Unfortunately, if it happens to start raining before the paint dries, you may have to paint all over again.
Also, avoid painting on significantly hot days as high temperatures decrease paint adhesion. For optimal results, take the time to complete each step properly and respect weather conditions.
For our contractor, this project lasted three days. For you, it’s possible that it could take more or less time. If you're looking for a professional and refined result, we’d suggest hiring experienced contractors to carry out the job.
Lastly, we'd like to mention that if you're working with a stain, it's recommended to re-stain your deck every 1-3 years. This will continue to protect the surface and help the structure to last longer. If you use paint instead, it is advisable to repaint every 2 or 3 years.
If you do not have a patio and want to build one, read our article Deck Building Materials and Construction.
Would you like to have an estimation of the cost of your new deck? Try our cost calculator!
Renoquotes.com can help you get quotes to paint or stain a wooden deck. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with the most suitable contractors for you. Fill in the form on our homepage (only a few minutes), and you will receive quotes from companies that are specialized in exterior painting.
Last modified 2023-08-31
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SoumissionRenovation.ca • 19 Jul 2023
Flux-cored arc welding is a well-known method used among DIYers, it rarely requires gas, and appeals to most for its numerous advantages. However, note that it isn’t suitable for all types of work. The Fundamentals of Flux-Cored Arc Welding Source: Canva Flux-cored arc welding (FCAW), also known as dual-shield welding, is a type of welding method that: uses a flux-cored wire and; an electric arc; is gasless and; can be used in windy conditions (self-shielded). Flux-cored arc welding machines are single-phase devices into which a spool is inserted. What’s a flux-cored wire? When using a flux-cored arc welding device, the spooled wire used isn’t solid, unlike the one employed in MCAW (Metal-Cored Arc Welding). Instead, it’s a tubular electrode wire filled with powder. This powder serves as the flux, acting as the bonding agent between the pieces that will be welded together. The flux-cored wire is: Wrapped in a metal sheath (0.8 mm to 3.2 mm wide). Continuously spooled. Fed at a constant speed (up to 3.28 ft [1m] per minute). The flux-cored wire is placed on a spool and passes through a wire feeder that guides it to the welding torch’s nozzle. The faster the wire unwinds, the higher the welding intensity. But that’s not all; to adequately weld using a flux-cored wire, the stick-out is of crucial importance. What’s the stick-out when flux core welding? The stick-out refers to the appropriate length between the contact tip and the piece to be welded. Typically, it’s 0.6 inches to 1 inch (15 to 25 mm) depending on usage, with a maximum tolerance of 0.11 inches (3 mm). Why is that important? Because if the stick-out is too short, the welding wire will end up being too close to the contact tip, resulting in overheating and creating blowholes in the metal piece. On the other hand, if it’s too long, the wire itself overheats, causing an increase in slag, which is the substance that shields the weld. Electric Arc An electric arc is formed between the welding machine’s contact tip and the metal piece (object to be welded). Its purpose is to generate intense heat, melting the piece to be welded and flux-cored wire resulting in the creation of a “molten pool.” The electric arc is generated by a variable direct current, with an intensity ranging from 40 to 700 amps, depending on the following factors: Welding position Size of the metal pieces Size of the flux-cored wire Bonding The higher the amperage, the smoother and more stable the electric arc will be, making it easier to handle and forming a well-defined molten pool. A Gasless Process The term “gasless” for flux-cored arc welding isn’t entirely accurate for two reasons: Firstly, a shielding gas is naturally generated during the welding process. As the flux-cored wire disintegrates and the parts melt, carbon dioxide is produced. This gas forms a shield around the weld during the welding process. Secondly, while a shielding gas can be added to the welding process, it isn’t mandatory. Welders have the option to save on gas consumption by using a specially formulated aluminum flux-cored wire for welding. Ideal Outdoor Welding Method Flux-cored wire welding is an ideal outdoor welding method used on worksites because it typically doesn’t require an external gas supply. Since there’s no external shielding gas, the wind doesn’t blow it away, making the process more practical and often used on large worksites, such as when constructing bridges. Are you looking for general contractors for your renovation project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! Why use this welding method? Source: Canva Flux-cored arc welding often competes with 3 other types of welding: Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW); Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW); Submerged Arc Welding (SAW). If one welding method can replace another in numerous circumstances, the question is, why choose flux-cored arc welding? The answer lies in its cost-effectiveness compared to gas welding methods. While some DIYers just want to stick with flux-cored welding, it’s essential to note that this method isn’t always suitable. What can you weld with a flux-cored wire? Source: Canva According to the American Welding Society (AWS), flux-cored arc welding is suitable for the following materials: Carbon steel Stainless steel Low-alloy steel Nickel alloys Cast iron Hardfacing alloys However, certain materials aren’t suitable, including titanium, zirconium, magnesium, and copper alloys. And the list doesn’t end here. The depth of flux-cored arc welding is rather impressive. However, it can cause metal parts and supports to warp or distort, making it unsuitable for thin sheet metal, such as 0.6 mm sheets. Therefore, the bodywork of a vehicle can’t be welded with flux-cored welding machines. Attempting to do so would result in blowholes, distortions, and a shoddy end result. 10 Advantages of Flux-Cored Arc Welding High and variable deposition rate based on the flux-cored wire used. Deposits a larger amount of metal compared to arc welding. Possibility of working in windy conditions. Faster work compared to using TIG or shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) methods. Fewer welding repairs. Welding can be done in all directions since the flux-cored wire is small in size. Better welding penetration than SMAW. Gasless welding is a possibility depending on the flux-cored wire used. Continuous spooling, therefore there’s little time spent on changing the wire. Very good mechanical characteristics.
SoumissionRenovation.ca • 31 May 2023
Are you yearning for the ultimate outdoor experience this summer? Look no further than a patio or balcony awning, a perfect solution that fulfills both your practical requirements and aesthetic desires. By selecting the perfect model, you can revel in its multitude of advantages, basking in shade and protection from the scorching sun during heatwaves, while also reaping the benefits indoors as your AC unit enjoys a well-deserved respite. It's a great way to enhance both backyard space and home comfort. We'll walk you through the different models and the many options available to help you choose the one that suits both your outdoor space and your lifestyle. This summer, let your awning extend beyond your balcony or patio to delight your senses. Why install a balcony awning? Source: Canva Living in a region where summers never seem to stretch out long enough, a balcony awning allows people to spend more time outdoors. Come rain or shine, a balcony awning can turn your outdoor space into a wonderful little cocoon. It’s an undeniable value added to your outdoor space and it takes your patio game up to a whole other level. Why settle for merely decorating your deck when you could transform it into a whole new space that expands beyond the confines of your home? Your new outdoor dining area or living room could be the perfect place to gather with friends, but it could also be the perfect living space for the whole family. 7 Advantages of Having a Balcony Awning It’s an exceptionally comfortable space to relax or gather with guests. It personalizes your backyard and contributes to the uniqueness of the space. By shielding you from rain or sunshine, it allows you to fully benefit from the summer months. It’s a value added to your property. It’s a long-term investment: a well-maintained awning can easily last 15 to 20 years, 30 even. It envelops a part of your home with shade, helps keep rooms cooler, and saves you up to 17% on air-conditioning costs by creating zones of shade in certain areas in your home. In an exposed backyard, it adds a sense of privacy to your patio or deck, shielding you from prying eyes. How to Choose a Balcony Awning Source: Canva Before settling for one particular awning, you have to consider several factors, such as: The square footage to cover; Sun exposure; Wind strength. You also need to determine whether or not you want to use it as a shelter when it's raining. Consider whether you want it to be fixed or retractable, so you can enjoy the sun from time to time, or the starry night sky. Since there’s a wide range of models available on the market, it’s best to think over your decision to ensure you’re making the right choice based on your long-term needs. Don't buy one on a whim! Some flashy models may appeal to you at first, but may not meet your long-term needs. Keep in mind that it’s best to choose patterns and colours that blend in with the rest of your house—siding and style—rather than succumbing to a favourite that won’t necessarily, once the spell has worn off, meet your needs down the line! 5 Fan-Favourite Brands of Awnings Based on the space to cover and the property’s architecture, some brands could be a better fit compared to others. Here are a few brands that stand out from the crowd, awning-wise. Mitjavila Made in Quebec, Majavila awnings offer great flexibility and are available in various sizes, both manual and motorized. Also worth noting: they're easy to repair, if necessary. BAT Here’s an Italian best, a meticulously crafted model, with over 500 colours, variable slopes, and motors to suit all needs. The ultimate sun and rain protection. Corradi A high-quality, European-looking, retractable awning. It features a fixed, waterproof structure made of aluminum or exotic wood. While the colour scheme is rather limited, people still steer toward it due to its smartphone feature. Bellon With over 125 years of experience in the industry, Bellon offers its own exclusive brand, developed to meet the needs of residents of Quebec. This results in a wide range of fabrics and flexibility in terms of awning slope. Bellon also offers awning fabric storage, cleaning, and repair services. Stobag Yet another well-known brand, hailing from Switzerland. Available in 300 patterns and colours to give your outdoor space a unique look. A Tailor-Made Awning for Your Home Every year, a lot of people mistakenly choose to invest in a low-end awning, which proves to be just so. Albeit cost-effective at first, it deteriorates rather quickly and offers very few advantages when compared to a custom-made awning. Aside from its superior quality in general, the first advantage of a custom-made awning is that it’s perfectly fitted to your outdoor space to fully meet your various needs. Designed based on the size of your patio, it perfectly blends in to enhance your décor. You also have access to a huge selection of colours and patterns that perfectly match your house. It takes 3 to 4 weeks to design and manufacture a made-to-order awning. By just grabbing one off the shelves, you can install it the same day; however, an awning that’ll last for years surely is worth waiting around for a few weeks. Also, the manufacturer almost always offers installation services. Some models can be installed by the homeowners themselves, but most of the time, it’s best to call in professionals. A poorly installed awning may cause both damage and injury. Are you looking for general contractors for your renovation project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! The Different Types of Outdoor Awnings Source: Canva Choose from various models with tinted glass, opaque or clear tops, and UV protection. Enjoy numerous configurations, with or without a valance. Let us guide you through the diverse choices to find your perfect awning. Fixed or permanent awning A fixed awning is permanent, in the sense that its structure remains in place all season, or year-round, depending on the model selected. If the awning is made of canvas, it should be carefully removed before winter and stored in a warm, dry area. Retractable or manual awning A retractable awning is kind of like a wall-mounted sunshade. It's fixed to a building wall and has retractable brackets that allow it to be folded away as required. It provides cover on hot summer days and can be retracted when you're out on the patio, looking to soak up the warmth of the sun at the beginning or end of the summer. It can be manually retracted using a hand crank. In winter, the awning has to be retracted since the freeze could damage it. For added protection, a custom-made cover or case can be purchased to prevent rodents from nesting in it during the cold season. NOTE: The retractable awning can also be freestanding if you’re not inclined on having it affixed to the side of your house. It’s a practical concept if you’re a tenant and aren’t allowed to alter the exterior shell of a structure. Motorized awning (remote-controlled) Investing in a remote-controlled, retractable awning means getting the most out of the summer months. Versatile and ultra-functional, it suits all patios to help shield you from the sun and bad weather. It retracts by means of a motor connected to a wall switch or remote control. Some home-automated awnings can also be controlled via a smart device. This means you can remotely control the awning if unexpected rainfall jeopardizes your patio furniture. WE LOVE the wind and rain sensor that automatically retracts the awning when the wind picks up or rainfall occurs. A range of settings enables the awning to withstand different weather conditions. And, as an added bonus: the retractable awning and patio heater can be connected! Glass awning The fixed or permanent glass awning allows you to benefit from your outdoor space, at all times, no matter the weather. Your patio furniture is always protected and you’ll never have to postpone outdoor gatherings due to bad weather. These are custom-made and ideal for decks, patios, or balconies, and, as an added bonus, said structure allows you to significantly limit the heating value inside your home! Designed to withstand the harshest weather, there's no need to worry, winter or summer. Now that's something to feel good about! Aluminum composite structures guarantee up to 30 years of service life, while 5 mm thick tempered glass is synonymous with peace of mind, come rain or shine. Opt for clear or opaque panels or a combo of both. Last but not least, make sure your structure can withstand the weight of snow and is certified by local engineers. The Different Awning Materials Source: Canva Polycarbonate and aluminum are two quality materials used to manufacture awnings. It’s two really good options. Here’s essential information about each option: Aluminum Pros More resistant and durable than polycarbonate Doesn’t fade Withstands extreme weather conditions, including hurricanes Average service life of 18 years Easy soap-and-water cleaning Higher resale value Cons More expensive than polycarbonate Heavier (requires heavy-duty anchors) Limited colour range, but can be painted More prone to corrosion if exposed to salt water or chemical products Polycarbonate Pros More affordable Withstands the weight of snow Doesn’t deteriorate over time Available in a wide range of colours and finishes Slightly more sheer so it doesn’t obstruct views Lighter, doesn’t require any structural support Easier to install Cons Doesn’t withstand extreme weather conditions as well Made with PVC plastic, which can crack Less cold-resistant Not as UV ray-resistant More high-maintenance Turns yellow or gray if not cleaned with bleach every year
SoumissionRenovation.ca • 23 Aug 2023
When it comes to a septic system, the tank is usually the one thing that comes to mind. Yet, the leaching field, which is out of sight, out of mind… is nonetheless a vital component of this installation. Its proper functioning is primordial, with regard to you and your family and the surrounding community and environment. A leaching bed, or drainage field, is where bacteria and microorganisms found in your septic system will systematically break down waste matter. Should it fail, the entire wastewater treatment system will be affected. We’ll explain the functioning of a leaching bed, as well as what your role is in ensuring its proper working order. The Functionality of a Septic Drain Field Source: Canva On average, Canadians use 329 litres of water a day. Yet residents of the province of Quebec use, on average, 400. There’s no need for great mathematical solving to understand that, if a household has several occupants, the septic system will have to treat a significant amount of wastewater daily. Wastewater will ideally be channelled due to gravity between the septic tank and the pipes. When necessary, it will be directed toward the leaching bed with the use of a pump. Since bacteria require oxygen to treat wastewater, the leaching bed is built in non-water-saturated soil (surface water or phreatic zone), and free of all porous elements (asphalt, concrete, shed, etc.). Wastewater Treatment A leaching bed is an underground network that treats and redirects septic tank wastewater. Wastewater, which is partially treated by the septic tank, is channelled to perforated pipes that are part of the leaching bed with the help of a pump or gravity. The wastewater will then percolate through a bed of gravel, which is a process that’s designed to eliminate pollutants before the water is released into the ground. Decomposition of Contaminants During this last step of the treatment process, microorganisms found in the soil digest and eliminate residual filth (suspended solids, organic chemical products, viruses, bacteria). Their role consists of breaking down the contaminants found so that the wastewater seeping into the soil, mixing with groundwater, is rendered clean. The whole process prevents contaminating the phreatic zone. What’s the standard size of a leaching bed? Source: Canva The size of a leaching bed depends on both the choice of equipment and the property’s requirements (number of persons in the household or number of bedrooms). For big installations, 10-cm wide pipes (4 inches) can be 30 metres long (100 feet), each positioned within 4 inches of each other. The pipes are typically sitting 90 to 120 cm deep (36 to 48 inches), and are laid on a 30-cm thick bed of gravel (12 inches), protected by a layer of backfill. Therefore, a standard leaching bed will require 1,938 square feet of grass-covered land to suit a 3-bedroom residence. While this may seem rather big, and such an amount of space isn’t always readily available, there are options tailored for smaller pieces of land. A modified leaching bed is one of the most commonly employed solutions. Not only is it cheaper, but it’ll make do with 646 square feet of space. Are you looking for general contractors for your renovation project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! Difference Between a Conventional and Modified Leaching Bed Source: Canva As you’ve probably gathered, a leaching bed solely relies on bacteria and microorganisms found in the septic tank, as well as the soil’s filtration capabilities, to treat wastewater. While bacterial colonies are often subjected to unfavourable conditions caused by chemical products and detergents discharged into the system, the soil’s filtration abilities depend on several factors: soil composition, slope, surface area, depth of phreatic zone, permeability, etc. As such, the water, which is more or less treated, is eventually channelled into groundwater and water streams. Conventional Leaching Bed The design, layout, and size of a leaching bed are contingent on the amount of wastewater to be treated (number of bedrooms in a household), the soil’s capacity to absorb water, and the depth of the phreatic zone. PROS 20- to 35-year service life (35 years in low-sloped, porous soil, and regularly maintained); Roughly $6,000; it’s the cheapest system; No energy use; Aesthetic, solely requires a slight slope; No annual maintenance fees. CONS High risk of clogging; Risk of poor wastewater drainage; Higher risk of soil pollution given the size of the field; The specific land area shouldn’t have a slope exceeding 10 to 30% (based on the chosen treatment system). Modified Leaching Bed Especially sought-after between 1980 and 1990, a septic system with a modified leaching bed is still the most commonly used conventional installation to date. It’s definitely preferred, not only for reasons related to cost and simplified functioning but also because it’s suited to smaller pieces of land. While a conventional leaching bed requires an empty 1,938 square feet of grass-covered land for a 3-bedroom household, the modified leaching bed will provide the same advantages while solely requiring a 646-square-foot plot. Not unlike a conventional septic system, a modified leaching bed also consists of side-by-side absorption trenches and an absorption bed designed to filter pre-treated wastewater. This more compact system has a secondary treatment system—a modified filter—on top of a primary system. PROS More compact than a standard leaching bed; Worthwhile price; No maintenance fees, except to empty the septic tank; Simplified functioning. CONS Has an effective service life of about 15 years, but can see 25 years; The entire absorption surface area has to be excavated and then filled with crushed stone, which means much more significant earthworks. The surface area in question must have a slope of 10% or less. The rock, groundwater, or porous or not soil layer must be at least 1.2 m (48 inches) below ground. Absorption Wells Absorption wells are the recommended solution when the land’s surface area can’t accommodate a leaching bed. Absorption wells, or infiltration wells, don’t require drains or trenches, they can be installed in confined spaces, meaning land with a limited surface area (323 square feet for three bedrooms). The filtration process is done via the wells’ walls. PRO Suitable for small surface area plots (323 square feet for three bedrooms). CONS The ground in question must be twice as porous as what’s needed for the other wastewater treatment systems; Solely three-bedroom or less households can benefit from this option. Regulation Source: Canva Wastewater overflows are hazardous to both human beings and the environment. For that reason, laws have been introduced to ensure that the installations aren’t only adequately built (solely authorized contractors can proceed with a septic system installation) but also properly maintained. As such, septic systems will be deemed viable as long as there’s no evidence of direct environmental pollution or health hazards, as stipulated in Section 20 of the Environment Quality Act: No one may emit, deposit, issue or discharge or allow the emission, deposit, issuance or discharge into the environment of a contaminant in a greater quantity or concentration than that provided for by regulation of the Government. The same prohibition applies to the emission, deposit, issuance or discharge of any contaminant the presence of which in the environment is prohibited by regulation of the Government or is likely to affect the life, health, safety, welfare or comfort of human beings, or to cause damage to or otherwise impair the quality of the soil, vegetation, wildlife or property. Therefore, if a septic system is deemed ineffective, the government may force the homeowner to replace it. Lastly, note that it’s illegal to alter your septic system yourself, or replace it yourself. How much does a septic system cost? Installing a septic system (septic tank, leaching bed, and artisan well) costs between $15,000 and $45,000. To that amount, one can add soil percolation test fees. The overall cost is influenced by several factors, which explains the considerable discrepancies: number of residents in a home; the chosen system, the complexity of installation; the chosen contractor; region where the system will be installed, etc. Maintenance and Compliance When it comes to a septic tank or leaching bed maintenance (emptying the tank), one must budget between $150 and $250. For an inspection meant to confirm the system’s overall compliance, one will spend between $300 and $500.
SoumissionRenovation.ca • 09 Aug 2023
Fibre-reinforced concrete was a definite turning point in the construction industry. Designed to offset the brittleness of standard concrete and with a low-tensile strength, fibre-reinforced concrete sets a new record. As a result, some mixtures allow for fewer rebar use on construction sites since this material can withstand tensile forces of 2,300 MPa, compared to standard concrete’s 500 MPa. However, there are various types of fibres, and they don’t all bestow fibre-reinforced concrete with the same characteristics. Fibre-Reinforced Concrete Features Source: Canva Impact resistance Structural reinforcement Fibre orientation Heightened resistance (tensile forces, flexural strength, compression) Improved shock resistance Nonetheless, fibre-reinforced concrete isn’t considered a material in itself. Its characteristics are entirely composition-based. Steel fibre-reinforced concrete doesn’t have the same technical characteristics as that of fibreglass- or plastic fibre-reinforced concrete. This will be further discussed in the last part of the article. Methods of Use Fibre-reinforced concrete can be used everywhere. Most often, it’s shipped in a ready-mix format, which can, depending on its characteristics, eliminate the need for rebar. We’ll delve into the latter with structural concrete. This material can be shipped ready-mixed to construction sites, which leaves the preparation of this type of concrete in expert hands. As a matter of fact, some types of fibre-reinforced concrete are made from an optimal mixture consisting of 1.5% fibres, while others require 3% or more fibres. This will be further detailed in each fibre-specific section of the article, but let’s just start off by saying that high-fibre content concrete isn’t as malleable. Therefore, fibres should be added in moderation. When to Use? Fibre-reinforced concrete can be used for all kinds of work, from foundation work to wall-building, with footing and columns in between. The type of fibre used in its making determines its characteristics, and thus its use. Continue reading to learn more about the different types of fibres providing the ideal features based on the structural building needs. Are you looking for general contractors for your renovation project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! Why Use Fibre-Reinforced Concrete: Pros and Cons Source: Canva Fibre-reinforced concrete has at least 6 advantages since it’s: Easy to use Ideal for large-scale building sites Lightweight Durable Ductile Adhesive Other advantages could be listed, including its fire resistance. However, those advantages aren’t typically associated with fibre-reinforced concrete, but more with the use of distinct fibres. Therefore—and as we’ll explain in further detail below—fibre-reinforced concrete’s ability to withstand flames is directly linked to the use of polypropylene fibres. Nevertheless, fibre-reinforced concrete still has drawbacks as it’s: More expensive Not as water-resistant Can be less compression-resistant (as seen with plastic fibres) Not as capable of withstanding earthquakes Once again, fibre-reinforced concrete drawbacks are largely determined by the type of fibre used. Types of Fibre-Reinforced Concrete Source: Canva Ultra-high performance UHPC (Ultra High-Performance Concrete) is a type of concrete made using short fibres, meaning fibres that have been designed to reduce cracking and improve fire resistance. These synthetic or organic fibres are added to the concrete mixture, thereby providing increased compression resistance, from 150 to 250 MPa, compared to 30 MPa for regular concrete. Depending on the types of fibres used, fibre-reinforced concrete can completely negate the use of passive rebar. This is seen with structural concrete, which we’ll further detail at the end of this article. Generally speaking, the main characteristics of UHPC are: Low permeability Great mechanical resistance Enhanced strength and ductility Low creep Durability High density It shouldn’t be confused with HPC (High-Performance Concrete), since UHPC is a lot more resistant, as well as a lot drier, more fibre-reinforced, and has increased tensile strength. Shotcrete Sprayed fibre-reinforced concrete can be made with: Steel fibres (20 to 50 kg/m³) Polymer fibres (5 to 9 kg/m³) Said fibres render the mixture with: Superior bond strength Increased shear strength Ductility Less spalling when exposed to intense heat (fire) However, all dosages must undergo testing to ensure the concrete meets the necessary characteristics required to achieve a predetermined structural goal. What type of synthetic fibres can be added? Source: Canva Fibre-reinforced concrete is made using additional fibres of various natures (bamboo, jute fibre, plastic, etc.). However, nowadays, the majority of added fibres used are grouped under synthetic fibres: Fibreglass Polypropylene Carbon Plastics Metals Fibreglass Fibreglass reinforces tensile strength. It limits the need for steel rebar, but also increases the overall strength against: Weakening Flexural stress Tensile forces Impacts Cracking Regarding the last point, fibreglass directly impacts the size of cracking by reducing widths. However, unlike steel fibres, which we’ll cover below, fibreglass doesn’t improve concrete’s compression strength. Polypropylene Shields against chemical and bacterial infestations Improves compression strength Increases flexural strength Polypropylene fibres are used to enhance concrete’s resistance to heat exposure. Using these fibres means exposing concrete to temperatures of 600°C (1112°F) won’t affect its compressive strength. The more polypropylene fibres used in concrete, the better its resistance to flexural stress will be. However, as the fibre content is increased, the more unstable and hard-to-manipulate the mixture will become. As such, polypropylene fibres are used as concrete reinforcers mainly in demanding environments: Parks Roadways Public spaces Beaches Plastic fibre Increases adhesion of PET bonding mixture Increases tensile strength Improves ductility Increases flexural strength Plastic fibres are part of a major environmental concern. With the significant amount of plastic waste generated by our society, a considerable portion could be recycled into this type of fibre-reinforced concrete. In fact, simply adding 1.5% plastic fibres per concrete volume is ample to achieve an optimally reinforced mixture. However, plastic fibre-reinforced concrete does have a major downside: it lowers its compression strength. Therefore, to offset this particular drawback, additives are used, like metakaolin or silica fume. Carbon fibre Increases flexural strength Improves ductility Prevents weakening-induced degradation Strengthens load-bearing capacity Carbon fibres aren’t used independently. They’re used together with polymer concrete to create a type of concrete that’s known as CFRP (Carbon Fibre-Reinforced Polymers). While this type of concrete’s compression strength isn’t improved by carbon fibres, its flexural strength is literally doubled. CFRP is mainly used in environments in which concrete is subjected to harsh weather or pollutants. Structural Structural fibre-reinforced concrete (or fibre-reinforced concrete) is used to improve the mechanical strength of the concrete mixture, and at times can replace standard reinforcement steel. This unique characteristic is made possible due to its composition, which contains two types of fibres: Metallic fibres Macro-synthetic fibres It’s used to build: Foundations Footings Superstructures Columns Beams Slabs Walls When it’s used to completely replace reinforcement steel, fibre-reinforced concrete can speed up building processes, as the following doesn’t have to be done: Cutting rebar Securing rebar Installing shims Metallic Metallic fibres reinforce concrete in 3 distinct ways: Enhance compression strength Improve flexural strength Mitigate cracking The whole is obtained with a mixture consisting of only 3% steel fibres per concrete volume. One may be led to believe that the richer in steel fibres the concrete is, the stronger it is. Although this is true, the more steel fibres it contains, the less malleable it becomes. As such, one has to find the right balance between concrete strength and malleability. How do steel fibres reinforce concrete? Well, that’s rather straightforward. Steel fibres allow concrete to break apart in a ductile fashion, which differs from standard concrete cracking. For example, this steel fibre-reinforced concrete-specific characteristic means that concrete beams are more: Rigid Wear-resistant Shock-resistant Withstand energy absorption Ductile The same concept applies to steel fibre-reinforced concrete slabs. The latter can better withstand loads. However, steel fibres do have limitations. The bond between the fibres and the concrete can vary; it can range from a coefficient of 1.0 to 2.2, thereby doubling it.
SoumissionRenovation.ca • 26 Jul 2023
MIG/MAG welding, also known as gas-shielded arc metal welding, is a widely used welding technique in various industries. In this article, we will delve into the details of this welding process and explore why MIG/MAG welding is such a popular method. MIG/MAG Welding Definition Source: Canva MIG/MAG welding is a type of arc welding that’s also known as GMAW, which stands for Gas Metal Arc Welding. It’s basically a process during which an electric arc is produced between a metal welding wire fed through a torch to a welding piece. The electric power strategically melts both the piece of metal and the tip of the welding wire, creating a molten pool. To ensure the quality of the weld, a gas supply is used to shield the electrical arc from any airborne contaminants (oxygen, nitrogen, moisture) present at the worksite. Fundamentals Two gases are used: Inert gas, for MIG (Metal Inert Gas) Active gas, for MAG (Metal Active Gas) MIG welding is suitable for fusing delicate materials like aluminum or alloys that are sensitive to oxygen and nitrogen. MIG welding employs inert gases such as argon, which is a mixture of argon and helium. As for MAG welding, this method employs oxidants found on the surface of molten pools. The oxidation process is done through the presence of oxygen or carbon dioxide. However, these gases aren’t used in their pure state but mixed with shielding gases. They're active gases. How does MIG/MAG welding work? MIG/MAG welding has three different metal transfer methods. This type of welding uses the following modes: Short circuit (GMAW-S): Direct contact between the welding wire and the molten pool; Pulsed MIG: A droplet forms with each peak of the electrical output; Axial spray: Includes globular transfer (glob by glob), axial spraying (spattering), and a combo of the two. Furthermore, there are four types of welds classified according to their position: Flat weld Horizontal weld Vertical weld Overhead weld Different gas mixtures are available depending on the welding mode used, the type of weld being made, and the materials being worked on. They’re mostly made of argon, which benefits from being denser than air. Therefore, it can shield the molten pool better than helium since the latter is lighter than air. Adding oxygen (O2) or carbon dioxide (CO2) to argon basically yields the same result: Stabilizes the electric arc. Improves the look of the weld. The benefit of oxygen and carbon dioxide is that they don’t need as much force to be expelled from the torch as helium since they’re much denser than air. As for helium, it has a better thermal conductivity compared to argon. Therefore, it ensures better uniformity with the electric arc. Are you looking for general contractors for your renovation project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! What’s a MIG/MAG welding machine? Source: Canva A MIG/MAG welding machine essentially houses a transformer that adjusts a high voltage (575 V or 220 V) to a low amperage (20 to 50 amps) and a low voltage (16 V to 40V) to a high amperage (80 to 500 amps). Aside from the transformer’s purpose, a MIG/MAG welding machine also includes a current rectifier, which converts alternating current (AC) into direct current (DC). Why? To ensure the welding arc is stable and reaches the very high heat required for welding. Polarity is also inverted during this welding process. To adjust a welding machine’s current output, the welder can use either of these settings: Amperage Voltage The welding machine’s current output can be set by adjusting the welding wire feed speed, while the voltage can be adjusted directly on the machine. Changes in voltage will directly impact the length of the electrical arc. Some MIG/MAG welding machines also have a slope and inductance setting. The inductance is what controls the speed at which the current reaches amperage and voltage parameters set by the welder. MIG/MAG welding machines that lack a slope control feature come preset from the factory at 2 volts for 100 amps. However, increasing the slope allows for better control over low amperage in a short circuit mode. This mode is essential for two reasons: It won’t cut through thin material. It reduces spattering when starting the arc. Regarding inductance, it serves to prevent overheating or electrode explosions. In certain modes, such as axial spray transfer, it’s essential to have, low inductance settings to ensure proper and controlled metal transfer. Pros and Cons Source: Canva The MIG/MAG welding process has eight advantages: It allows for welding in various positions, including underwater, using submerged arc welding (SAW). Has a continuous electrode wire feed. No length restrictions for electrode wire. Suitable for welding all metals and alloys retailed in stores; Lack of slag; High metal deposition rate, higher than those of SMAW (shielded metal arc welding). The welding speed is very fast, also related to deposition rates. Deep welding penetration can be achieved using axial spray mode. However, this welding process also has a few downsides: The equipment can be complex to set up and relatively expensive. The system is very vulnerable to drafts that disrupt the shielding gas. Generates intense heat and a powerful electric arc.