Purchase Equipment Now to Take the Section 179 Tax Advantage for 2018

Section 179 DeductionBuy equipment now, take advantage of the Section 179 small business tax incentive and invest in your business for the future.

Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows small businesses such as contractors to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment from your gross income in the same tax year it is purchased. This deduction is good on new and used equipment. In 2018, the deduction limit is one million dollars.

To take the deduction for tax year 2018, the equipment must be financed or purchased and put into service between January 1, 2018 and the end of the day on December 31, 2018. For this tax year, the spending cap on equipment purchases is $2,500,000.

What Could This Mean for Your Contracting Business?

Since the Section 179 tax deduction allows your business to write off the entire purchase price of qualifying equipment for the current tax year, you can purchase needed equipment right now, rather than waiting. You can expand your services in 2019 to offer coatings, decorative concrete and polished concrete by investing in the right equipment to do the job.

We’re an authorized dealer for a number of popular equipment brands in our industry:

Whether you’re looking to expand your business with grinders, burnishers, generators, hand grinders, sand blasters, scarifiers, shot blasters, scrapers and more, make that equipment purchase or lease before December 31, 2018 to take advantage of the Section 179 small business advantage.

Be sure to talk to your tax advisor to learn more.

Runyon Surface Prep Rental & Supply is a full-service sales and rental facility uniquely dedicated to the concrete polishing industry. Our uniqueness comes from providing our customers with a diverse equipment, product and supply portfolio. We offer training and support, such as technique workshops on prep, polishing or removal, and maintain a well-stocked inventory of consumables ready for your projects at a moment’s notice. Rather than perform contract work ourselves, we consult on job sites when necessary. With the backing of our vendors, Runyon Surface Prep offers support at any level, to assist in helping you get things done. We can deliver or ship wherever you need, or you can pick up from our facility.

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Surface Preparation Best Practices for CTS Rapid Set Products

shot blastingRegardless of trade, preparation is often the single-most important step to ensure a professional installation. This is especially true when contractors are looking to install cement toppings. CTS Rapid Set concrete is specifically designed to harden and set within minutes of mixing, which can drastically increase contractor productivity. By setting rapidly, contractors can avoid the typical 30 day cure time many other concrete mixes require. Most CTS products allow contractors to return the next day to begin polishing or coating the placed slab. Preparation for CTS Rapid Set Products can be broken down into two steps: Surface Preparation and Priming the Surface.

Prepping the Substrate: The substrate should be clean, have an absorptive surface, be free of oil, curing compound, sealers, hardeners, or any other material that would inhibit adhesion. The surface should be mechanically prepped, with the preferred method being shot blasting or grinding. The surface of the concrete can be measured using the ICRI Concrete Surface Profile (CSP) of between 3-5. Shot Blasting is typically the easiest method for achieving this profile. See this chart below, which overviews surface profiles.

CSP Inspection Guide

putting down TRU Epoxy PrimerPriming the Substrate: Once shot blasting and/or grinding is complete, the substrate should be primed to allow for maximum adhesion when the CTS Rapid Set is placed. CTS Rapid Set offers both an acrylic primer, as well as a 2-part epoxy primer. The acrylic primer is mixed 1:1 with water and applied to the floor using a soft bristle broom at between 400-600 sq. ft. per gallon. A second coat of acrylic primer might be necessary depending on porosity of the slab.

The second option for priming the surface, is CTS TXP 2-part epoxy primer. TXP offers superior bond strength, one coat application, can withstand interior and exterior applications, and allows for placement of Rapid Set products in as little as 12 hours. The surface is prepared the same way, achieving a CSP of between 3-5. The floor is then cleaned using an auto scrubber. The TXP is mixed at 2 parts A to 1 Part B (2:1) using a slow speed drill mixer. The material is poured onto the substrate and applied using a notched squeegee and back-rolled using a 3/8″ nap roller at around 12 mils thick (0.3mm). After the coating is placed and still tacky, clean, dry silica sand should be broadcast to rejection using mesh #20-#30 sand. Once dry, the excess sand can be removed from the floor.

Once preparation and priming is complete, the floor is now ready for placement of CTS Rapid Set products. Runyon Surface Prep Carries a wide range of CTS products, as well as the tools used to install the products. Click here for our “Build Fast, Build to Last with Rapid Set Cement Products” article, outlining the process and products needed for TRU self-leveling projects.

What the ASCC Concrete Polishing Council Can Do for Your Company

ASCC Concrete Polishing Council (CPC)The Concrete Polishing Council of the American Society of Concrete Contractors organization has big benefits for contractors, from educational resources to new contractor mentoring.

The American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC) is the premier trade association dedicated to concrete contractors and others who provide services and goods to the concrete construction industry. The ASCC shares the same goals of all concrete contractors – to improve business and their roles as contractors. The organization boasts at least 750 member companies in the U.S. and abroad, including contracting firms, manufacturers, suppliers, designers and other concrete professionals.

Recently at the ASCC Annual Conference, the Concrete Polishing Council (CPC) announced a few updates that could mean great things for contractors. The CPC, formerly the CPAA, is continuing to provide standards, educational opportunities and a professional network for polishing contractors and others in the industry, while adding new benefits to help contractors network, learn and build a reputation in the industry.

Here’s a look at some of the best member benefits of the ASCC, and CPC specifically, and how they can help contractors.

Certifications

This is undoubtedly one of the best benefits of the CPC. Pursue certification through the Tradesman Introduction Course, which provides instruction on variables and challenges of the polishing process either online or in a classroom setting. You can also get a Craftsman Level 1 Certification, a hands-on classroom experience that demonstrates a higher level of skill.

In-Depth Learning

If you need extra help on a specific topic, you can use the Contractor Email Forum for in-depth discussions. You can also read a CPC white-paper or join one of the monthly webinars from anywhere in the world. The topics covered are lively and wide-ranging – from everyday construction topics like using chemical admixtures to thought-provoking presentations like “Architectural Concrete: One Person’s Defect May Be Another Person’s Feature.”

Day-to-Day Help

If you have an urgent question while working on a job site, the CPC offers three hotlines: Decorative Concrete, Concrete Construction and Safety and Insurance. These are a huge help when you need reliable advice and don’t know where to turn. They’re staffed by knowledgeable concrete professionals who will steer you right every time.

Mentorship & MIX Groups

The CPC has mentors available who can guide your professional development. As long as you’re an ASCC member, you qualify to have a mentor. In addition to this, a major benefit of being an ASCC member is MIX Groups. The Management Information eXchange (MIX) Groups program is a way for owners of concrete construction firms to meet regularly and share best practices without violating antitrust laws. Participation is FREE to members.

Free Guides, Magazines & Newsletters

ASCC Resources & White PapersCPC members receive a free copy of the Guide to Selecting a Concrete Contractor, which is a comprehensive handbook that includes drawings, safety practices, information about insurance coverage, references and tips on how to develop price quotes that beat the competition.

You’ll also receive the ASCC monthly newsletter, where you’ll get to know people and topics related to the organization. All ASCC members also receive free copies of the Safety Manual and the Sealer Publication, plus one free first issue of helpful industry publications like the Contractor’s Guide to Quality Concrete Construction.

Free magazine subscriptions include Concrete International, Concrete Contractor and Concrete Décor – 3 publications that will keep you up-to-date on industry trends. Members also qualify for heavily discounted subscriptions to other magazines.

Directories & Listings

Your business is listed in all ASCC and CPC directories, including online, along with detailed contact information. This makes you highly visible to the public and boosts your reputation with search engines like Google.

Networking Opportunities

When you’re just starting out in the industry or looking to build your network, CPC networking opportunities are a great place to start. Join a CPC committee, attend an event or participate in one of many social outings that put you in the same room as experts in the industry.

ASCC Events & Networking

Attendance at ASCC Events

The ASCC sponsors world-class events for the concrete industry, including the Annual Meeting, Concrete Executive Leadership Forum and World of Concrete (WoC), which takes place January 21-15, 2019 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Runyon Surface Prep Rental & Supply will be there and we invite contractors to stop by our booth S12339 and say hi. You can also email heidi@runyonsurfaceprep.com for more information.

Runyon Surface Prep Rental & Supply is a full-service sales and rental facility uniquely dedicated to the concrete polishing industry. Our uniqueness comes from providing our customers with a diverse equipment, product and supply portfolio. We offer training and support, such as technique workshops on prep, polishing or removal, and maintain a well-stocked inventory of consumables ready for your projects at a moment’s notice. Rather than perform contract work ourselves, we consult on job sites when necessary. With the backing of our vendors, Runyon Surface Prep offers support at any level, to assist in helping you get things done. We can deliver or ship wherever you need, or you can pick up from our facility.

The OSHA Silica Standard – One Year Later

In the year following the enforcement of Crystalline Silica Standard 29 CFR 1926.1153, OSHA is providing better direction on compliance.

On September 23, 2017, when a new standard for Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) exposure was put into effect by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), construction industry companies showing good faith were given a grace period of 30 days to comply. OSHA began to enforce the new standard, which requires employers to limit worker exposure to respirable crystalline silica and take additional steps to protect them, on October 23, 2017.

At least 676,000 workplaces in the United States must comply with this rule, which affects about 2.3 million workers who are exposed to respirable crystalline silica every day. The majority of these people work in the construction industry – about 2 million.

Current Enforcement Statistics

As of August 1, 2018, OSHA has issued about 150 citations to contractors under the new silica standard across the country, according to a presentation prepared by Joseph Whiteman, CSP, CHST, of the American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC). OSHA classifies the majority of these citations as “serious,” since overexposure to respirable crystalline silica is considered an immediate health threat to American workers.

Rather than citing a company for silica violations only, silica citations often accompany other violations. Top violations categories to the current citations list include:

  • Failure to conduct an exposure assessment
  • Failure to adhere to Table 1 tasks
  • Absence or inadequate written Exposure Control Plan
  • Absence or inadequate workforce training
  • Failure to provide each employee an appropriate Respiratory Protection
  • Failure to replace dry sweeping with wet sweeping, HEPA-filtered vacuuming or other methods that minimize the likelihood of exposure
  • Failure to make medical surveillance available at no cost to the employee required to use a respirator for 30 or more days per year

To learn how this provision is currently being enforced and why multiple citations result, consult OSHA’s Interim Enforcement Guidance Memorandum.

In the time following the initial enforcement of Crystalline Silica Standard 29 CFR 1926.1153, OSHA is providing better direction on compliance with in-depth online resources such as FAQs for the construction industry, how-to videos for controlling silica dust in the workplace, a training video for protecting workers as well as Table 1 Tasks Fact Sheets for the construction industry.

What is Table 1?

To comply with the new silica rule, employers can either use one of the control methods explained in Table 1 of the construction standard, or they can measure workers’ exposure to silica and independently decide which dust controls work best to limit exposures in their workplaces to the permissible exposure limit (PEL).

Table 1 matches 18 common construction tasks with effective dust control methods, such as using water to keep dust from getting into the air or using a vacuum dust collection system to capture dust. In some operations, respirators may also be needed. Employers who follow Table 1 correctly are not required to measure workers’ exposure to silica from those tasks and are not subject to the PEL.

The Purpose of a Silica Exposure Control Plan

A silica Exposure Control Plan (ECP) sets an approach to protecting your workers and all workers on your worksites from harmful exposure to respirable crystalline silica. With a detailed ECP, you are showing OSHA your commitment and due diligence in your efforts to select the most effective control technologies available, and to ensure that best practices are followed at your worksites. A combination of control measures are required to achieve this objective.

Due to the significant risk posed by respirable crystalline silica, it is critical that all personnel involved in operations that could potentially create silica dust take specific action to ensure that, as much as possible, a hazard is not created.

Your company is responsible for:

  • Required substitution of less hazardous products for those that contain crystalline silica
  • Ensuring that the materials (tools, equipment, personal protective equipment) and other resources (worker training materials) required to fully implement and maintain your ECP are readily available where and when they are needed
  • Providing a job-specific ECP for each project, which outlines in detail the work methods and practices that will be followed on each site. Considerations include:
    • Availability and delivery of all required tools/equipment
    • Scope and nature of grinding work to be conducted
    • Control methods to be used and level of respiratory protection required
    • Coordination plan
  • Conducting a periodic review of the effectiveness of the ECP, such as a review of the available dust-control technologies to ensure these are selected and used when practical
  • Initiating sampling of worker exposure to concrete dust when there are non-standard work practices for which the control methods to be used have not been proven to be adequately protective
  • Ensuring that all required tools, equipment and personal protective equipment are readily available and used as required by the ECP
  • Ensuring supervisors and workers are educated and trained to an acceptable level of competency
  • Maintaining records of training, fit-test results, crew talks and inspections (equipment, PPE, work methods/practices)
  • Coordinating the work with the prime contractor and other employers to ensure a safe work environment
  • Ensuring that a copy of the written ECP is available to all employees electronically or physically, depending on location needs and requirements

Your supervisors, foremen and lead hands are responsible for:

  • Obtaining a copy of the ECP and making it available at the worksite
  • Selecting, implementing and documenting the appropriate site-specific control measures
  • Providing adequate instruction to workers on the hazards of working with silica-containing materials and on the precautions specified in the job-specific plan covering hazards at the location
  • Ensuring that workers have been fit-tested and are using the proper respirators and that the results are recorded
  • Directing the work in a manner that ensures the risk to workers is minimized and adequately controlled
  • Communicating with the prime contractor and other sub-contractors to ensure a safe work environment

Each of your workers is responsible for:

  • Knowing the hazards of silica dust exposure
  • Using the assigned protective equipment in an effective and safe manner
  • Setting up the operation in accordance with the site-specific plan
  • Following established work procedures as directed by the supervisor
  • Reporting any unsafe conditions or acts to the supervisor
  • Knowing how and when to report exposure incidents

Brief Review of the New Silica Standard

Crystalline Silica Standard 29 CFR 1926.1153 applies to all exposures of respirable crystalline silica in the workplace, except where exposure will stay below the OSHA action level of 25 ug/m3 over an 8-hour TWA. The new standards significantly reduce the permissible exposure limits (PEL) from 250 ug/m3 to 50ug/m3 over an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA).

  • When your scope generates more than 25 ug/m3 over an 8-hour TWA, the new OSHA regulations apply to you.
  • Employers can either use the control methods laid out in Table 1 of the construction standard, or they can measure workers’ exposure to silica and independently decide which dust controls work best to limit exposures to the PEL in their workplaces.

Employers covered by the standard regardless of which Exposure Control Method is used must:

  • Establish and implement a written exposure control plan that identifies tasks that involve exposure and methods used to protect workers, including procedures to restrict access to work areas where high exposures may occur.
  • Designate a competent person to implement the written exposure control plan.
  • Restrict housekeeping practices that expose workers to silica where feasible alternatives are available.
  • Offer medical exams-including chest X-rays and lung function tests-every three years for workers who are required by the standard to wear a respirator for 30 or more days per year.
  • Train workers on work operations that result in silica exposure and ways to limit exposure.
  • Keep records of exposure measurements, objective data, and medical exams.

Ermator Spare Parts - in stock

Runyon Surface Prep Rental & Supply is a full-service sales and rental facility uniquely dedicated to the concrete polishing industry. We can help with any of the aforementioned implementation, and can provide any products (respirators, shrouds, etc.) or equipment (vacuums, air scrubbers, pre-separators, etc.) needed to be in compliance with the Silica Standard. We also offer training and support, such as technique workshops on prep, polishing or removal. We maintain a well-stocked inventory of consumables ready for your project/s at a moment’s notice. With the backing of our vendors, we support at any level, to assist in helping you get things done. We can deliver or ship wherever you need, or you can pick-up from one of our facilities.

Flake Floors that Go Beyond the Residential Garage Market

When I hear the term flake floor, the first thing that pops into my head is a garage floor. I’m sure most concrete flooring contractors would agree that this system is most often found in garages for its strength, ability to have a car pulled onto it, protection against oil spills, and so much more. But when you look at typical flake designs, they really only belong in a garage. Typically, most full flake floors are a blend of 3 to 4 colors (equally blended). These colors are formulated to hide dirt, look aesthetically pleasing, and even match color schemes of companies, sports teams, etc.

Having previously owned a decorative flooring company, I’ve done quite a few polymer flake floors, and even a few custom flake blends for customers. Another option I would offer customers is a solid color floor (typically a pigmented epoxy, polyaspartic, etc.) But the problem I always ran into was inconsistency, due to excluding the full flake, thus not leaving as much to “hide” in the base coat. This would require a heavy topcoat and sometimes even another coat to hide imperfections left in the floor that would otherwise be hidden in the flakes.

Runyon Surface Prep has teamed up with Thermal-Chem, a coatings manufacturer, that has also recognized this problem. They have developed a creative alternative for contractors installing these systems. By installing a full flake floor with just 1 color, as opposed to 3-4 color blends, you can achieve a very uniform flooring system that also has a more decorative appearance. The outcome is a more uniform, less busy, resinous floor that can be installed beyond the garage.

Check out some examples of solid color full flake floors:

*Photos courtesy of Thermal-Chem

Runyon Surface Prep Rental & Supply is a full-service distributor uniquely dedicated to the concrete polishing and resinous flooring industries. We carry the full line of Thermal-Chem products – find online here. We also offer training and support, so please reach out if you ever need hands-on product or application training.

You can also contact me directly: justin@runyonsurfaceprep.com

What Could Dust Extraction Cost You?

Dust extraction on a jobsite must be handled carefully, or the mistake could mean steep OSHA penalties.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) takes airborne and surface-borne dust very seriously because of its severe risks to job site workers and public safety. Every year, more than 2 million construction workers are exposed to materials that contain silica, including concrete and stone.

Prolonged exposure to silica dust – or even short-term exposure in some cases – can cause a condition called silicosis, which compromises respiration. In affected people, scars form deep within the lungs, limiting the breath and increasing the risk of lung infections like tuberculosis. There is no cure for silicosis.

In 2016, OSHA updated the Crystalline Silica Rule, establishing tougher standards for respirable crystalline silica, including an enforcement schedule that’s in effect for construction sites, industrial settings, maritime operations and contractors. The standards are much stricter than those set by OSHA’s original silica rule in the 1970’s.

Is your work site in full compliance with the new rule? Here’s why it should be. 

How to Manage Dust Extraction the Right Way

To handle crystalline silica dust properly, follow all OSHA standards for respirators, exposure limits, engineering controls and other measures that directly affect worker health and safety. Monitor exposure levels and stay within the boundaries of exposure limits: 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air at an 8-hour, time-weighted average.

Use a high-quality HEPA vacuum to filter the air and remove airborne particles created by grinding, drilling, mixing, cutting, blasting and other worksite activities. Plan for both wet and dry activities and ensure all workers are fully trained on precautionary procedures in case an emergency arises.

Pullman Ermator, maker of single-phase HEPA dust extractors, recently conducted a cost analysis on what bags, filters and labor could cost you for dust extraction over a year. The first is your initial cost, where your choices include 150 CFM and smaller plastic dust vacuums that are HEPA-ready or HEPA-included.

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*click here for the full PDF guide (courtesy of Pullman Ermator Inc.)

Your annual filter costs depend on the type of vacuum you are using. Single-motor dust vacuums with self-pulsing or shaking filter systems need to be replaced periodically. While a HEPA-ready vacuum needs a filter change every two months, HEPA-included dust extractors run for 18 months without a filter change. Figuring in the price for each type of filter bag, plus the annual labor cost of changing two bags per day during a six-day work week for 50 weeks a year, the HEPA-included models come out on top – even though the filter bag price is higher. In the long run, you could end up paying $3,000 more for a plastic dust vacuum. Purchasing any S-line dust extractor may have a higher initial cost, but you still can save thousands of dollars year after year.

Failure to Comply Penalties Go Beyond Basic Cost

OSHA’s enforcement penalties for the Crystalline Silica Rule come with expensive fines. The lowest level serious violation previously cost the violator $7,000 in fines. In the updated standards, the same level violation costs $12,471 per incident and is likely to trigger a deeper investigation by OSHA and other governmental authorities.

After the first incident, it’s the company’s responsibility to manage abatement procedures and prove to OSHA that abatement has taken place. Otherwise, you’ll face a failure-to-abate fine of $12,471 per day beyond the abatement deadline from OSHA.

The biggest penalty comes from either waiting too long to address issues or allowing them to take place repeatedly, which OSHA considers a willful violation. This comes with a staggering $124,709 fine, which can be doubled, tripled or more if you have numerous serious violations across your enterprise.

Putting Worker Safety At Risk

The cost of non-compliance goes much deeper than dollars. Failure to manage crystalline silica dust can destroy the health of your workers. Part of OSHA compliance is providing medical exams at least every three years to workers who wear respirators for more than 30 days at a time. These standards are set for a reason – to prevent workers’ health and lives from being permanently affected by worksite hazards.

Non-compliance can also ruin your company’s reputation in the industry. When competitors, partners and the public get wind of unethical practices, word spreads like wildfire and it can permanently tarnish a company’s image. Just one violation could severely limit the number of jobs your company is awarded in the future.

To keep your worksite risk at an absolute minimum, contact your Runyon sales rep to examine the site and put protective measures in place. It’s a proactive step towards staying well within OSHA boundaries and making sure dust doesn’t cost you money and lives.

Runyon Surface Prep Rental & Supply is a full-service sales and rental facility uniquely dedicated to the concrete polishing industry. Our uniqueness comes from providing our customers with a diverse equipment, product and supply portfolio. We offer training and support, such as technique workshops on prep, polishing or removal, and maintain a well-stocked inventory of consumables ready for your projects at a moment’s notice. Rather than perform contract work ourselves, we consult on job sites when necessary. With the backing of our vendors, Runyon Surface Prep offers support at any level, to assist in helping you get things done. We can deliver or ship wherever you need, or you can pick up from our facility.

Guide to Cleaning Up Oil Spills on Concrete

Aside from daily maintenance, there are times when unexpected spills happen. Left untreated, they can leave behind discoloration and stain your otherwise beautiful floor. In the case of our warehouse, we had hydraulic fluid leak onto our floor as we were unloading a large piece of equipment. Luckily, we were quick to remediate the situation and document (with pictures) the entire process.

We were unloading a power trowel off a pallet when we noticed a bit of fluid was leaking. Upon further investigation, it was identified as hydraulic fluid and was dripping onto the floor. Our team was extremely responsive in both identifying and stopping the leak.

Runyon Warehouse Oil Spill

We removed as much of the fluid as possible using clean dry cloths. It’s important to remember that polished concrete is not a coating and will absorb the oil, which is why it’s important to get it up as soon as possible. This is also why a dry cloth is the best method to remove as much fluid as you can. The use of mops, auto scrubbers, etc. at this point will only help the fluid penetrate deeper into the concrete.

Once we removed as much fluid from the methods listed above, it was time to use a product specific to oil and stain removal. We chose to use Prosoco Oil & Grease Stain Remover, as this was available in our warehouse and does the job well.

Runyon Warehouse Oil Spill Remediation
Runyon Warehouse Oil Spill Remediation - Prosoco Oil & Grease Stain Remover

The instructions call for the glue like substance to be poured onto the stain and left untouched to dry, which in our case was overnight. The product pulls the contaminants out of the substrate, capturing them in its highly absorbent blend of batter-thick surfactants, solvents and powders.  I attempted to take pictures throughout our workday to track this process.

Runyon Warehouse Oil Spill Remediation - Prosoco Oil & Grease Stain Remover

Once dry, we simply swept up the powdered remains and auto scrubbed the floor as a part of our daily maintenance routine. In all, I believe the biggest contributor to the successful removal of oil and grease stains is to address them as soon as possible. The stain definitely faded in color, but will probably require another treatment or further remediation down the road. Had the concrete not been polished, we would have expected the stain to dissipate completely. Coming from a background in concrete coatings and coating removal, I’ve been curious to compare and contrast differences in polished concrete and coatings. This was a great case study!

Runyon Warehouse Oil Spill - after using Prosoco Oil & Grease Stain Remover