Mick Rich Contractors | Solving Complexity With Creativity
An Albuquerque, New Mexico general contractor, Mick Rich Construction specializes in medium scale commercial building projects in all phases of construction: new construction, building renovations, special unique construction, tilt-up construction, and design-build. To serve our clients' needs, we also have a service department for repairs and alterations.
During the recession, New Mexico’s contractors have compressed, while out-of-state firms have expanded into the Land of Enchantment looking for projects. Mick Rich, however, has gone against the grain.
Q: Why would builders use hazardous materials to construct your building?
A: At the time your building was built, the materials were not known to be hazardous. They were considered efficient, cost-effective building materials. Unfortunately, the qualities that made them good building materials also made them hazardous.
I recently attended a pre-bid conference for the remodel of three school science classrooms. The science classrooms were decades old, and the school district was intending to strip the classrooms complete and install new finishes, casework, plumbing and electrical.
I asked, “Has the hazardous material survey been performed, and did it include mercury?”
They replied that they had performed a hazardous material survey, and remediation will occur over the Christmas school break. Later, I asked the question again. This time the response was, “What do you mean, mercury?”
1. Identify problem areas and correct them.
a) The areas of your building that get damp only when it rains can be creating a bigger problem than just wall or ceiling finish repairs. If you have a roof leak, find the leak and repair it.
b) If you have a below ground floor or a crawl space, ensure the area is water free. If it’s not, take measures to keep the water out. This maybe installing a drainage system to keep the water away from the foundation, or water proofing the foundation wall.
Thursday morning, I received a telephone call.
“Is this Mick Rich? I’m looking someone to investigate my apartment, and you were recommended to me by a mechanical contractor.”
I thought, I will need to find out which mechanical contractor, thank him for the referral. I answered, “Yes, I do consulting work. What’s going on?”
Most building owners select finishes based on color and texture, and what is recommended for where you are installing it. Hopefully, you or your designer or builder has chosen a stone appropriate for its use. Either way, you’ll want to enjoy your stone as long as it lasts. So, how do you make it last longer?
Before we can discuss how to maintain your natural stone, you need to know what type of stone you have. Types of stone used in buildings include:
• Sedimentary (particles settled over time – think sandstone)
• Metamorphic (sedimentary rock changed by heat and pressure in the earth)
Many people choose quarry tile floors because they are “maintenance free.” Unfortunately, no floor is maintenance free – and that includes quarry tile. They are, however, low maintenance.
The floors need to be cleaned on a weekly basis. This ensures that dirt and grit do not scratch the tile surface and stain the grout. The cleaning solution should not contain oil.
Twice a year, clean the grout joints with an all-purpose cleaner, dried. Any missing grout should be filled in (remember to keep a list of tile colors and grout colors), and sealed with a silicon sealer.
When I grew up, we had oak wood floors in our home. My wife’s childhood home did too. I do not recall any special care being taken with the floors. We ran around outside and came in the house. My wife’s father worked in the orchards and came in the house after removing his work boots. No big deal.
Vinyl cement tiles are the most common type of floor coverings in commercial buildings. Most people do not think twice when looking at them, when they are clean. But when they are not clean, it can tell a lot of how the building owner approaches building maintenance.
Carpet care falls into two categories. The first is normal wear and tear, and the second is what I call, “Oops.” We will address accidents last.
Normal carpet maintenance begins with weekly vacuuming, to remove dirt from the surface and from the nap. Dirt on the surface affects the appearance of the carpet, but dirt in the nap can damage the carpet.
Steam clean or shampoo your carpet twice a year to remove the dirt in the nap and any stains. Hire a carpet cleaner who uses professional grade equipment. The important task is to remove as much water as possible after the cleaning.