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Gunite Shores Up Barn Foundation
The same technique used to form swimming pool walls can be used to restore old barn foundations at a fraction of the cost of other restoration methods. Gunite (sometimes called shotcrete) is the process of using pneumatic pressure to force dry concrete sand and Portland cement through a hose, with water injected just before application.
  "I had a barn with an old stone foundation that was starting to fall in," says Carl Egolf Jr., of Lincoln Highway Farms in Shellsburg, Penn. He wanted something to hold the barn up and wasn't concerned about preserving the look of the stone foundation. He hired Bill Miller of Gunite Solutions to completely cover the barn's 60 by 125-ft. foundation. He filled a fertilizer tank with water and purchased the sand and concrete; Miller brought his equipment.
  "The advantages are you don't have to jack up the barn to rebuild the foundation," Miller explains, adding that Gunite penetrates into cracks and leaves a nice finish.
  Egolf says it cost $3,500 to treat his barn foundation, a lot less than the $20,000 or more that it would have cost to do the job conventionally. Plus the job would have taken weeks instead of just one day.
  "That was the impressive part. I expected them to take longer," Egolf says. "If somebody has a barn wall falling down, I'd definitely recommend it."
  The foundation was fixed a year and a half ago, and Egolf expects he'll have Miller treat another barn foundation in the future.
  Miller has more than 20 years experience with Gunite, mostly doing large boiler and bridgework. "We recently repaired three barn foundations and the owners have been extremely pleased with the results," Julie says.
  Besides barns, Gunite works well to repoint mortar and to fix concrete silos and culverts. Miller has repaired culverts as small as 36-in. dia.
  For most applications, he just does a nozzle finish."You can also trowel it to give a poured look," he adds for surfaces such as dairy barns that need to be cleaned.
  Based in Bedford, Penn., the Millers travel all over the East Coast and welcome inquiries about their services. For other parts of the country, Miller suggests contacting local people who offer similar services.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Gunite Solutions, 586 Business Rt. 220, Bedford, Penn. 15522 (816 623-7935; juliemiller @gunitesolutions.com).

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2009 - Volume #33, Issue #2