concrete and asphalt installation, repair, and removal.

Maximizing the Potential of Your NJ Construction Project

Maximizing the Potential of Your NJ Construction Project: A Comprehensive Guide to Our Services

Are you planning a construction project, big or small, in New Jersey? Whether it’s a commercial development, a residential renovation, or any other construction endeavor, you need a trusted partner to handle various critical aspects of the project. That’s where CRI comes in! We are your one-stop solution for all your construction needs. Our extensive range of services includes concrete removal and installation, asphalt repair and replacement, water management, water recharge system installation, site-work, and professional demolition services. Let us help you achieve a successful construction project.

Concrete Removal and Installation

Our experienced team specializes in concrete services, from removal to installation. Whether you need to remove deteriorating concrete structures or create new foundations and surfaces, we have the skills and equipment to handle it efficiently. Our goal is to ensure that your concrete needs are met with precision and quality.

Asphalt Repair and Replacement

A well-maintained asphalt surface is crucial for the safety and functionality of your property. Our asphalt experts can assess your existing surfaces, provide repairs when needed, and even replace them entirely if necessary. We use high-quality materials and advanced techniques to ensure long-lasting results.

Water Management

Effective water management is vital for any construction project. Our comprehensive water management services cover sewer, water, and drainage projects. We have the expertise to design and implement systems that efficiently control water flow, preventing flooding and erosion. Our solutions are not only functional but also environmentally friendly.

Water Recharge System Installation

Water recharge systems are becoming increasingly important as we strive to conserve water and manage our resources more sustainably. Our team can design and install water recharge systems that help replenish groundwater, reduce runoff, and support the local ecosystem. We are committed to promoting eco-friendly practices in all our projects.


Site-work is the foundation of any construction project. We take care of every aspect of site preparation, including grading, excavation, and land clearing. Our experts are well-versed in all phases and requirements of site-work, ensuring that your project starts on solid ground.

Why Choose Us?

  1. Experience: With decades of experience in the construction industry, we have a deep understanding of the unique challenges and requirements of each project.
  2. Quality: We use the highest quality materials and employ industry best practices to ensure the longevity and durability of our work.
  3. Safety: Safety is our top priority. We follow strict safety protocols to protect our team, your property, and the environment.
  4. Sustainability: We are committed to sustainable construction practices that minimize environmental impact and promote responsible resource management.
  5. Custom Solutions: We understand that every project is unique. Our team works closely with you to develop customized solutions that meet your specific goals and budget.
  6. Timely Execution: We understand the importance of deadlines. Our efficient project management ensures that your project is completed on time.

When it comes to construction, CRI is your trusted New Jersey partner for concrete services, asphalt solutions, water management, water recharge systems, site-work, and demolition services. We bring expertise, reliability, and a commitment to excellence to every project we undertake. Contact us today to discuss your construction needs and let us help you turn your vision into reality.

Don’t settle for anything less than the best – contact us for all your construction needs. Your satisfaction is our guarantee!

Rome’s Long-Lasting Concrete

Why is Ancient Roman Concrete So Durable?

(Excerpted from an article in Science Magazine)

Modern concrete—used in everything from roads to buildings to bridges—can break down in as few as 50 years. But more than a thousand years after the western Roman Empire crumbled to dust, its concrete structures are still standing.

Now, scientists have finally figured out why: a special ingredient that makes the cement grow stronger—not weaker—over time.

Scientists began their search with an ancient recipe for mortar, laid down by Roman engineer Marcus Vitruvius in 30 B.C.E. It called for a concoction of volcanic ash, lime, and seawater, mixed together with volcanic rocks and spread into wooden molds that were then immersed in more sea water.

History contains many references to the durability of Roman concrete, including this cryptic note written in 79 B.C.E., describing concrete exposed to seawater as: “a single stone mass, impregnable to the waves and everyday stronger.” What did it mean? To find out, the researchers studied drilled cores of a Roman harbor from Pozzuoli Bay near Naples, Italy. When they analyzed it, they found that the seawater had dissolved components of the volcanic ash, allowing new binding minerals to grow. Within a decade, a very rare hydrothermal mineral called aluminum tobermorite (Al-tobermorite) had formed in the concrete. Al-tobermorite, long known to give Roman concrete its strength, can be made in the lab, but it’s very difficult to incorporate it in concrete. But the researchers found that when seawater percolates through a cement matrix, it reacts with volcanic ash and crystals to form Al-tobermorite and a porous mineral called phillipsite.

So will you be seeing stronger piers and breakwaters anytime soon? Because both minerals take centuries to strengthen concrete, modern scientists are still working on recreating a modern version of Roman cement.

The Importance of Rebar in Concrete Construction Projects

The Importance of Rebar in Concrete Construction Projects

At C.R.I., we’ve noted that the importance of rebar in most concrete projects comes as a surprise to many DIYers. This revelation usually prompts the question of whether rebar is always necessary in concrete. Let’s take a closer look at what rebar is, what it does for concrete, and why it’s so important.

When it comes to absorbing stress in the form of compression, concrete can be very strong. However, concrete does not stand up well to tensile strength; it crumbles when confronted with pressures that threaten to tear it apart. In construction, concrete is subjected to both types of stress, and while it will hold up if weight is applied from the top, it will flex, deform, and crack when exposed to tensile stress.

Metal rods, aka rebar, are therefore used to reinforce concrete constructions. When rebar is used in a concrete project, the finished product has significantly higher strength than concrete alone. Buildings and roadways all benefit from this strength.

Every concrete project does not necessitate the use of rebar; but, as a general rule, if you’re pouring concrete that’s more than 5 inches thick, you should use rebar for strengthening.

For a non-commercial project requiring additional concrete reinforcement, fiber or wire mesh are becoming increasingly popular as a very good, and less expensive, alternative to rebar.

Concrete reinforced with rebar, fiber, or wire mesh is not only more durable, but it also reduces the number of cracks that develop over time. This can help save money on repairs and keep your concrete looking good for years to come.

There are various types of rebar from which to pick… Welded wire, expandable metal, stainless steel, sheet metal, and epoxy coated are the most common varieties. Each type of rebar is best suited for various types of tasks, so do your homework, or consult with a concrete expert, before picking the one that will be perfect for you.

Here are some guidelines…

  • Stainless steel rebar is very corrosion resistant and an excellent choice for any concrete job in corrosive environments.
  • Fiber-reinforced concrete contains fibrous material, such as steel, glass, synthetic and natural fibers, to increase its structural integrity. For flat work and driveways, it is much easier to use and does an excellent job.
  • Sheet metal is a common choice for concrete floors, roofs, and stairwells.
  • Wire mesh is a two-dimensional grid that runs the length and width of poured concrete but not the height.
  • Epoxy-coated rebar is even more corrosion-resistant than stainless steel. It is the most durable, but also most costly, concrete reinforcement option.

As in any construction project, if you feel like you’re unable to make a sound, informed decision, consult a professional. If you have questions or would like a quote on a project, click here to contact us.

C.R.I. is a diversified contractor and grounds support company serving New Jersey.

Photo courtesy of Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

Emergency Construction Repair of Support Columns

CRI recently received an after-hours call from a client who had discovered serious corrosion on some of their parking garage support columns. In addition to structural concerns, the discovery was made while the client was prepping to paint the bottom of the parking deck, so that work came to a halt.

Responding quickly to our client’s request, we investigated the site that evening and consulted with our engineer to formulate a plan for a temporary fix that would ensure no structural issues while a design for a permanent solution was developed. We also engaged our mobile steel building installers and told them they were needed ASAP so the deck painting and sealcoating could proceed without further delay.

The very next morning we were able to pick up the steel needed for the repairs and fabricated it in our shop to fit into the columns. It was then back to the site where electric chipping hammers were used to remove the rust so the steel could be welded. Upon deeper inspection, we found that the columns were in much worse condition then what the photos show, so we ground down all the weld locations, which enabled the welder to get penetrating welds, allowing the plates to do their job.

Once the welder was done, we primed the back side of the newly installed steel, to help prevent rusting, installed the plates, ground down the welds, and primed the outside with a steel primer.  At this point, less than 24-hours after the call, our emergency repair work was complete and the client’s painter was clear to resume painting and seal coating on these sections at his convenience.

As soon as our engineer completes the beam replacement plan, we will return to the site to implement it. This will entail removal of the concrete protective base, so cars do not hit the beam, and excavation down to the original base plate. From there we’ll temporarily support the parking deck with other steel beams, supported on steel plates, and install a laser receiver on the beam. The corroded section of beam can then be cut out; we’ll raise the deck a little, with screw jacks, remove the beam, and grind all surfaces down to prep for the new beam insert. Once the new beam is in place, we’ll lower deck down to the proper height as determined by the laser receiver, weld all connections, and prime the steel. We will then form and install rebar, pour concrete into the forms, and vibrate into place. After the concrete has set, we will return to strip the forms and repair the asphalt that had to be removed to facilitate work.

CRI provides a large portfolio of services that includes, but is not limited to, concrete and asphalt work, commercial snow removal, water management (including sewer, water, and drainage projects), water recharge system installation, management and delivery of all phases and requirements of site-work, and professional dismantling services. For information, please call us at 908-797-2305, or submit an online form to request an estimate or receive answers to general questions.

Water Line Valve Installation

We were recently contracted to install a 6” water line valve, which allows for the shutoff of water to the building.

Our initial site inspection revealed that the original valve was not mechanically anchored to the main water line, so we dug up the line install brackets, which were bolted to the pipe, and poured concrete around the pipe and clamps to create a mechanical anchor.

Twenty-eight days later, after the concrete had cured, another hole was dug, away from the newly installed anchor, and a section of the pipe was cut out. Had we not installed the anchor, when the pipe section was cut out, the water pressure may have pushed the faulty original valve off the main line, leaving no way to shut the water off.

Once the section of pipe was removed, we installed the new valve along with a valve cover dog house.

The final steps were to back fill, using compacted DGA (dense grade aggregate) stone, install 4″ of I-2 base asphalt mix, and finish with 2″ of I-5 top asphalt mix. The entire job was done after hours so as not to disturb the tenants in the building.

CRI provides dedicated services supporting construction, electrical, industrial facilities, energy, and water management companies. For information in any of these areas, call CRI, at 908-797-2305, or submit an online form to request an estimate or receive answers to general questions.

Cleaning the Air with Concrete

The Palazzo Italia, in Milan, is the first concrete building in the world to effectively improve the quality of the air around it. The facade of the building consists of 900 biodynamic panels made with photocatalytic concrete and titanium dioxide.

The technology was invented by accident, by Luigi Cassar, a chemist at cement manufacturer Italcementi. While trying to create a construction material that keeps a bright white color even in polluted conditions, he hit upon a method called “photocatalysis”, which uses the sun’s energy to zap away dirt.

To his surprise, when the air around the treated concrete was tested, it contained up to 80% less nitrous oxide, which meant the concrete was cleaning the air as well as itself.

The material is also suited for use in road construction and roofing tiles.

From the repair of cracked, damaged, and broken concrete, to full concrete slab replacement, CRI can tackle concrete repair and removal jobs of any size. Call us, at 908-797-2305, or submit our online form to request an estimate or for general questions.

Concrete Pumping with Truck-Mounted Concrete Pumps

In our last post, we showed a video depicting a very creative construction crew moving cement from the mixing site, up one floor, to the installation site. But what if you need to move the cement even higher and, more importantly, safely and consistently?

The video below, titled “Concrete Pumping–The Future of Concrete Construction”, posted by the American Concrete Pumping Association (ACPA), demonstrates the economic, environmental, safety, and productivity benefits of concrete pumps.

The projects shown in the video employ truck-mounted concrete pumps with placing booms and stationary pumps. The video details the many uses of concrete pumps. Environmental benefits are also illustrated with footage of concrete pumping near rivers and streams, where precision placement and enclosed pipelines protect the surrounding area.

Creative & Unusual Cement Delivery Technique

We’re not sure what country is home to this construction project but know for a fact that it’s not the U.S.A. – OSHA would shut down this operation in a heartbeat.

OSHA notwithstanding, this construction crew shows amazing skill and creativity… No concrete pump truck? No problem for this construction team; using skill, strength, and coordination, they quickly and efficiently move cement from the mixing site to the application site.

Comparing Concrete vs. Asphalt

What are the advantages of concrete vs. asphalt? How do the initial installation and ongoing maintenance costs differ? Is asphalt or concrete the best choice for my project? You have questions… We have answers!

First, before examining the differences, let’s look at the similarities. Concrete and asphalt both require compacted bases of gravel before they are applied. Both take time to ‘cure’ before they can be driven on but, whereas concrete can take up to 21 days to come to 95% strength, asphalt only takes a few hours.

Interestingly, although they look very different, both are made from the same general material; i.e. stone and sand. The difference in their appearance is due to the adhesive used for bonding; in asphalt it is tar and in concrete its cement. That difference is what not only gives asphalt and concrete their unique characteristics but also affects the difference in cost, durability and maintenance.

When making the decision to choose either asphalt or concrete for your project, there are a number of factors to consider:

  1. Aesthetics
    • Concrete, allows for a variety of finishes, which can also be stained or tinted to a wide variety of colors and patterns. In addition, concrete can be stamped into different designs, etched, or engraved. Asphalt, on the other hand, due to how it is applied (i.e. rolled and compressed), has very little in the way of unique finishes. But, although black asphalt is pretty much the standard, there are tints that can be added either during mixing or to the sealant. In addition, there are also a few patterns that can be rolled to create a design in asphalt.
  2. Climate
    • Cold, freezing winters can cause a number of issues with concrete, such as cracking and frost heaving. And the associated use of salts for ice control can damage the appearance of concrete.* At the other end of the spectrum, the tar in asphalt can become soft during hot summers, becoming tacky and possibly even deforming. Climate is a very important factor when deciding to use either asphalt or concrete and one that should be discussed with a reputable, knowledgeable contractor.
      *Learn how salts used for ice control can cause significant damage to porous concrete.
  3. Maintenance
    • A properly installed asphalt project, depending on the sub base installation and type usage, is usually only good for 20 years or less and must be maintained over that lifespan; i.e. it must be sealed every 3-5 years.
    • It is not necessary to seal concrete but doing so can preserve the look and finish, and help guard against oil-based stains.
  4. Cost
    • Asphalt pricing is subject to variations in the price of crude oil but will generally fall into a range between $2.50 & $4.00 per square foot. By comparison, a basic concrete installation is in the range of $4 to $6 per square foot. However, concrete, with a longer life expectancy and less required maintenance, is usually the more economical choice.
      The thickness of each material also impacts the price; e.g. an asphalt overlay can be as thin as 2″ or, as in the case of a truck driveway, as thick as 8″, and concrete can be as thin as 4″ or, for installations such as truck pads, as thick as 8″.

In addition to the above, other important factors, specific to each unique project, must be considered before making an informed decision; e.g. the specific use of the surface, the condition of the subbase, area restrictions, regulations, etc. And, once the asphalt-or-concrete decision is made, there’s another round of comparative details to consider, as there are many types of asphalt mixes that are appropriate depending on the situation, and there are a variety concrete types and strengths, from a slurry mix used as a fill mix, to a high early mix that is appropriate for situations such as a highway bridge repair and can be driven on in a couple of hours.

Need more information or assistance in making the best decision? Contact us to discuss, and receive a quote on, your project.

The fundamentals of concrete

There are many types of concrete, coupled with a range of compositions, finishes and performance characteristics, designed to suit a variety of purposes. At C.R.I., we take into account many factors when determining the correct choice of a concrete mix, such as the need of the project, in terms of strength and appearance, as well as local legislation and building codes. In addition, we look at other integral factors like the weather conditions that the concrete will be exposed to in service.

Historically, concrete has been used since ancient times. Roman concrete was made from volcanic ash and hydrated lime. It was superior to other concrete recipes of the time, which consisted of only sand and lime. In addition, the Romans also invented hydraulic concrete, which they made from volcanic ash and clay.

Modern concrete comes in many varieties, such as high-strength, high-performance, ultra-high-performance, etc. Each type of concrete has specific characteristics meant for specific applications. CRI can tackle concrete repair jobs of any size; we are experts in determining the correct type of concrete for your project and will ensure that our concrete mix performs, endures, and looks great.

For more information on our concrete installation and removal services, please call us at 908.782.3910.

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