Concrete Stories

It isn’t any secret that our parking lot needs some attention.  Unfortunately, it’s always one of those things that gets pushed to the back burner because it takes such a big bite out of the ole’ budget.  Three years ago, we had a big patch fixed on the lot.  The damage occurred when a natural water spring formed under the parking lot.  After a particularly horrible winter, the lot wasn’t completely dried out when a garbage truck turned around on it causing lots of damage.

We decided that we’d tackle the parking lot in small bite sizes (read chunks of change).  Two years ago, we had a company come out and they bore pipes underneath the lot to help with the water that had previously been flowing on top of the parking lot.  The drainage now gathers all of the water at the miniature golf and from the hill side and sends it in pipes that run underneath the parking lot out to the pond.  That helped so much with the constant flow of water, but the water had caused a lot of damage.  Water made the Grand Canyon, so it was no surprise that it caused some problems with our parking lot.  Now that the drainage is working well, we can refocus on putting down some new concrete.

It’d be a pretty hefty project to do all at once.  We don’t want to take out a loan for a parking lot, so taking small bites helps the pocketbook and keeps it something that we can afford.  The goal is to have a completely new parking lot in the next five years if we keep taking bites out of the damaged areas one area at a time.  This year, we decided to focus on the first aisle.  This aisle had a stream of water running down it for years.  Over time, that water caused severe damage that needed repair.

It was highly scientific when we figured how much concrete we were going to put down.  I told my carpenter, Mike, that I could spend a certain amount of money.  Then, he measured out exactly how far that money would get me and painted the area with an orange line.

IMG_4025The first order of business was to make a nice clean cut in the asphalt.  We went to our friends over at Star Equipment and rented a saw to cut this line.

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We have a quickie saw, but this walk behind made this job so much easier.

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Mike had no sooner gotten it unloaded from his truck and it was time to return it.  Yep.  Much easier on the back than a hand saw! Once that was done, we waited a few days because rain was in the forecast.

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After the rain was done, we got to work digging out the damaged areas that we were planning to repair.

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They dug out the areas.

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Then loaded up all of the big chunks into a dump box that we had rented from Star.  In case you can’t tell, Star Equipment is very handy when doing a project like this.  They have lots of great equipment that anyone can rent to help with a project.  If you have the sudden urge to lay concrete in your driveway after reading this, give them a call.

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Although this area hasn’t been wet in several years, we wanted to put in drain tile to be on the safe side, so we also rented a small excavator to dig a ditch, so we could put in drain tile.  This machine also helped to break up the asphalt.

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Once the whole area was prepped, they put in re-bar to make sure it would hold up to heavy traffic in case we had another garbage truck incident.  When you’re spending thousands of dollars, it’s nice to have a little insurance protection.  If you’re a young boy under the age of about nine, the re-bar also makes a good sword, too.  Bonus!

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The weather was going to get cold on us, so we have been working against the clock to get done.  I don’t know why, but I always think it’s cool when I see multiple cement trucks lined up.  It just screams, “Something BIG is going on here!”

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The cement truck driver hopped out of the car and began getting positioned and ready to unload his truck.

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He was only carrying about six yards of concrete.  It was getting late in the day and the guys didn’t think they’d be able to have time to smooth out any more before the sun set.  I always like how helpful everyone is with one another.  Here’s Ben in the red.  He’s been working for us this fall.  The cement driver grabbed his hose to clean off Ben’s shovel.

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The guys were yelling out a bunch of code words that I couldn’t understand.  Pouring concrete has its own language, I guess.  That’s probably why I wasn’t in charge of this project.  I’d be yelling out, “Can you make it go down your shoot?”  I never heard those words, but the guy knew just what to do.

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The parking lot gold traveled down the shoot to fill in another section.

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Because we are so excited to have a nice big patch of parking lot fixed, we decided we’re hire Santa to come help us.  Concrete is like a big Christmas gift to us and our patrons.  Thank you Santa!

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They continued to smooth it out until is was just right.  I didn’t have my camera at the time, but just as they finished, one of our golfers walked out the door and right through it.  Insert blond joke here.

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Once all of it was in place, they put relief cuts in it.  Here it is in all its glory!

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We blocked it all off with golf carts because we are clever like that.  I’m thinking Club Car could use that in their advertising.  Not only do they serve well as golf carts, but also as barricades to prevent people from driving on fresh concrete!

How about you?  Any concrete laying in your future?  The snow we’re getting today might dampen those plans slightly.

Post by Allison

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