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REPAIRING A GRAIN SILO (CONCRETE GOES FARMING PART I)



In the vast expanse of agricultural landscapes, grain silos stand tall, silent guardians of a vital global food supply chain. In this blog we're going to discuss:


  • What is the purpose and function of a grain silo?

  • What is wrong with the silo we're looking at today?

  • How are we going to fix it?

  • Tool review: SYNCO Wireless Lavalier Mic Set

As usual, we'll discuss these points in real time as we step onto the job. Today we pull up to a giant agriculture farm just east of Denver, Colorado off of I-70. In the distance you can see the vast expanse of farm land and grain fields that disappear over the horizon. Towering above the land like giants as we approach are three massive, cylindrical, shiny metal grain silos.



We park the vehicle and approach the silo where Tim and JC have already gotten started. I peak around JC and poke my head through the small entrance that you can climb in and out of. It's more like a giant container than a building inside, a big hollow cylinder not separated by walls or rooms. Tim is wayyyy down in the bottom of the cylindrical pit, banging and scraping the area of concrete that's in need of repair. There's a puddle of water beneath him that has soaked up through the silo floor. He has a pump down in the water and is slowly pumping it out. Gold climbs down the seemingly endless rungs of ladder to talk to him about the job.



JC is at the top of the ladder, just outside the door of the grain silo, keeping an eye on the water that's being pumped out of the pit and sending down whatever tools Tim or Gold might call for. "Toss us a hammer!" Tim yells. There's an echo inside of the silo that makes you feel as if you were inside of a giant cave. JC puts a straight claw hammer down on the concrete slope of the cylindrical pit and lets it slide down to Tim and Gold. You watch it descend and feel a knot in the pit of your stomach, knowing one wrong step could send you catapulting in the same direction as that hammer. Except you are not made of steel...



What is the purpose and function of a grain silo?


The primary function of a grain silo is to provide secure and efficient storage for harvested grains, such as wheat, corn, barley, rice, and soybeans. By storing grains in silos, farmers can preserve their crops for extended periods, allowing for strategic marketing and distribution throughout the year. Silos protect grains from environmental factors such as moisture, pests, and mold, thereby maintaining their quality and nutritional value. This brings us to our next point...



What is wrong with the silo we're looking at today?


As we saw when we arrived, Tim was standing in a puddle of water at the bottom of the silo pit. It appears the concrete floor of the pit has cracked or eroded in such a way that is allowing water to soak through the floor from beneath. Since the purpose of the silo is to protect grains from environmental factors such as moisture, this is apparently a problem on a scale that would render the silo useless! How will Gold's Concrete fix this issue without tearing out the entire silo floor?



How are we going to fix it?


After the water has been pumped out and the area is dry, Tim is going to epoxy the cracks near the bottom of the pit. Next they're going to dowel tiny rebar pegs into the concrete floor of the pit, and to those pegs they're going to tie wire mesh reinforcement. The guys will get creative with building a scaffolding around the bottom of the pit because the slope of the pit is too steep to stand on. Tim will stand on the scaffolding and spray approximately 4 inches of shotcrete over the wire mesh. All of this work will take place around the bottom six feet or so of the pit.


Today we've taken a look at the silos, what's wrong with them and what our approach will be to correct the problem. I'll continue to drop in on the jobsite and journal about the progress and any issues that may come up along the way. In part 2 of this blog we'll summarize the project, how it went and, finally, show the finished product!  We hope you'll come along for the ride!



I bought this mic set about a month ago when we started filming and vlogging again for Gold's Concrete. My old mic set was outdated and no longer worked. I didn't have a whole lot of money to spend on new film equipment, so I did some research on a good mic set that's also affordable, and this is what I came up with.



This SYNCO Wireless Lavalier (double) Mic Set cost me a whopping $99 on Amazon, and I haven't noticed any real sacrifice in the quality of audio. There's a microphone built right into the little transmitter box that can be clipped anywhere, so it eliminates the hassle of having to fuss with the corded lapel microphone that plugs into the transmitter (although it did come with that hardware and capability). On the videos in some places it may sound like the audio is peaking, distorted or broken, but I'll assure that's operator error. I'm still figuring this mic set out although it's not complicated! There are 3 whole buttons on each transmitter/receiver and they come with a very simple 3-in-1 USB Type-C charging cable. It runs up to 8 hours on a full charge and has a transmission range of 492 feet. It's also compatible with a Smartphone and I would recommend this product to anybody.


See the full video below.



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