Keep Your Employees Safe with PPE

There is no doubt that this era of COVID and quarantine has raised the bar for the expectation of employee safety. Where previously employers had a responsibility to keep their workers safe from those on-site dangers that could be seen and anticipated, suddenly they had a new enemy.

Our employees and our productivity are now threatened by viruses that are invisible and can be passed before the carrier shows symptoms.

It is more important than ever to invest in employees’ safety from contagious diseases, and to find reliable providers of the PPE (personal protective equipment) they need to get safely through the day.

Keep employees safe from airborne COVID-19

Many companies found themselves in a competition for PPE when the quarantine started and the virus challenged our productivity and supply lines. Mar-Flex now has a range of options for protecting your employees with their new PPE offerings.

Mar-Flex offers a full range of personal protective equipment to keep your employees safe during COVID-19 and in other similar situations.

First, Mar-Flex offers masks, in order to protect employees and customers from airborne particles. In addition to stopping COVID, these masks have been shown to reduce the transmission of the flu and colds, meaning that investing in masks will help overall attendance and productivity.

A variety of designs are available, so employees can demonstrate personality while protecting everyone at the site.

In some situations, employees might risk contact with water droplets from infected people. In those cases, face shields are the necessary equipment. These keep employees safe from the spread of communicable diseases while allowing them to talk freely. Where masks might slip off during conversations, face shields remain in place.

Ensure safety with other PPE

Of course, airborne droplets are not the only concern we have for our employees and customers. We additionally need to protect them from surface contact with COVID and other communicable viruses.

For a variety of applications, Mar-Flex offers gloves. These can be used when your employees need to touch materials that might cause skin irritation, but where your employees still need the full function of their fingers for detail work.

These gloves are also handy for people who work with mail or other materials that come from an unknown source. Multiple contaminants might show up on envelopes and other external items, so surgical style gloves offer a level of safety and security.

Helping your employees feel safe is part of the optimal experience that keeps workers safe and feeling valued.

Finally, for every potential application, they offer hand sanitizer for office or construction site usage. Your employees and your guests will benefit from an abundance of hand sanitizer on countertops and in other common spaces.

Hand sanitizer remains an important part of your defense against the spread of communicable disease in your worksite.

Be prepared this winter and spring so your employees stay safe and productive.

Foundation Waterproofing That Works

You already understand that a building is a large investment. And you will do whatever it takes to protect that investment.

Some of that protection involves fire alarms, smoke detectors, locks and cameras. But before you get to that point, waterproofing the foundation is an important step to make sure your building stays safe and dry for a generation.

There are lots of steps you can take to help protect your foundation, but which of them work the best?

Effective foundation waterproofing

As in all matters related to the safety and protection of your investments there is not merely one answer.

Should you think about how you landscape around your foundation? Yes.

Should you use waterproof materials on the inside of your foundation? Yes.

Should you use drainage around the perimeter of your foundation? Yes.

Should you use waterproof materials to wrap around your foundation? Yes.

When it comes to keeping water out of your foundation the best approach is an all-of-the-above approach. Drainage, landscaping, interior waterproofing and exterior waterproofing should all be on the table.

Use a waterproofing company who’s products can do it all

Mar-Flex offers a wide range of waterproofing solutions that meet your needs and your budget. They have state-of-the-art materials to keep the water away from your foundation.

And for those who are interested in green solutions that use upcycled materials and have a limited impact on the environment, Mar-Flex has answers for you.

Are you looking for a complete commercial suite of solutions? Then the Mar-Flex Armor Series is worth examining.

The Armor series offers solutions above grade to keep water away from your foundation, and below grade to keep that water from infiltrating your building. There are solid and liquid options, repair and original build waterproofing, and a variety of membranes based to offer options in every location and every environment.

Perhaps your situation is a residential build where you want professional, permanent answers to avoid future water problems? Mar-Flex offers answers for every residential situation as well. Spray-on, lay-on, and Geo-mat options all provide excellent exterior protection. They offer solutions for venting, drainage, protection, and more.

Effective foundation waterproofing

As with everything in life, the most effective solution is one that considers and addresses all of the variables.

In order to get guaranteed waterproofing, you want this same sort of approach.

Examine the surface and address water runoff and accumulation. Examining the substrate and direct water away from your site. Then, when water inevitably reaches your foundation, make sure to direct as much of it as possible away from your investment.

Finally, treat your foundation with waterproofing solutions that fill every crack and resist water intrusion through seams and cracks by filling those crevices with waterproof materials.

You want a waterproofing solution that works as hard as you do, and keeps working invisibly for a generation.

How to Waterproof Concrete Foundations

Waterproofing a concrete foundation is a job best left to professionals, or to be attempted only by the most confident and accomplished do-it-yourselfer.

If you are in this second category, this guide can help you understand what you are up against and make the decision to do it or to hire the work out to a company like Mar-Flex.

Waterproofing or Dampproofing?

First you must understand whether the work you are doing is waterproofing or damp proofing.

  • Will there be a great deal of exterior  ground pressure on the outside of the foundation and/or is the foundation submerged below ground?
  • Is the space on the interior side of the wall to be used, either for storage or habitation / work?

If the answers to these questions are “yes”, then you are waterproofing, and your work is more rigorous than merely dampproofing.

Waterproofing Process

First, full expose as much of the external foundation as you can. This is easiest with new construction, of course, but even with an established building, care must be taken to reach the whole concrete side of the structure.

Then, patch any holes, chips or cracks with a commercial-grade mastic or cement patching mix.

Once that dries, clear the surface of any dirt or debris.

When the surface is dry and clean, treat it fully with a commercial grade waterproofing sealant. Be sure to wear appropriate protection for this process, including an appropriate mask to prevent breathing fumes.

When this surface dries a final time, apply an external waterproofing barrier. This final barrier might look like fabric, but it should be a product similar to GeoMat or ShockWave. These specially-made barriers are constructed to direct water away from the foundation of your home.

Once this is properly installed and inspected, begin the careful backfill of rock and soil around your home. Fill until you reach the level of your rainwater management system.

At the appropriate level, install a below-ground drainage system. This can be as simple as a french drain that will help capture water below the surface and direct it into your rainwater system and safely away from your home.

Enjoying your dry space !

Waterproofing the exterior of your home can last a lifetime. In fact, some Mar-flex products have guarantees that stretch as long as a lifetime when verified as being properly installed by a Mar-flex approved applicator on a residential application.

 

2020 Waterproofing Basement Costs

Some things change, and in 2020 that seems more true than ever.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the need to keep your basement dry. While you can always clean up after flooding and drainage issues, it is far better to avoid them in the first place.

But as a homeowner you will want to anticipate those costs to better budget your money and your time, and place a value on the investments you have made.

Using the general guidelines below will help you make the right choice for your situation.

Residential basement waterproofing costs vary by region. For this article we have referenced averages in the Cincinnati metro area and the Mason suburban region, for people in southwest Ohio looking for this information.

Individual situations will vary, of course, based on a variety of factors including the cause of the water infiltration, the setting of the house, the condition of the foundation, and more.

General Costs of Basement Waterfproofing in Cincinnati

Full basement waterproofing in Cincinnati averages $7,518. The typical range for this work falls between $4,000 and $12,000 with some projects costing nearly $20,000.

Of course there are lots of options here, including how completely watersealed the final work is. The full treatment can include digging out around the outside of the foundation, laying external waterproofing membranes, filling cracks, backfilling, drains and more.

A less comprehensive solution, perhaps one focusing on individual cracks and internal waterproof or moisture-proof paint will of course be cheaper by a magnitude.

General Costs of Basement Waterfproofing in Lebanon, Ohio

Even as far north as Lebanon, these same average costs hold up. It can be helpful to think of the projects in terms of the square footage.

Full waterproofing can average out to between $5 and $10 per square foot of your basement. If this is cost-prohibitive there is one acceptable alternative.

Perhaps your problem is more about moisture than water. In that case, you can hire someone to take a range of moisture-proofing steps that will economize, eventually costing between $3 and $6 per square foot.

Of course, you need to match the solution to your situation. If you’re finding standing water, a reputable company will not let you merely moisture-proof your basement. It would be a waste of time, and they would be back after the next major water event to make larger repairs.

When talking about moisture, mold, and all the problems that come with a wet basement, it is important to match the solution to the problem.

As always, Mar-Flex solutions are available to help you find the right solution for your southwest Ohio basement.

Do-It-Yourself Basement Waterproof Sealer

One of a homeowner’s top fears is water or moisture in their basement.

In some cases this can mean a messy, expensive, and time-consuming repair. The most comprehensive solutions involve the exterior of the house, trench-digging, and days of ugliness and inconvenience until the problem is solved.

Fortunately that isn’t always the case.

 Sometimes the problem is one that the homeowner can solve alone.

DIY Waterproof Sealer

There are many quality waterproof sealers on the market.

A quick search at Home Depot yields the following:

And a similar search at Lowe’s:

So you see there are a range of solutions.

Having heard of a product means that the company has a decent advertising budget. This does NOT mean the product is better, necessarily. 

In general, the process works the same whichever product you buy, and will be effective for roughly the same amount of time.

Be sure to read the labels to determine whether your project is a good match with the product. For instance, you likely want a product that blocks moisture and not something that focuses on blocking mold production.

Doing the Work

The project generally involves the following steps.

Purchase the necessary equipment including brushes, rollers, painters tape, mask, and sealant.

Prepare the surface by wiping off loose dust and small debris with a wet cloth. Allow to dry.

Prepare the environment by ventilating as much as possible.

Apply one or two coats of sealant according to the directions on the product.

It is possible to work in sections. If you are working around visible cracks, it is recommended to treat that as one section, so the crack gets an even coat (or two) of sealant. Then areas around the visible cracks can be sealed at a separate time as necessary.

Cleaning Up

Use mineral spirits or other recommended thinners to clean your brushes. Dispose of roller pads or clean them as you prefer.

Remove tape while the sealant is tacky but not wet. This allows you to pull the tape up without creating a runny mess, but also prevents the tape from becoming a permanent part of the finished project.

Wait the recommended period of time before returning furniture or storage units to the space. The presence of a strong odor even after the recommended drying time is a clue to wait even longer. Your application thickness, the humidity, and the level of ventilation all can cause drying times to vary from the directions. It is best to make sure it is fully dry rather than rush something back into place and damage the finish.

Who can do this DIY waterproofing project?

If your moisture problems are minor, this is an easy project you can do if you have ever painted a room. Even inexperienced DIYers should be able to accomplish this.

However, if the task seems too big, or you’re not sure this will stop the water, it is better to call the experts at Mar-Flex Waterproofing to get an estimate and a guarantee that the water will be stopped.

What is Shockwave Drainage Insulation Board?

The most important part of any building is its foundation. and the greatest enemy of any foundation is water.

Thus, waterproofing, and finding the right materials to quickly and effectively waterproof the foundation of a building, is an integral part of every building project.

At Mar-Flex we believe ShockWave drainage insulation board is the fastest, and most cost-effective way to permanently waterproof the foundation of your next building project.

What is drainage insulation board?

When we were children, our parents helped us pull on rubber boots over our shoes so we could play in puddles. This allowed us to keep our feet dry while interacting with and even standing in puddles we would otherwise avoid.

In an ideal world, we could drop the foundation of a building into a pair of galoshes and be done with it. We could move forward knowing the project was permanently waterproofed. However, buildings are different from legs and feet, for all the obvious reasons.

Much of the concrete base of a foundation directly touches the ground. And a big portion of the walls of the foundation are underground. This means direct contact with dirt and water can’t be avoided.

Drainage insulation board is something like a pair of galoshes. This insulation board is attached to the exterior walls of your foundation project. When installed correctly, it covers the entire underground sidewall.

The material in the board must include important improvements to make it better for your foundation. Because it is the material standing between your foundation and the ground outside, it must withstand pressure from earth and water.

What does ShockWave drainage insulation board do that is different?

Made from reclaimed automotive polyethylene foam, ShockWave drainage insulation board is constructed to do more than merely keep water away from your foundation.

Ordinary rubber galoshes would allow water to pool and remain against the foundation of your building. This actually creates unnatural and structurally unsound pooling that could eventually cause your foundation to shift or your landscape to slide and collapse.

ShockWave, on the other hand, allows water to drain through the material down to tile drains. This natural, guided flow of water maintains the solid substrate around your foundation, keeping your building secure for generations.

Best yet, ShockWave is easy to install in combination with a waterproof membrane using adhesive or concrete nails.

You can find ShockWave drainage insulation board at Mar-Flex

What is Polyethylene Foam?

In researching the best waterproofing materials for your building purposes, you likely have come across the term “polyethylene foam” and wondered what exactly it is.

Polyethylene foam, or PE, is a common material in a wide variety of waterproofing and other building applications. Because of its unique structure and ease of production, it can be shaped, molded, or layered for tasks in nearly every construction structure imaginable.

Qualities of polyethylene foam

PE foam’s qualities make it ideal for many applications.

First, it absorbs sound. This makes it effective as an insulator where sound suppression is important. While there are other substances that help prevent noise bleed in cars and construction, few are this inexpensive to manufacture.

Second, it is lightweight. This feature is why you will see PE used in many places in cars. As manufacturers seek to shave ounces off the weight of cars to hit CAFE (fuel efficiency) standards, designers turn to PE for insulation and vibration dampening. The weight does not matter as much in construction, where decision-making seldom balances on this measure, but it matters for transporting materials to the site.

Additionally, PE Is easy to make and shape. Manufacturers can shape it to an almost unlimited amount of widths and thicknesses, and even shape it to fit very specific contours. This  includes shapes with odd angles or rounded sides. This level of flexibility makes it an easy choice for designers.

Finally, PE resists tearing. This reduces the amount of accidental breaches and flaws that might compromise a construction project.

Why PE is great for building and waterproofing

Polyethylene foam has additional properties that make an excellent for building.

When you work with PE, even if you have to cut and shape it, it is does not create dust. This means you don’t have  to use the same level of safety equipment that you might with other forms of insulation or soundproofing.

Furthermore, PE resists all sorts of hazards often related to water. Mold, mildew,  and other bacterial nuisances won’t form on polyethylene foam. The ability to prevent mold and mildew is a major safety consideration for building indications.

Finally, though this is more rarely a concern at construction sites, PE resists chemicals and grease. Many forms of plastic are actually eaten or weakened by many common chemicals.  by being resistant to this sort of degradation, polyethylene foam proves to be a durable and reliable construction material.

What is “Made in the USA” and Why Does it Matter?

Once upon a time, consumers expected that everything they purchased was made close to them or certainly in the same country.

Today, however, this has changed.

International trade, inexpensive foreign labor, and varying levels of technical knowledge means that any product we buy might have been made almost anywhere in the world. Quite frequently when we buy a large item such as a car, it is an amalgam of American and foreign parts and processes.

 However it still remains important to buy products made in the USA.

What does this label mean?

When a product says it was made in the USA, the company has proven to the Federal Trade Commission that “all or most all” of the product was, in fact, made in the United States.

Because the Federal Trade Commission cannot go around verifying every claim oh, they depend on a standard called “reasonable basis.” That is, the manufacturer must be able to make a “reasonable” claim and provide an explanation that seems to fit with being made entirely in the United States of American.

There is not technically a percentage of the content in an item that must be manufactured in the United States. Instead, the companies that make that claim should be able to show reasonable evidence that the majority of that item was made in the United States.

Why does it matter?

Being made in the United States matters a great deal. It is a guarantee then that your money is returning to the American economy and supporting American workers, some of whom live in your community.

Many patriots take pride in making sure that their dollars continue to support the American economy and their community, and that the taxes each sale generates also supports their local police, fire, and other services.

It is meaningful to many people that not just American executives get paid, but that our dollars go to support strong union labor, high paying jobs, and quality workmanship. And to know that this same money will be, in turn, invested in our own American companies and jobs.

It is part of a virtuous circle of the American economy.

Experts are Torn on Future of Construction

The United States is experiencing a boom in construction during COVID-19. There is widespread agreement, support not just by data, but by the sight of cranes in our city skylines and dump trucks on our streets.

The potent mix of record-low interest rates along with a housing boom driven by people moving from cities to a home where they can more easily move about their community even with covid-19 restrictions has generated skyrocketing home sales. Lumber prices are up, as the framing materials for houses become more and more scarce.

Investment and construction are sure to follow in order to meet the demand.

But is panic-moving, as reported in the Atlantic, a herald of a new age, or a temporary remedy until the emergency passes?

The present is not the future

While some speculate that this boom means high times for construction companies, it is worth noting that the present is not the future.

Right now housing demands are increasing. As more and more homes are built, at some point the demand will be met.

Also, when a vaccination regimen is developed for the coronavirus, life will begin to return to normal. Current city restrictions keep many residents from leading a normal life. Normal routines like walking the dog and visiting favorite restaurants are more challenging, or impossible. It makes sense that suburban home sales are booming. But the arrival of a vaccine will potentially mean an influx back into the city.

After all, city life has lots of attractions, including entertainment, employment, and shopping options that are not available to the suburbanite or rural resident.

Besides, many municipalities already face a housing shortage. In the Cincinnati region, for instance, a recent study showed that there are as many as 40,000 fewer units than what it takes to meet the current demand.

The future of work

Cities face a different concern with the business space stock. Many companies and employees have learned how to exist almost entirely online.

This suggests that some companies that have farmed out all of their work to employees on broadband internet hookups at home might never return to their city offices after all. Companies can save money in parking fees, transportation costs, and all the other overhead that is related to having office space for dozens or hundreds of employees.

Sure, some businesses have found that there is unique value in having everyone together in the same space. This is especially true for creative and collaborative businesses, where sharing ideas in real time can lead to meaningful and industry-shattering innovations.

But many companies don’t operate that way. They currently house floors of employees who are now doing the work at home just fine, thank you. Or maybe even doing it better from home.

It is not possible to predict what the future holds. Who predicted a pandemic that would change how we all interact for more than half a year – so far?

You can be sure that building companies are going to ride this wave while it’s strong.

What are Geo-Mat Drainage Boards

If you are looking for ways to reduce moisture in your upcoming building project, you likely have spent a great deal of time reading about different products that promise to help your foundation stay dry. In that research, you may have come across Geo-Mat Drainage Boards as the optimal tool for helping protect your foundation.

Perhaps as you read that description, you saw a lot of terms that made the Geo-Mats sound impressive without really telling you what it does to protect your foundation.

You may have heard the claims that it was eco-friendly or LEED compliant without understanding how or why a membrane can supplement the foundation and keep it dry for a generation.

This is the article for you.

The basics

First, the easy stuff. Geo-Mat boards are made of recycled, non-toxic, environmentally safe materials.

Among other things, that means Geo-Mat helps improve your LEED score if environmental sustainability – or a customer with high expectations – are your goal.

Geo-Mats fasten easily in place and stay where you put them.

And if there are places where the water load might be too much, sealing strips help keep the Geo-MAt in place and keep the water out.

Moderate Geo-Mat

The Geo-Mat keeps your foundation safe from hydrostatic pressure by directing water to your drainage system.

Hydrostatic pressure is a term well known to builders, and it is a concept known well to swimmers. When you dive in a pool and swim at the surface, water gets in your ears. Of course it does, because your ears are essentially cups for catching sound … and they’re great at catching water too.

But as you dive deeper underwater, say to the bottom of a ten foot pool, you feel a pressure on your ears. For many people this is very uncomfortable. That pain is caused by the weight of all the water above you. This is hydrostatic pressure.

This same pressure forces water through concrete foundations over time.

Geo-Mat resists that by allowing water to drain, unimpeded, to your external draining system. The pressure doesn’t have a chance to build up, and water doesn’t have a chance to force its way into your foundation.

Advanced Geo-Mat

Geo-Mat meets IRC and IBC requirements for withstanding up to 16ft – 5515psf.

In short, this means for most major building applications, in the United States and around the world, Geo-Mat is going to handle the pressure that the earth around your project wants to apply to your foundation as you fill and pack earth back in around it.