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The Silent Killer

Northern Concrete has taken a stance to have zero incidences for our employees relating to any Carbon Monoxide issues. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a deadly, colorless, odorless, poisonous gas that can kill you quickly. Carbon Monoxide is also called the Silent Killer due to being odorless, colorless, tasteless and non-irritating. If the early signs of CO exposure are ignored or the CO concentration is very high, a person may lose consciousness and be unable to escape the danger. CO exposure is the leading cause of hospitalization and death due to poisoning in the United States. However, CO issues are entirely preventable. At Northern Concrete our exposure is most prevalent in the inclement time of year. The power tools and e12346390_1008479025841039_5073495552451537668_nquipment that we need to use are the biggest contributing factors to (CO) such as Compactors, Finishing Machines, Generators, Skid Loaders, and Power Strike off screeds, etc. To mitigate this we have implemented a Carbon Monoxide education training program and with the use of personal CO Gas Monitors with audible and visual alarms for a reliable way for workers to get accurate, continuous readings of any dangerous carbon monoxide levels at all time in all situations.
The Monitors used are top quality in the industry unmatched in accuracy and detection ability. We couple this with an effective ventilation system through the use of positive ventilation derived from high volume axil fan systems. Set up is based on each site application as no two sites are the same. The finale safeguard is an Air quality testing system monitoring the air regularly with a separate monitoring system not tied to the personal CO monitors. This is an additional safety system for all personnel on a job site.

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Keep warm or be miserable!

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We don’t suggest this!!

How we dress for winter has certainly changed over the years.  Your typical winter coat has now been replaced in most cases by the winter clothing layering system.  And this is not just a fashion trend.  There are valid reasons behind this system for serious outdoor enthusiasts and those that work outdoors.

Winter clothing

Your base layer is the first layer which hugs your skin and wicks away perspiration – SWEAT.  You must get this layer correct in order to stay warm in all conditions. This layer should have insulation properties but more importantly moisture wicking properties. Ideal base layers are merino wool, silk, polypropylene and other various synthetic fibers.  Outdoor enthusiasts tend to choose wool over synthetics for their base layers.  Wool insulates better than other materials and is more comfortable. Cotton is not to be used as a base layer because it absorbs and retains water and perspiration.  Even if you layer properly with a cotton base layer you will remain wet and cold.  Depending on the temperature, light-weight, mid-weight, and heavy-weight layers are an option. Something else to consider is a zippered neck base layer.  This allows you the option to zip up for a little added warmth or un-zip when you are too warm.

Your mid layer should be thicker than your base layer to provide your body with insulation.  Its intent is to trap the warmth of your body.  Make sure your clothing fits well or warm air will escape.  Typically a mid-layer is a fleece or thick wool layer. As with your base layer a zippered neck helps in regulating heat. Tucking in your layers will help prevent heat loss as well!

Your outer layer is going to be your thickest and warmest layer. It provides the most insulation. An outer layer may be a heavy fleece, a down jacket, soft shell, or ski jacket.  A light down sweater style jacket that is highly compressible offers the best warmth-to-weight ratio. If you plan on this being your final layer make sure that it is a water-proof, wind-proof, and breathable material.

The outer shell is the last layer you may consider over the outer layer.  It serves as a wind, rain, and snow barrier. Its primary function is to protect you from the elements when conditions take a turn for the worse.  The two most common shells offered are hard and soft.  A soft shell will be more flexible and breathable, may be water-resistant, but is not waterproof. Some soft shells come with a laminated windproof membrane, others don’t. A hard shell will be both waterproof and windproof but is not as breathable. The conditions you plan on working in will determine what is appropriate. If sustained rain/snow conditions occur, there is no replacement for a waterproof hard shell.

Side Note:  Jeans by no means keep you warm.  In fact they do just the opposite and become very cold.  If you have to wear jeans, try pairing them up with a good quality thermal base layer.

For more information on Why You Get Cold:






Why Choose Concrete Overlay’s over Asphalt Replacement?

Asphalt parking lots serve many different types of businesses with light to high traffic areas.   Let’s explore an outline for parking lot owners that include concrete overlay to existing asphalt. 

Investigating the reasons behind the asphalt deterioration. Some examples why asphalt deteriorates:

  • Age
  • Poor Drainage
  • High traffic/Usage
  • Subgrade conditions
  • Poor construction
  • Inadequate mixtures
  • Substandard materials

Concrete over Asphalt is:

  • Durable
  • Low maintenance
  • Long life parking structure
  • In many circumstances concrete overlay is ready for traffic within 24 hours
  • Easy to repair
  • Fiber reinforcement is not necessary in concrete overlays supporting cars and light trucks
  • The recommended joint pattern for overlays of asphalt are small square panels that range from 4 to 6 feet
  • Bonded overlay are normally “thinner” than new pavements which reduces cost
  • In most situations there are no pre-overlay repairs to existing asphalt since the overlay will fill in and “absorb” loose asphalt
  • Less night lighting needed in parking lots due to high reflective surfaces
  • Absorb less heat energy on hot days which has a dramatic effect on surface area heat absorption
  • Improves pedestrian and vehicle visibility due to higher reflective qualities

Overlays have bonded and un-bonded options:

  • Bonded Overlay Recommendation: Bonds with existing pavement to essentially form a single block of “stone” for low to medium asphalt damage
  • Un-bonded Overlay Recommendation: New concrete that uses the existing asphalt as the base for high asphalt damage

Assessment during the design process is important:

  • Where are the access ways
  • Are there truck lanes or loading docks
  • Vehicle size utilizing the parking lot
  • Elevation issues and transitions
  • Where new overlay will meet the existing asphalt that isn’t part of the design
  • Is the existing asphalt structure stable? Example… Subgrade soil
  • Identify the existing asphalt cross section and condition.  There must be strength and integrity since it will function as part of the overlay.
  • Identify future goals of the parking lot
  • Drainage survey
  • Evaluation of site limitations
  • History of repairs on existing asphalt
  • Traffic measurements
  • Moisture related distress
  • Core analysis

Types of Asphalt distress(See Diagram):

  • Alligator cracking
  • Raveling
  • Cracking
  • Rutting
  • Shoving (Slippage)
  • Potholes/Pop outs
  • Grade Depressions

Types of Asphalt Distress


Types of Curb Detail. Curb can be capped or milled as part of the Overlay Design:

Types of Curb Detail

Types of Equipment & Techniques used while Overlaying Asphalt

  • Hand/Wet Screeding
  • Handheld vibratory screed
  • Roller screeds
  • Vibratory truss screeds
  • Laser screeds
  • Slipform paving
  • Sawing concrete overlays



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It all started with a Pin Drop

How to Get your Employees to a Job Site without an Address.  FREE! 


Lost employees.  Office personnel spending company time on the phone explaining directions. Employees taking the wrong exit. Employees can’t find the job site. The list goes on.  Technology in the concrete world is exploding.  Six employees wandering around searching for the job site came come with a high price tag. Some of the simplest and FREE tools such as the mobile smart phone and desktop computers are as powerful as ever and at our fingertips.  One issue in construction is getting employees to the job site.  When employees are driving from home to a new job site or job site to job site throughout the day it can certainly cause some confusion if addresses are nonexistent.  Many employees are coming from different areas and sometimes different states which can make it difficult to explain how to get to from point A to point B without an address.  A newly constructed home or business may still be in the process of address identification causing difficulties in providing complete directions.

So what can you do?  Here are a few steps that may help your company save time and money as well as generate less anxiety and stress to your employees.

  • When your foreman, supervisor or salesperson go to a job site for the first time they can drop a pin / create a waypoint.
  • Go to your mobile phone GPS app and drop a pin to create a waypoint.  Because of the many apps available you will have to search how to do this if you are unclear how your app works.
  • From the pin/waypoint you just created you can email this link back to your office.
  • Now that you have a link or coordinates you can  create an email to disperse to employees with a location hyperlink.

If you can identify with the frustration of getting to a destination with bad directions, try this and save time and money!



Careers in Construction are Worth It!

As some of you know, October is Careers in Construction month.  Northern Concrete Construction is participating this month by rewarding our employees for their hard work and dedication to our company.  We really appreciate all the time and effort that you do to keep us reach our quality and consistency goals. You will receive a NCC safety grade winter jackets to keep our crews warm and cozy during our winter months.  With a lot of work coming in December through April, we would like to join you in celebrating our appreciation for the phenomenal work they do for our company.

Having a career in construction is hard work but it is teachable and that is just what we do at Northern Concrete.  Jason Bomski, Supervisor of Concrete Finishers, has been working with our company for 18 years and we are really glad to have him on our team.  Jason has said some great things about the growth within our company and working with our teams.

“I started with NCC about 18 years ago.  I got a job there through one of our owners, I had never done any kind of construction.  Over the years I have grown as construction worker, starting at the entry level and now becoming a supervisor.  I love the opportunities that are there, doing different things throughout the country.  The people, at NCC we have people that truly care about the person next to them.”

Erica Miller is our Senior Estimator.  Starting out in retail and finding out that wasn’t for her, she went back to get a degree in construction where she found her passion for blueprints and building construction.  After finding her niche she quotes,

“I started at NCC about 8-1/2 years ago and it was a good decision for me.  I get to work with a great group of passionate & hard-working people who strive to make what we do the best.  My job as Senior Estimator keeps me very diversified as I get to work on projects for houses, retail, multi-family, large warehousing and so much more…   I love that I am always learning in my position and I have been allowed to make an impact in our company to help create change that allows our company to continue to grow and expand.”

Happy Careers in Construction month everyone and thank you to all for choosing such a wonderful path.