Boomer’s Corner – Concrete: The Other Surface

Winter is knocking on the door, which means it’s time to be inside and caught up on all my articles, right? I’ve talked a lot about outside buildings, roofs, house siding and this month in my paint corner, I’ll be talking a little about concrete. Now, most of you probably want to stop reading right here, but concrete shouldn’t be a bad word! I’ll be explaining why concrete can actually be fun to work with and why painting concrete isn’t as bad as you’d think.

Paint is the least expensive and easiest way to transform bare concrete into something with character and personality for your residential or commercial area. Concrete is a very porous material, so you’ll want to use a paint designed specifically to adhere to concrete. Using regular house paint will not work for this kind of surface because of eventual peeling.

Water-based stains would be a better option for the job. These are typically a blend of acrylic polymer and pigments that tend to seep into the pores and bond to concrete, becoming a more permanent part of the surface. Water-based stains provide a tough shield and don’t fade, peel or flake like a regular paint.

Another great option is cement dyes that are available in water or solvent-based varieties and produce a range from monotone to translucent. Dyes penetrate concrete quickly and leave virtually no residue and no room for error because the application is very quick.

Cement stains and dyes are completely safe and very easy to use, and most come in a one-step system, which is commonly a stain and waterproof sealer in one. Now, you know why concrete isn’t as bad as you thought! If you have a job that you would like to receive a free estimate on, feel free to email me at or call me at 618-972-9516.

Early Season Grain System Specials – GSI, Hutchison, Lowry and More!

With the early arrival of cold weather and fall harvest coming to a close, maybe you’ve been thinking about a grain system upgrade or new options for your grain drying or handling? Whatever the case, Gateway FS encourages you to take full advantage of our early season specials going on right now on grain systems including drying, handling and storage.

FS Construction Services offers many brands of grain systems such as Sukup, Shivvers, Brock, GSI, Grain Handler, Hutchison, and Lowry. These brands and FS Construction Services are dedicated to helping you find the most innovative and cost-efficient grain systems that fit all your grain storage, drying and transfer needs, whether it be an equipment upgrade or new addition.

If you’re considering making the investment but are unsure about which grain system upgrade will be most beneficial, we suggest contacting our Grain Systems department at 866-551-3454. We’ll be happy to explore your options and discuss our early season specials.

Boomer’s Corner – The Right Way to Sand

Author: Brian “Boomer” Garleb, Paint Specialist

This month in my paint corner, I will be discussing something that I know not many people particularly like and that’s sanding. Most people who read my column have sanded once or twice before and I have a few helpful hints and tips to carry out this task more efficiently and hassle-free.

A lot of people who embark on a paint project don’t think sanding is necessary. If there’s a nick, scratch or divot in the paint surface and/or flaked off paint or even drywall that has seen better days, just simply painting over it without sanding first will show all the unwanted imperfections. When looking for that smooth surface, sanding is exactly what you need and it ensures good adhesion with an overall finished look.

Remember, when you do sand, all dust needs to be removed or the paint will not stick. To strip a surface of previous coatings, I recommend starting with 60-80 grit abrasive. This is done when you wish to go back to bare wood. Once you have the bare wood, you can then go to a finer grit of 200-400 to smooth the surface. If paint is loose or flaky, you might consider power washing prior to sanding, especially when the painted or coated surfaces require more attention. The goal in this step is to remove any heavy build-up of paint.

Now that you have the surface carefully washed, I would recommend 100-150 grit with a power sander. This will feather the edges well and help the primer and topcoat look uniform. Also, if you have pre-primed surfaces, scuffing is a highly recommended step. Using 180-320 grit will help with topcoat adhesion. Finally, use a tack cloth to remove all the traces of your sanding. You don’t want to leave any trace of dust that could lead to a paint failure!

If you have questions about sanding or painting, you can call me at 618-972-9516 or email me at

Grain Drying Systems: Sukup, Shivvers, Brock and More

Now that fall harvest is coming to an end, it’s the perfect time to evaluate your current grain drying system and make sure its running at the best quality possible. It’s always important to examine your equipment after a busy planting or harvest season. Having a great plan of attack and head-start for the next season will ultimately maximize next year’s crop while keeping it dry and mold and toxin-free.

Sukup Grain Bins

You may find that a grain system update is in order if you’re finding mold from inefficient dryers and/or faulty grain transport systems. That unwanted mold and spoilage is a helpful indicator that your drying system isn’t working fast enough or drying the crop evenly, which is an unfortunate financial situation you need to avoid.

Now is a great opportunity to begin exploring your options in investing in a new grain drying system and if you’re currently in mid-harvest, we recommend taking a look at the FS Grain Drying Guide on our site. You’ll find 60 pages of information on different drying systems and the specifics for drying corn, soybeans, wheat and milo.

Monitoring moisture and maximizing your crop during harvest is the most important task at hand, as well as closely inspecting your grain systems to ensure the best overall outcomes of your crop. Our Grain Drying Guide will come in very handy for your future harvests.

The facts in the guide can lead to a true increase in your harvest revenue – something vitally important with our unpredictable weather. Contact FS Construction Services at 866-551-3454 for any additional questions or information, or to discuss a grain handling and drying system built to handle our wide variety of growing season weather.

Six Signs You Might Need a Paint Job

istock_000003105317xsmallWe know it’s a pretty tough call to make when determining whether or not it’s time for an exterior paint job. The process alone seems somewhat daunting and deciding when to do it can be tricky. The first and sometimes toughest step of the process is simply taking the time to closely examine your building. We, at FS Painting Services, have compiled a few warning signs that indicate when your home or building is a prime candidate for a few fresh, new coats.

  1. Dry Rotting – This is usually caused by a specific species of fungi that digests parts of the wood that typically gives it its durability and overall strength. Examine your exterior boards carefully.  It may be necessary to replace some boards prior to painting.
  2. Extreme Cracking or Breakage – For any type of structure, when cracking or breaking of the base building material occurs, it’s a great indication that it’s also time for new paint.
  3. Chipping or Peeling – If you can visibly see the paint chipping or peeling from your building, it’s time to act before things get worse.
  4. Color Fading – Your building might look a bit dull and doesn’t quite stand out or carry its former healthy glow. Our variety of weather and direct sunlight will cause paint to deteriorate and fade over time.  Get your color back and protect your exterior.
  5. Your Caulk is Shot – Good quality caulking is designed to last 10 years or more.  If the caulking around doors and windows is cracked, dried and/or coming off, it’s probably time to revisit your overall exterior protection, including paint.
  6. Timing – If you can’t remember the last time you’ve painted your building or if the previous five items have you nodding in agreement, you should give us a call.

FS Painting Services will be able to assist you in all of your exterior painting needs. Now is a great time of the year to call and set up an appointment with one of our professionals before your home or building is subjected to the wide variety of fall and winter weather.

We can completely transform the look of your building with just a few coats.  Contact us at 866-551-3454 to keep your place looking great.

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Project Profile: Total Titanium

We always strive to provide our customers with a better building experience, whether it’s for a commercial, residential or agricultural structure. You can see one of our efforts in doing this with a commercial building just east of Red Bud on Highway 154.

In the fall of 2008, we teamed up with Walters Buildings and our friends at Total Titanium, a medical instrument manufacturer, to develop their brand new commercial structure. The 11,000-square-foot structure was built to accommodate their large warehouse space while also utilizing comfortable office space for their employees. In addition, we collaborated in the installation of a double dry-walled, fire-resistant inventory room to ensure security, safety and overall quality of their products.

Total Titanium was originally established in Hecker, but made the move to a larger and uniquely designed building that ultimately fit all their needs. Vice president of the company, Ron Casey, was very pleased with how things turned out.

“They did an outstanding job and I couldn’t be happier with the finished product,” Casey said. “FS Construction Services was extremely timely and we’ve had absolutely no problems with the building in the five years we’ve been in it. I’d definitely recommend them to others.”

With the elaborate design plans and direction, we were able to build exactly what they needed.  Our relationship with Walters Buildings allows us to provide our customers with top-notch design and cost-efficient construction.  Those traits put us on the same page with business owners looking for something unique and affordable.

Contact FS Construction Services today to find out how we can help you with any of your building or remodeling needs, whether they’re commercial, residential or agricultural. Call us today at 1-866-551-3454 or check us out on Facebook.

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Project Profile: Hawkins Farm

Now that most planting is (finally!) out of the way, it’s time to once again think about prepping and preparing your grain systems for fall harvest. Maintenance of your grain systems and equipment – or starting a system expansion – is something to consider while you’re combining wheat and planting double-crop beans in the coming weeks.

Summer is the perfect time for local farmers to get their grain systems ready for the biggest time of the year. One particular farm out of Valmeyer is already ahead of the game with prepping their systems that were installed by FS Construction Services.

This past September, we completed a job with Ellery and Garrett Hawkins of Hawkins Farms to build a brand new grain system for their farming and production needs. The Hawkins’ system includes a grain leg, grain drying system, handling and transfer system, and three storage bins. In addition to the system, Garrett himself decided to install a grain pit to complete the package and ensure speed, safety and ease of harvesting.

“It was great working with a co-op system such as Gateway FS. Their main objective is to satisfy their customers with the best service, equipment and products,” said Garrett, Ellery’s son.  “Overall, I was very pleased with the outcome of the job. It was exactly what I’d envisioned.”

At Gateway FS, we were also very pleased with the outcome of the project and happy to provide them with the equipment and service they needed to complete the job. FS Construction Services offers the most current grain systems technology in grain drying and aeration, grain handling and transfer, as well as grain bin storage.

We offer brands such as GSI, Lowry, Sukup, Grain Handler, Brock and more. Contact FS Construction Services today at 866-551-3454 to find out how we can help you with any of your grain system needs and how you can prepare for the upcoming harvest.


Fabral Introduces CondenStop

Earlier this year, we introduced you to a product called DRIPSTOP, which is primarily installed on new Walters Metal Buildings. DRIPSTOP helps reduce interior condensation and the associated dripping in buildings.  But what about existing structures, remodeling projects or re-roofing jobs?

That’s where our newest offering – CondenStop® – comes in handy.  Fabral Metal Roofing is proud to announce their distribution of CondenStop as part of their product line.  CondenStop and DRIPSTOP ultimately perform the same job, but are featured on different types of projects. Each product is highly successful in the overall function of eliminating unwanted condensation.


Much like the process and features of DRIPSTOP, CondenStop is a product that ends condensation while saving valuable time and money. This product effectively prevents condensation and the problems caused by condensation. CondenStop fleece absorbs, stores and releases substantial amounts of unwanted moisture when condensation would normally occur. When the temperatures of metal roofing drops below the dew point, that’s when the fleece absorbs and stores the condensing water vapor. There are endless benefits to CondenStop:

  • Eliminates condensation
  • Saves time and money
  • Protects assets and investments from unwanted moisture
  • Can be used in place of traditional vapor retarders
  • Adds to interior corrosion protection
  • Light gray color enhances the indoor look of an open framing structure roof
  • Provides an economical solution for condensation issues

CondenStop adds another great alternative to all your building needs and FS Construction Services is here to help you make the most logical and beneficial choice for your project. If you’re interested in learning more about CondenStop, contact FS Construction Services today at (866)-551-3454. We’ll be happy to help you with your project and building needs.

Project Profile: Svanda Chevrolet in Sparta

Last fall, FS Construction Services had the pleasure of subcontracting for a local construction company, Nevois Construction, on a large commercial project at Svanda Chevrolet in Sparta, Ill. Subcontracting jobs are some of our favorites because we take pride in knowing that working together will result in a job well done. The owner of Nevois Construction, Rodney Nevois, echoed our sentiment.

“We’ve always worked with FS Construction Services when it comes to overhead door work,” Nevois stated. “They’re super people and we always have a great experience working with them.”

The dealership underwent an extensive store remodel and we were fortunate enough to handle the job of installing new overhead doors and operating systems in their service department. Since we are an authorized dealer of Raynor garage doors, we provided them with door and opener products from our AlumaView, SteelForm and ControlHoist product lines. All been crafted for dependable and long-lasting performance.

We encourage contractors to contact FS Construction Services to find out how we can help you with any of your overhead door needs, whether commercial or residential. We’re always eager to lend a helping hand and subcontract any of your upcoming projects.

Goodbye, “Drip-Drop.” Hello, DRIPSTOP!

Building a brand new structure? Worried about that unwanted moisture and condensation that could very likely drip from your uninsulated metal roof? If so, you might want to explore a new and effective way to completely abolish that pesky condensation before it even occurs! DRIPSTOP is a much simpler and more economical way to help eliminate your condensation problems.


Why DRIPSTOP? And how does it work? When condensation occurs, moisture collects on the under side of the uninsulated metal roofing which causes drops of water to form and can ultimately wreak havoc on anything you have stored within your building. Roof paneling that contains the DRIPSTOP anti-condensation solution provides a medium for trapping moisture in specially designed pockets formed in the product. DRIPSTOP efficiently holds that moisture until conditions drop back below the dew point when it is released back into the air in form of normal humidity. For example, DRIPSTOP would work great for cold storage areas and/or non-heated buildings.

There are many advantages to DRIPSTOP including:

  • Savings of up to 25% versus traditional solutions
  • Durability (not susceptible to ripping, tearing or deterioration)
  • Applied to roofing panels during the roll forming process
  • Easy to clean with a hose or pressure washer.

DRIPSTOP can be used on any new suburban, commercial or agricultural Walters building project. Here are some other example areas where theDRIPSTOP anti-condensation system can help protect your investments:

  • Industrial Plants
  • Residential Buildings
  • Warehouses
  • Agricultural Buildings
  • Sport Halls
  • School Halls
  • Public Buildings
  • Self Storage
  • Garages

If you’re interested in learning more about this product, visit DRIPSTOP or contact FS Construction Services today at (866)-551-3454. We’ll be more than happy to help you with all your building needs. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook!