A weather damaged concrete driveway caused by rain, water, and mud. If you are looking for an affordable concrete driveway repair contractor in Houston, look no further than Cross Construction Services.

Driveway Restoration: Why Repair Weather-Damaged Concrete?

Concrete surfaces around your home are designed to last a long time with proper care and maintenance. However, Mother Nature can cause damage to concrete in the long term from heavy rainfalls, pooling water, hot and cold temperatures, wind, and even the occasional and rare snowfall.

Signs of Weather-Damaged Concrete

It is beneficial to learn how to identify the signs of weather-damaged concrete to prevent it from worsening. Some of the more common signs to inspect your concrete surfaces for includes:

#1. Chipped, cracked, and crumbling concrete steps

The stairs’ edges, sides, and corners can chip or crumble away from long-term weather exposure. The steps can also crack in different areas from repeated use.

#2. Concrete spalling, flaking, and pitting

Concrete spalling is where parts of the concrete surface flakes away or pits and looks like surface erosion. This can occur from prolonged exposure to dripping water, snow, and chemical cleaning and de-icing products.

#3. Missing concrete expansion joint sealant

The expansion joints are used when pouring large sections of concrete. Your patio may also have expansion joints. In between the joints, sealant is used to prevent water from getting underneath the concrete slabs. If you notice an opening or what looks like a crack in between the joints, the sealant is missing.

#4. Cracks forming in your driveway or patio

Large and small cracks can develop for different reasons. One of the most common ones is when water has gotten underneath the concrete slab and causes the soil to shift and move. As a result, in areas without the soil present, the concrete will sink and crack.

#5. Concrete stains

Concrete stains can occur from wet leaves being left on concrete surfaces. As the organic material in the leaves continues to break down, it releases colored dyes that will seep into the concrete and leave stains on the surface. As such, you can end up with leaf-like impressions on the concrete surface.

How to Repair Weather-Damaged Concrete Cost-Effectively

A team of workers repairing a weather damaged concrete driveway. If you are looking for a high quality concrete driveway repair construction company in Houston, look no further than Cross Construction Services.

In the past, the solution to weather-damaged concrete was to replace your driveway, patio, or stairs to help restore the curb appeal of your home. Fortunately, in recent years, and thanks to advances in concrete applications and green technologies, you have other cost-effective options  that can save you money when you need to repair concrete.

Concrete Driveway Resurfacing

Concrete driveway resurfacing is a repair process where loose concrete and debris are removed by power washing the surface. Stains can also be removed using buffing processes. Once the concrete is prepared, new concrete is applied to the areas that need to be repaired, leveled, and resealed.

Resurfacing can also be used for concrete patios, walkways, and stairs. The process removes small cracks, fixes pitting, chipping, flaking problems, and stains.

Concrete Resealing

Another cost-effective repair is to have the concrete surface resealed. Resealing helps maintain the integrity of concrete and protects it from exposure to the elements and weather. This process is also used when you need concrete joints resealed.

Concrete Overlay

A damaged concrete walkway caused by tree roots. If you are looking for a trusted concrete walkway repair contractor in Houston, look no further than Cross Construction Services.

In cases where the base structure of the concrete is not damaged, yet there are surface imperfections that distract from the curb appeal of your home, a concrete overlay is used. A concrete overlay is a thin layer of concrete that can be stamped, colored, or acid-washed for decorative purposes while hiding away unsightly imperfections.

Concrete Refinishing

Refinishing concrete is another repair option for weather-damaged concrete. This repair process involves scraping off a thin layer of concrete from on top of the driveway and then pouring a new layer on top of the existing driveway.

Alternatively, once the surface is prepared, colored sealants can be used to fill in small cracks, holes, and porous areas in the concrete. The sealant is then smoothed out. Once it dries, the surface looks as good as new.

What if There Are Large Cracks or Deep Cracks?

Large cracks could possibly be repaired as long as the cracks do not go all the way through to the entire concrete slab. However, in cases where the large cracks have caused the concrete slab to bend or sink, replacement may be a better option.

Deep cracks often go through the concrete slab and reduce the overall structural integrity of the slap. However, suppose the deep cracks are located on corners or along the outer areas. In that case, it is possible to repair the concrete by only removing the affected, damaged section of the concrete.

Other Considerations

It is essential to remember that concrete will eventually wear out naturally and need to be replaced. The lifespan of concrete is anywhere from 25 years to 50 years. So, if your existing driveway, patio, or stairs are in their twenties or older, it may be time to replace the concrete instead.

To find out whether concrete repair is possible for your weather-damaged concrete driveway, patio, or stairs, please feel free to contact Cross Construction Services at 713-254-1703 today!

A team of concrete construction professionals standing on top of a multi-storey building made of concrete, if you are looking for a trusted commercial concrete construction company in Houston, look no further than Cross Construction Services.

Advantages of Concrete: Why It Is a Rock-Solid Choice!

There are many advantages of concrete as a building material for commercial and residential construction projects. It is durable, resistant to water, and economical. Not to mention, there are plenty of uses for concrete, from foundations and supports to patios, driveways, and inground pools.

Concrete or Cement? What’s the Difference?

People often use the terms concrete and cement interchangeably. However, they are not the same things. Cement is a powdery substance that is used to make concrete. Concrete is a mixture of cement, aggregate (sand, gravel, recycled cement, etc.), and water.

When the materials used in concrete are mixed, the cement and water help bind together with the aggregate to create a rock-solid material. This is why concrete is one of the most used building materials in the world!

The top advantage of concrete for commercial and residential construction projects includes:

#1: Economical

Compared to different construction materials, the production costs of concrete are much lower than steel or even wood, for that matter. The materials used in concrete are also readily available and have a relatively cheap cost.

#2: Durability

Concrete retains its durability for far longer than other types of building materials. It can last a quarter of a century or longer. So, while age can cause other materials to degrade, concrete remains strong.

#3: Castability

A residential concrete contractor pouring concrete for a driveway, if you are looking for a high quality residential concrete contractor in Houston, look no further than Cross Construction Services.

Concrete can be poured in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. From concrete foundations and driveways to concrete blocks and support beams, concrete will retain its shape and size once poured and cast.

#4: Little-to-No Maintenance

Unlike other building materials that can require annual repainting, resealing, or recoating, concrete is easy to maintain. If it cracks or chips, you simply fill in the imperfections with fresh concrete. When used for outdoor applications, concrete needs to be released every three to five years.

#5: Cost-Effectiveness

Investing in concrete is a construction cost that continues to pay off year after year. This is because concrete reduces operating costs in the long run. Even if the costs seem more upfront, you have to look at the long-term return on your investment. In most cases, concrete always provides the best ROI.

#6: Natural Insulating Material

A brick home with a concrete driveway, if you are looking for an affordable concrete driveway contractor in Houston, look no further than Cross Construction Services.

Concrete has natural insulation properties that help conserve energy. As a result, concrete buildings and homes save as much as 25% or more on monthly energy bills. When combined with other insulation materials, those energy savings continue to increase.

#7: Natural Water Resistance

Concrete is the preferred choice for construction projects where the material will be constantly exposed to water. From pools and koi ponds to planters and underground pipelines, concrete works much better than other building materials.

#8: Lowers Insurance Premiums

Concrete is very fire resistant, and it will not burn. It can handle extreme temperatures up to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit before it begins to lose structural integrity. Concrete is also not prone to water damage. Not to mention, concrete can withstand high winds, which is ideal for hurricane-prone areas.

As a result, insurance premiums are usually much lower compared to other building materials. Additionally, if repairs need to be made, the repair costs are much less and easier to make.

#9: Recyclability

One of the great things about concrete is it can be recycled endlessly. Old concrete can be ground up, turned into aggregate, and mixed with water and cement to make new concrete. As such, concrete is a very eco-friendly building material.

#10: Energy Efficient

If you compare the production costs of concrete to wood, steel, asphalt, and other building materials, you will see that the energy efficiency to produce concrete is significantly lower. Energy usage to produce concrete ranges anywhere from three to ten times lower for wood and steel, and as much as 75% less than asphalt production.

#11: Easy to Reinforce

A steel reinforced concrete floor for a patio, if you are looking for an affordable concrete patio contractor in Houston, look no further than Cross Construction Services.

Concrete is easy to reinforce when building homes, commercial buildings, roads, parking lots, etc. Steel rebar is set inside the concrete to provide the reinforcement. In addition, many steel structures are built using reinforced concrete with the steel reinforcing the concrete.

#12: Multiple Application Methods

Concrete offers flexibility with different application methods, including:

  • Cast-in-Place Concrete
  • Poured ConcreteThank you !!
  • Sprayed Concrete
  • Pumped Concrete

#13: Easily Hardens and Cures

Concrete does not need to be heated or cooled for it to harden and cure. Normal temperatures are all that is required to use concrete, as long as they do not get below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. So, even on the hottest summer days in Texas when asphalt would not set because it was too hot, concrete would harden and cure without any problems.

#14: Acts as a Filler

Concrete can act as a filler when used with other materials, such as steel concrete. For example, you have hollow steel fence posts that you want to reinforce. By pouring concrete into the fence posts, the concrete acts as a filler and binds to the steel to increase the sturdiness of the steel.

#15: Perfect for High-Temp Environments

Bakeries, kilns, steel and iron foundries, and other manufacturing facilities that generate high production temperatures are built out of concrete because of its ability to withstand high-temp environments.

#16: Perfect for Coastal Areas

Coastal areas have to deal with added moisture and salt water in the air, which can quickly erode wood and steel. Concrete is resistant to higher humidity levels and salt water, so it is a better building material to use, as most weather conditions will not affect it at all.

Finding a Houston Concrete Contractor

Now that you have learned about the advantage of concrete, you can see why it is one of the most used building materials. When it is time to find a concrete contractor for your next residential or commercial project in Houston, look no further than Cross Construction Services.

We have over 30 years of experience in the concrete and construction industries. We also offer custom design-build and construction project management services. For a free project estimate, call us at 713-254-1703 today!

A residential concrete contractor pouring concrete for a driveway, if you are looking for a high quality residential concrete contractor in Houston, look no further than Cross Construction Services.

Advantages of Concrete Stairs, Steps & Walkways

Concrete is a versatile material that can be used for more than driveways and patios. It can be formed in a variety of shapes and sizes, which makes it the perfect choice for residential stairs, steps, and walkways.

Some of the many advantages of concrete stairs, steps, and walkways homeowners enjoy include:

#1: Concrete is an affordable material.

When comparing the costs of other materials used to construct stairs, steps, and walkways, concrete provides a budget-friendly solution. The materials required to make concrete are low cost and are also readily available, such as aggregates, cement, and water.

#2: Concrete can be shaped when it is poured.

Concrete is in a liquid state when it is poured. As such, it can be shaped by using different casting and forming methods and molds. For example, when pouring a walkway, you can have sections that are straight or curved, wide or narrow, simply by altering the shape of the cast.

#3: Concrete cures and hardens at normal temperatures.

You do not need to heat or cool concrete to get it to cure and harden. It does so naturally at normal outdoor temperatures. Concrete can be poured outdoors in the fall and winter as long as temperatures do not dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

#4: Concrete is a water-resistant material.

Once the concrete hardens and cures, it is very water-resistant. Wood stairs and steps can gradually rot. In comparison, steel stairs and steps can slowly rust away. Concrete can even remain submerged underwater and not deteriorate. This is why so many in-ground pools are made from concrete.

#5: Different finishing options available.

A modern home with a beautiful concrete driveway, if you are looking for a high quality concrete driveway construction company in Houston, look no further than Cross Construction Services.

Concrete can be finished using various options that allow you to put your own personal touches on stairs, steps, walkways, etc. Concrete can be stamped, stained, and acid washed.

However, most people prefer the simplistic charm of concrete as-is when paired with the appropriate accessories. For example, a gray concrete staircase can look rather elegant when using black steel railings with gold or silver accents.

#6: Very little and minimal maintenance is required.

When you compare concrete to other materials, it has one of the lowest maintenance requirements. Wood stairs and steps need to be resealed frequently to prevent rotting. Steel stairs and steps also need to have rust removed and be repainted to protect the steel from corrosion.

With concrete, once it is cured and sealed, you are pretty much set for the next several years. All you have to do is sweep the concrete off to remove dust and dirt. You can also spray exterior applications off with a garden nozzle—no pressure washer needed!

The only maintenance required is to have the concrete resealed every three to five years and take care of any cracks that may develop as the concrete ages.

#7: Concrete can be reinforced with steel to make it even stronger.

A steel reinforced concrete floor for a patio, if you are looking for an affordable concrete patio contractor in Houston, look no further than Cross Construction Services.

If you have ever seen concrete roads being poured, you will notice steel rebar being set in the concrete. This is done because the steel helps reinforce the concrete to make it more durable and stronger.

For residential applications, including steel rebar in stairs, steps, and walkways ensures they will last a very long time and can withstand heavier weight loads.

#8: Concrete is heat-resistant.

Unlike asphalt, which can become very pliable and soft during the hot Texas summers, concrete retains its shape and hardness. Additionally, since concrete is typically a light color, it does not absorb heat like black-colored asphalt.

#9: Concrete is more energy-efficient than other materials.

Concrete mixing and pouring have a very low energy consumption compared to other materials. Wood and steel production use anywhere from three to ten more times the energy. So, if you want to help conserve energy, concrete is an excellent choice for your home’s stairs, steps, and walkways.

#10: Concrete is an environmentally friendly material.

A concrete walkway in front of a home, if you are looking for a trusted concrete walkway construction company in Houston, look no further than Cross Construction Services.

Another advantage of concrete stairs, steps, and walkways is they can be recycled and reused when they wear out. Instead of having to source new materials, the existing stairs, steps, and walkways can be turned into aggregate and mixed in with cement to make new concrete stairs, steps, and walkways. So, essentially, you can recycle concrete endlessly, making it a very eco-friendly material.

#11: Casting concrete can be done onsite.

If you want specific shapes, you do not have to wait to have those made and transported to your home. The shapes you desire can be poured and cast onsite at your home.

#12: Concrete can be used indoors or outdoors.

When most people think of using concrete for residential applications, they may only think of exterior applications like driveways, steps, stairs, walkways, patios, etc. However, concrete can also be used inside as a flooring material, for stairs and steps, countertops, and other such applications.

Discover the Many Possibilities of Residential Concrete Applications

If you want to learn more about the wide range of residential concrete applications for your Houston area home, please feel free to contact Cross Construction Services at 713-254-1703 today!

We have over 30+ years of experience in the concrete and construction industries. We can assist you with your concrete stairs, steps, and walkway needs, as well as offer other residential services, including:

We even offer custom design-build services and residential construction management services for home renovation, remodeling, and new construction.

An acid stain concrete patio floor with rain effect finishes, if you are looking for a trusted concrete constructor that does acid stain concrete in Houston, look no further than Cross Construction Services.

Acid Stain Concrete Patio Floors for a Unique Look

Patio floors can look plain and boring when they are poured using the traditional gray concrete color. Homeowners are discovering they can transform their concrete patio floors into unique and stunning designs with acid-stained concrete.

What Is Acid Stained Concrete?

The acid staining process involves creating a chemical reaction using inorganic salts, water, and acid. When you mix these things, the chemical reaction penetrates into the concrete to cause its appearance to change. Acid staining can be applied to freshly poured concrete, existing concrete, colored concrete, or even old concrete surfaces to give them a new look.

When applying acid staining to old concrete, it is highly recommended any repairs are made, such as fixing cracks beforehand. Once the repairs are made, the acid- based stain can be applied. The concrete will still react chemically to give you a newly beautified concrete surface.

What Else Can Be Acid Stained Besides Patio Floors?

Besides acid-washed concrete patio floors, acid staining can be applied to any outdoor concrete surface, including concrete slabs, concrete floors, concrete driveways, and stamped concrete. You can also apply acid staining to interior concrete floors.

Your outdoor surfaces are not your only option either. Any concrete used inside or outside your home can be acid-washed. Interior stained concrete floors are becoming a popular choice for homeowners in place of tile, marble, granite, and hardwood flooring.

Basically, anything made of concrete can be acid-stained, such as:

  • Concrete Staircases
  • Concrete Balconies
  • Concrete Decks
  • Concrete Walkways
  • Concrete Garage Floors
  • Concrete Pool Decks
  • Concrete Door and Window Trim
  • Concrete Walls
  • Concrete Porches
  • Concrete Planters
  • Concrete Railings

What Does Acid Stained Concrete Look Like?

An acid stain concrete patio floor with wood-like finishes, if you are looking for a high quality concrete construction company that does acid stain concrete in Houston, look no further than Cross Construction Services.

The results will vary based on the minerals present in the concrete. No two concrete surfaces will look identical after applying the stain to them. This is what makes acid staining unique from other concrete finishing options.

Typically, you will notice the concrete transforms into a marble-like or granite-like finish with variegated and mottled patterns. So, people visiting your home or business will think your concrete floors are marble or granite.

In addition, color patterns emerge and create various shades and underlying color tones that further add to acid-stained concrete’s charm. The colors vary based on the minerals used in the concrete mix.

However, if you want to bring out a specific color, various colored acid stains are available. Common colors you can find with acid stains include:

  • Brown
  • Red
  • Black
  • Terra Cotta
  • Navy Blue
  • Brownish-Orange

After applying acid staining, a concrete sealer should be applied to seal the concrete surface and protect it.

Benefits of Acid Staining Concrete

Acid staining concrete has several benefits, including:

#1: No two floors will look the same.

The staining process is directly related to the chemical reaction within the concrete and the types of minerals used. As a result, your acid-stained concrete floor will be unique and original with a pattern that cannot be replicated.

#2: Concrete flooring is a cost-effective and affordable flooring solution.

The costs of having concrete surfaces poured and acid staining it is far lower than the costs of having other types of flooring installed. To give you an idea of how affordable acid-stained concrete floor is, look at solid hardwood, marble, or granite flooring costs.

#3: Concrete flooring is easy to maintain.

Interior stained concrete floors just require sweeping with periodic mopping to remove dust, dirt, and debris. You only need to use a mild soap that removes dirt when wet mopping. Unlike other flooring that can require waxing, restaining, and conditioning, concrete-stained floors only require to be resealed periodically to maintain their gorgeous appearance.

Outdoor acid-stained concrete is also easy to clean by sweeping it off with a broom or using a garden hose and nozzle to spray off dirt, debris, grass clippings, and leaves. You should never pressure wash stained concrete because the pressure washer can remove the concrete sealer that protects the stained concrete.

#4: Stained concrete provides a sense of luxury and elegance.

You can transform any area in your home or business for an upscale look and appearance. Your guests will not believe your flooring is acid-stained concrete. They will think it is granite or marble flooring.

#5: Concrete flooring promotes better indoor air quality.

Sealed acid-stained concrete floors make it difficult for anything to stick to them. Dirt, pet dander, pet hair, pathogens, dust mites, allergens, and dust will not remain on your flooring when it is cleaned. With regular cleaning, the indoor air quality in your home is better.

#6: Concrete flooring is durable and eco-friendly.

Concrete lasts a lifetime with proper cleaning and maintenance. Should it ever wear out, it is one of the easiest materials to recycle. The existing concrete is ground down and remixed into new concrete. So, essentially, concrete flooring can be used again and again.

#7: Acid staining concrete has residential and commercial applications.

Homeowners are not the only ones who can enjoy the benefits of acid-stained concrete. There are endless commercial applications too. For example, apartment communities could have concrete sidewalks and stairways acid-washed.

Restaurants could save a fortune on dining room flooring by having acid-stained concrete floors installed. Office buildings can attract high-end tenants since the stained concrete flooring looks like marble or granite. Anything that is made from concrete in a commercial environment can be acid-washed.

Give Your Concrete Surfaces a New Look Today

If you have concrete surfaces around your home or business and want to enhance their appearance, you should consider the benefits you can gain with acid staining concrete. To learn more about this process and acid color choices and to request a free estimate, please feel free to contact Cross Construction Services at 713-254-1703 today!

We also provide concrete installation, repair, and maintenance services in the Greater Houston Area.

An outdoor concrete bench, a long lasting and sustainable investment that can be built by a concrete contractor such as Cross Construction Services in Houston (Texas).

Concrete Furniture: A Long-Lasting Investment

Many homeowners have modernized their homes using concrete interior design elements ranging from floors to countertops, to furniture (including concrete outdoor furniture). Concrete is an effective replacement for wood, granite, carpet, and other materials. In fact, it’s the most commonly used man-made material, and for good reason. Overall, concrete furniture is a good investment because it’s extremely durable and long-lasting, especially when protected with a sealant.

What Are Concrete Home Furnishings?

Concrete can add a modern flair to any home or apartment. It is suited for many different applications. Here are just a few examples:

  • Cast Concrete Furniture: A concrete chair can be quite comfortable if topped with cushions and pillows. Many shapes and styles are possible; with glass-fiber reinforced concrete, more complex shapes can be made. It’s also great for patio, deck, and garden furniture.
  • Concrete Kitchen/Bathroom Furnishings: Any kitchen or bathroom can look modern or earthy. Concrete is an ideal material for a sink, tub, or shower. Warm gray colors and your preference of texture can give showering a whole different feel.
  • Countertops/Shelving: Concrete is more affordable than granite. While wider slabs give off an industrial vibe, thinner slabs are more rustic. Built-in concrete shelving is durable while catering to those who like a minimalist interior design.
  • Concrete Patio Furniture: If you have hollowed plastic furniture, it can be used as a cast to produce concrete furnishings. You can even create outdoor tables, bins, and other elements with buckets and barrels.
  • Concrete Accessories: Whether you purchase or make them on your own, concrete vases, stools, and potting boxes can be the perfect additions to your home. Concrete allows you to be imaginative and can add new dimensions to home decor.

Benefits of Concrete Furniture

Outdoor concrete furniture, a long lasting and sustainable investment that can be built by a concrete contractor such as Cross Construction Services in Houston (Texas).

Versatility is one of the hallmarks of concrete. In addition to the many things that can be made from it, concrete offers exceptional design flexibility. It can be customized in any size, shape, thickness, or pattern. Also, it can be cast in just about any color. With an advanced sealant, concrete may be virtually stain-proof.

The durability of concrete makes it desirable. Depending on the mixture, it can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and even storms. Products like steel-reinforced, precast concrete offer even more strength and can last in all kinds of conditions. Unlike most furniture, concrete items don’t typically lose their strength and quality, so concrete furnishings won’t have to be replaced every few years.

Beauty is something any homeowner can benefit from. Concrete allows you to create stylistic cohesion in your home; for example, your concrete outdoor furniture can match your concrete interior design. Its aesthetics are rugged yet elegant. Concrete pieces can be intricately crafted and customized into unique creations that are completely authentic.

Fits In with Just About Every Design

Not everything in your home has to be concrete. Just one centerpiece can transform your decor. Concrete blends in well with metal, wood, leather, and many other materials, whether complementing their presence or being combined in single pieces. If you thought it was too heavy to be used practically, think again. Concrete is made lighter with modern technology, without any compromise in strength.

It also has a much higher weight capacity than other materials. Therefore, tabletops and seats are much stronger and resistant to deformation. No matter what type of concrete you choose, it’s heavier and more difficult to move than other materials, so concrete furniture is less likely to be stolen, so it’s a good option for deterring thieves. As secure as it is, concrete is also easy to maintain; soap and water are enough to clean up dirt, debris, spills, etc.

Contact Cross Construction Services

Concrete has many applications outside and inside the home. In addition to focusing on concrete interior design or concrete outdoor furniture, consider the quality, condition, and safety of concrete patios, driveways, paths, parking lots, and drainage. At Cross Construction Services, we specialize in concrete installation, repair, and maintenance. To learn more about our professional concrete services in the Houston area, call 713-254-1703 today.

A small house built with sustainable concrete in Houston, something that Cross Construction Services can help build for your dream house.

Environmentally Friendly Benefits of Sustainable Concrete

Green building materials in the construction industry are becoming increasingly popular. The use of sustainable materials and recycled materials ensures resources are not depleted, so there will be sufficient building materials for future generations. One material that is quickly emerging and becoming a top choice for construction projects is sustainable concrete.

The Benefits of Using Concrete as a Sustainable Material

#1: Fully Recyclable

Used concrete is easy to recycle into aggregate materials that can be used for other purposes. For instance, when the aggregate is ground into a powder-like consistency, it can be used with cement to produce new concrete.

Other uses for concrete aggregate include using it as a base material for road construction, parking lots, and walls and protecting shorelines from erosion. Concrete can also be broken down into different sizes and shapes.

For example, concrete can be broken down into pebble-size pieces to be used in place of mulch or to give texture to concrete walkways, pool decks, patios, etc. Thus, concrete essentially can be recycled numerous times without losing its other excellent properties.

#2: Versatile/Adaptive Reuse

Concrete can be adapted to a wide range of surfaces, shapes, sizes, and forms when in a wet-mixed state that hardens into the desired output. The adaptability of concrete also allows it to be reused in various formats. For example, concrete office buildings can be converted into concrete apartment buildings to get further use out of existing buildings.

#3: Energy-Efficient

Concrete has the ability to insulate to help reduce the heating and cooling demands of buildings. If you have ever been in a basement in the summer, you know the basement is much cooler. This is thanks to the concrete foundation of the home.

Furthermore, concrete driveways, roads, and parking lots are energy-efficient. The energy required to maintain, repair, and construct concrete pavement is a fraction of that for asphalt pavement. Additionally, thanks to the light gray color of concrete, it reflects heat energy, keeping surfaces cooler.

#4: Lowest Carbon Foot

Concrete has the lowest carbon footprint compared to other building materials based on their life cycles. Since concrete is fully recyclable and reusable without change to the concrete structure, and thanks to modern concrete production methods, this benefit is one that potentially never ends.

#5: Emission-Free

Concrete’s emission environmental impact is zero. Once hardened and cured, concrete is inert, which means it does not give off gases, carbon dioxide, or VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

#6: Strong and Durable

Concrete is a rather strong material once it is fully cured. It is difficult to break concrete, making it very durable. Its lifespan lasts decades—often much longer than wood and other building materials.

#7: Low Maintenance

An added benefit concrete materials have is being low maintenance, thanks to their durability and strength. For instance, concrete driveways and parking lots are easy to maintain by sealing the concrete periodically and fixing any minor cracks.

#8: Produced Locally

Recycled eco-friendly concrete is often produced nearby by local businesses. Not only can you help support the local economy, but you can also help do your part in reducing your environmental impact. Additionally, since green concrete is made locally, it reduces shipping costs and any related emissions associated with shipping.

#9: Resilient

The strength and durability of concrete make it a relatively resilient building material. It will not rust, decay, rot, or burn. In addition, concrete is fire resistant, wind-resistant, and water-resistant. As a result, following earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural weather events, concrete structures tend to remain standing while other structures built with different materials do not.

#10: Cost-Effective

Concrete structures, buildings, driveways, roads, and parking lots are more cost-effective than other building materials. Thanks to the durability, strength, long life span, low maintenance, and recyclability of concrete, it is an affordable and eco-friendly building material.

#11: Increases Rainwater Collection

Where pervious concrete is used for roadways and other surfaces exposed to rain, it makes it easier for the rainwater to pass directly through the porous concrete and directly into the ground. This reduces the need for excessive rainwater collection methods like flow-off channels, storm drains, etc.

#12: Promotes Recycling Other Building Materials

Steel is a common building material used with concrete construction for buildings, roads, and other structures. By recycling the concrete, it exposes the steel and makes it also possible to recycle and reuse the steel. Steel can be heated and remelted into liquid molten steel. The liquid molten steel can be poured into cast molds and made into new steel products.

Why Is Concrete Considered Sustainable?

A 2 story house built with sustainable concrete in Houston, something that Cross Construction Services can help build for your dream house.

Concrete is made using various raw materials that occur naturally in the environment or are by-products of other production methods that would otherwise end up in landfills.

The primary material used for the cement in concrete is limestone. Limestone is found just about anywhere in the world. It is one of the most abundant materials that can be recycled and reused.

The by-product materials used to make concrete include silica fume, blast furnace slag, and fly ash. These by-products come from manufacturing plants, power plants, and steel mills. Once used to make concrete, these materials can also continue to be reused and recycled to make new concrete or new concrete materials.

Sustainable concrete is an excellent material to use for a wide range of residential and commercial construction projects. To find out more about sustainable concrete for home renovation and improvement projects, new home construction, or commercial projects, please feel free to contact Cross Construction Services at 713-254-1703 today!

A high ceiling sunroom in Houston, something that Cross Construction Services can help build for your house.

The Benefits of a Sunroom or Patio Room

Do you like spending time outdoors, but the hot Texas summers make it difficult to enjoy your patio as much as you would like? One easy solution is to enclose the space and transform it into a sunroom or enclosed patio room. If you do not have a patio on your home, adding a sunroom or patio room is also a great option.

How does converting a patio into a sunroom give you more use out of your space?

Have you ever had to head indoors while enjoying your morning coffee because it started raining? Maybe the mosquitoes came out and were biting you everywhere? Have you gotten too hot and sweaty, so you retreated inside? By converting your patio into a sunroom for your home, you can continue to enjoy the outdoors and never have to worry about these types of problems.

You could even add ceiling fans or extend the ducts from your central air conditioning as part of your sunroom home improvement project. These optional upgrades help keep you cool in the summer, so you can relax outdoors for as long as you want.

How will a sunroom add value and curb appeal to your home?

One of the benefits gained with sunroom additions is they increase the value of your home. The newly enclosed space provides extra living space. While this extra space can be used as a sunroom or patio, it could also be used for a dining room, game room, or other purposes.

Another benefit of adding a sunroom is it enhances the overall appearance of your home. While the enclosure may not be easily seen from the street, it does add to the curb appeal of the house. Should you ever decide to sell your home, having a sunroom is extremely effective at attracting potential buyers.

What other benefits do I gain with a sunroom?

Sunrooms offer even more great benefits besides getting to enjoy your outdoor space year-round, increasing the value of your home, and adding to its curb appeal, including:

  • Increases Privacy – If you have nosy neighbors, an enclosed patio room offers added privacy.
  • Increases Square Footage – The total square footage for your home is increased, thanks to enclosing your patio.
  • Added Health Benefits – You do not have to worry as much about seasonal allergies. Your immune system also benefits from more exposure to natural sunlight.
  • Keep Pests Away – Your friends and family can enjoy spending time outdoors eating, watching the big game, or just relaxing and never have to retreat indoors because mosquitoes and other pests get out of control.
  • Grow Fresh Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs Year-Round – Since it is easier to control the climate in an enclosed sunroom, you can have access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs whenever you want.
  • Never Have to Worry About the Weather – You do not have to worry if it starts raining or is a bit windy or too hot or too cold with an enclosed patio room.

What options do I have when adding a patio room onto my home?

There are several different designs of patio rooms and sunrooms you can choose from, such as:

  • Screen Enclosures – This type of patio room is enclosed using screens to keep bugs and pests away. Screen enclosures provide access to fresh air whenever you want.
  • Three Season Enclosures – This type of enclosure combines a screen enclosure with windows. The windows can be installed and removed depending on the time of the year and weather like on rainy days or hot summer days.
  • Four Season Enclosures – If you want to enjoy your new patio room or sunroom year-round, then you need a four season enclosure. This type of enclosure uses thermal-resistant and insulated windows to maintain interior temperatures better.
  • Heated and Cooled Enclosures – You can also heat and cool a four season enclosure since the windows are insulated.

How to Convert a Patio into a Sunroom or Patio Room

A sunroom next to a swimming pool in Houston, something that Cross Construction Services can help build for your house.

If you have an existing patio that is already covered, then converting it is fairly easy. You just need to have exterior framing installed, along with a door if you want access to your backyard from the patio room.

If your existing patio is not covered, the project will involve adding a roof over the patio with the proper supports and framing. If you need to add a sunroom onto your home, the project will involve a few more steps like pouring the concrete foundation for the sunroom.

Whether you are looking to enclose your existing patio, a traditional addition, or a completely new design, you can count on Cross Construction Services. We offer flexible patio designs to suit the unique needs of you and your family.

For further information or to request a free estimate for an enclosed patio or sunroom, please feel free to call us at 713-254-1703 today!

Interior of a modern apartment furnished

Tips for Adding a Sunroom to Your Property

A sunroom is a great option for homeowners who want a sun-filled space that is not only beautiful but functional as well. These rooms can be used as your home oasis for relaxing or entertaining guests. If you’re looking to add square footage to your home, a year-round sunroom is definitely worth considering.

While sunrooms cost less than other kinds of home additions, this doesn’t mean that you should make this decision lightly.  Here’s what you need to know before adding a sunroom so that you can stay on track and design a room that will benefit you and your family for years to come.

Know Your Budget

Sunroom additions can cost anywhere from $8,000 to $80,000. With such a broad range, it’s important for you to know exactly how much you have available to spend. This way, you can make tailored decisions that won’t send you over your budget.

There are many factors that influence the cost of a sunroom, including:

  • Size
  • Materials used
  • Type of sunroom
  • Features
  • Exterior and interior conditions

In general, the size, complexity, and building materials will have the biggest impact on the total cost of the sunroom. Most four-season rooms are designed to seamlessly become part of the home. This means that they not only blend internally but externally as well. This requires the sunroom to be built with the same materials as your home, including footers, insulation, siding, trim, and more.

Carefully Plan Out the Space

Take some time to think about how you will use your new sunroom addition. Do you want for a breakfast nook where you can read a book, sip coffee, and watch the sun come up? Is it a space for entertaining friends and family members during get-togethers?

Defining the intended space and vision for the room will allow you to make more informed decisions when choosing a size, materials, and other details.

You’ll also want to think about how big of a sunroom you want. The bigger the room, the more outdoor space you lose. A larger room may also cut into your home’s indoor space in order to make the room as usable as possible.

Sunrooms are cheaper than most additions, but you’ll want to make sure that every square foot you’re paying for will be used.

Choose the Right Placement

Most sunrooms are meant to be transitional. This means that they don’t impact the flow of your existing space. When having a sunroom addition installed, placement is crucial. You’ll want to choose a spot around your home that gets plenty of sun. If you want to use your sunroom for resting and relaxing, consider the view as well.

Choosing the wrong placement for your sunroom could be disastrous! Imagine spending tens of thousands of dollars to be stuck looking at your neighbor’s fence or getting little to no sun.

It’s also important to consider placement in terms of internal access. What room will you have to walk through in order to get to the sunroom? Most people access their rooms through the kitchen or living room, but this isn’t a requirement.

Unsure about placement? Ask the contractor for some ideas!

Pick the Right Materials

Most sunrooms are designed to flawlessly blend into your existing home, including siding and roof shingle colors, but this doesn’t have to always be the case!

There are many different materials that can be used to build a sunroom, including wood, vinyl, and aluminum. Wood creates a beautiful natural look but requires routine maintenance. On the other hand, vinyl and aluminum are much easier to care for.

You’ll also get to choose door and window materials. These items are most commonly made from glass, but vinyl and acrylic are also available options.

For extra privacy, consider screens. There are also pet-friendly screens that are durable and will keep you and your furry family members comfortable and safe.

Choose a Reputable Contractor

Installation of a glass roof for the terrace

Choosing the right contractor to build your sunroom addition is a must. Ideally, you want to hire a company that has years of experience in building sunrooms so you can have the peace of mind you’ll be completely satisfied with the end product.

Whether you’re looking for a single screen or want to be able to enjoy a three- or four-season sunroom, you can count on Cross Construction Services. We have a team of skilled contractors that knows the ins and outs of designing and constructing beautiful sunrooms.

Careful planning is key for any sunroom project. We work with clients to determine the best placement, design features, and materials to meet their needs. We also remain mindful of your budget so that you don’t spend a penny more than what you planned to spend.

We offer a variety of sunroom options, so, no matter your taste or budget, you can count on us to recommend the perfect addition for you. Cross Construction Services offers professional and competitively priced sunroom services. Our team can take on projects of all types and sizes.

Ready to discuss your sunroom project? Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!

4 Signs Your Driveway Needs Repairs

Concrete is an extremely durable material, with most surfaces lasting up to 50 years. However, because driveways are subject to the elements and regular use, it’s not uncommon for them to show wear and tear much sooner.

The longevity of a concrete driveway also depends on the type of concrete mix that was used, how it was installed, and whether or not the surface is properly maintained.

Have you looked at your driveway and noticed some signs of aging? Are you wondering when to replace a driveway? Keep reading to learn about the top four signs that your driveway is due for repair.

stone crack

1. Visible Cracks

Cracks are one of the tell-tale signs that your concrete driveway needs to be repaired. There are many factors that can cause concrete to crack and separate, including:

  • De-icing salt
  • Gas
  • Oil
  • Other chemicals/substances

In most cases, driveways have small cracks in them and these harmful substances penetrate and soak into the surface, which worsens the cracks by making them wider and longer.

Visible cracks are extremely common in areas with cold winter months. This is because when it snows or rains, the water seeps into the cracks and then expands. This not only causes cracks, but can worsen existing ones.

If you notice cracks when they first start to form, they may be small enough to be repaired, but long, deep, or wide cracks are more serious damage. In this case, a total driveway replacement may be needed. Large cracks can be patched, but this is a temporary fix.

2. Pitting or Potholes

Another common sign of a problematic driveway is pitting or potholes. Pits and potholes can form due to many reasons, including heavy cars that are routinely parked on the surface or even de-icing salt. Pits and potholes can also be caused by large pieces of hail.

Concrete, like all materials, does age and deteriorate over time, so these issues may also just be part of the surface’s lifespan.

Pits and potholes are not only eyesores, but they create tons of problems. These holes fill up with water, which causes puddles on your driveway. Pits and potholes also soak in water, which can impact the surface below the concrete. This can cause your driveway to crumble or even sink in some areas.

Pits and potholes can be repaired, but the fix is temporary and only buys you a little bit of time. The best option is to replace the concrete driveway entirely versus putting a bandaid on a larger problem.

3. Sunken Areas

Another sign you need to repair your driveway is if you notice sunken areas. Sinking concrete is often caused by drainage issues. Generally, your driveway should be sloped and graded so that water moves off of it and into the gutter or street.

If your driveway is improperly graded or has cracks, pits, and potholes, water isn’t able to properly drain. Instead, the water is absorbed by the foundation of the concrete, which causes the bottom layer to erode. When this happens, it’s common for these weakened areas to sink.

These sunken areas can be fixed by injecting products below the surface to lift the concrete. However, this doesn’t always work. A concrete driveway that is in poor condition should be replaced to prevent further sinking.

4. Drainage Issues

A driveway that’s in good shape shouldn’t experience any kind of drainage problems. Whether it’s raining cats and dogs or snowing, a healthy driveway should allow water to properly drain off the surface and into the street or gutter.

So, what do you do if your driveway retains water with resulting pooling or standing water? This is a sign that there are some underlying drainage issues.

Drainage problems can be caused by an uneven or improperly sloped driveway. When water sits on the surface, it weakens the area and increases the risk of cracks, pits, and potholes.

These issues can sometimes be fixed by installing inlets or curbing to better direct the water. Depending on the severity of the issue, the driveway may need to be replaced.

Male worker digging and drilling concrete roads

Contact Cross Construction Services

If your concrete driveway is showing any of these signs, chances are that you’re due for repair or replacement. Don’t let an aging driveway detract from the beauty of your home’s exterior! Now is the time to give your driveway the TLC it needs.

At Cross Construction Services, we have over 30 years of experience in driveway repair and replacement services. We offer free estimates and only use the highest quality concrete that is designed to withstand the test of time and the elements. With 3000 PSI concrete that is four inches thick, you can have the peace of mind that your driveway will last for years to come.

Interested in our services? If you’re in the Houston, Texas area, contact us today! You can reach our team at 713-254-1703.

Sources:

  1. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/07/why-modern-mortar-crumbles-roman-concrete-lasts-millennia
  2. https://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/concrete_driveways/repair.html
  3. https://www.landscapingnetwork.com/driveways/drainage.html

How to Prepare Your Outdoor Living Space for Spring

Cozy patio area with settees and table

After a long winter, spring is finally here! One of the best ways to welcome the warmer weather and longer days is by spending time sprucing up your home’s exterior. It’s been months since you’ve done much outdoors, so, chances are, your outdoor living space could use a little TLC and sprucing up.

Now is the time to breathe life back into your outdoor space. Check out our spring outdoor checklist to best prepare your patio or outdoor living space for the coming season!

Add Entertainment Elements

What good is a porch or deck if it’s not suitable for entertaining? If you’re like most people, just sitting outside can become quite boring pretty quickly! Get the most out of your outdoor space by adding entertainment elements. Some of the top items to consider include:

  • Outdoor furniture
  • A fire pit
  • Lighting
  • A grill

With all of these necessities, you’ll be even more excited about spending more time outdoors. Transforming your outdoor space into a relaxing, entertaining oasis is a must this spring!

Garden & Landscape

Spring is the season of new life and color! Spruce up your outdoor space by spending some time focused on your garden and landscape. Add seasonal flowers to your garden for a pop of color. You can even choose certain plants that attract bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. Potted greenery can also be added to your deck or patio for a pop of color.

Once your garden is back in order, take a look at your lawn. Do you have dead spots from the cold winter weather? Want greener, lusher grass? If so, now is the time to put down some grass seed and fertilizer. In just a few weeks your landscape will look better than ever!

Knock Out Some Spring Cleaning

Men Cleaning Garden Cobble Stone Path.

Just as you spend time spring cleaning the inside of your home, you don’t want to forget about the exterior! Here are some items you’ll want to focus on when dealing with your home’s outdoor living space.

Check Your Fence

Inspect your fence for any needed repairs or upgrades. Spring is a good time to finally deal with that unbalanced gate or that rotting fence panel. Be sure that your fence is still sturdy, especially where your posts are. A shaky fence is a sign of an underlying problem!

Clean Out Gutters

Spring is the perfect time to clean your gutters and downspouts. Chances are, your home’s exterior plumbing is clogged with dead leaves, dirt, and other debris that built up during the winter months. Since spring can also bring random rain and showers, you’ll want to ensure that your gutters are clean and clear.

If you’re unable to clean your gutters and downspouts properly, consider hiring a professional to help. Clogged gutters can cause wall and ceiling damage. Trapped water can rot the surrounding wooden boards and let water into your home.

Check Your Patio

Do you have a concrete patio? If so, you know how harsh weather conditions can cause it to crack and chip. Winter can also cause built up mildew and other stains. Make sure that your patio is not only safe, but that it looks presentable for you and your guests.

If your patio needs new concrete, you can count on Cross Construction Services. We specialize in pouring 3000 PSI concrete with a 5½-sack mix four inches thick on patios and other surfaces. All work is up to city code and is brushed and picture framed, at no extra cost!

Interested in our services? Contact the team at Cross Construction Services today for a quote.