Information I Should Have Known About Gypcrete Before Having It Installed

I installed self leveling concrete in the master bathroom (about 7 by 8 feet). It did not come out good with the primary issue being that it was not completely level. I had calculated how much of the SLC I needed to do the job but some of it seeped through holes in the concrete. I did my best to fill all of the holes but SLC will find it’s way through the smallest of holes. I had a situation where the SLC was draining through holes as it was drying, leaving some sloping in places.

For the master bedroom I decided to contract the install of self leveling concrete to third party. I choose to have Koch Mechanical install Gypcrete. Gypcrete is not the same as the concrete product I bought at Lowes for bathroom, some would argue it’s not a concrete product at all. There are a number of things I should have understood about Gypcrete before I had it installed, thankfully non of it’s issues would prevent me from using it.

Gypcrete is a brand name belonging to the Maxxon company. Although proprietary, the name of the product should indicated that it contains a large amount of gypsum. According to the Manufacturer it is superior at dissipating heat vs normal concrete. Thus, the company that installed it for me specializes is installing gypcrete over radiant floor heating.

Gypcrete is installed in a liquid form and can be walked on in few hours, and is completely dries in 30 days. It doesn’t cure like concrete, it just dries. The finished product is like having a floor made of solid chalk. It can be scraped and dented with sharp objects. I don’t know for sure, but it seems like it could be busted up and re-liquified.

Gypecrete absorbs water easily and might react with concrete products. It also isn’t a structural product and can crack easily. For these reason the manufacturer recommends some sort of anti-fracture membrane or barrier between the Gypcrete and thinset. Since I had it installed over a very solid concrete floor (as opposed to a more flexible wood floor) I wasn’t worried about cracks.

Although the thinset I used stated it was ok to use on top of Gypsum, I felt it was a good idea to put some kind of barrier. I put down RedGuard, which is an expensive waterproofing liquid plastic that is rolled on like paint.

I’m happy to report the tile has been installed and there have been no issues with the tile, thinset or gypcrete.

The Wildlife West Nature Park In Edgewood, New Mexico

Update: There are a number of embedded images from Flickr in this post, however Flickr isn’t serving them up right. Please visit the set to see more.

If it wasn’t for a link to a “Bear Festival” in the Duke City’s Fix Morning Fix, I would have never known about the Wildlife West Nature Park in Edgewood, New Mexico.

I went on a hot Saturday afternoon. There wasn’t many people and there wasn’t much of a festival going on, although I did get a free hot dog. Wildlife West has a chuck wagon dinner and country music show in their amphitheater about 7pm and I suspect more of the actives occur around this time. I’m not sorry to have missed the country music.

Wildlife West is not the Albuquerque Zoo (nor is the Albuquerque Zoo the San Diego Zoo). Wildlife West is more of a native animal park which sets native animals of New Mexico in the native environment of New Mexico. It’s not huge but it is well laid out and the animal habitats are well designed and professional. All of the animals, some which are protected and illegal to own, come to the park as human imprints or were injured in some way that they most likely would not survive in the wild. Personally, I find this sort of zoo (or animal park) as much if not more interesting.

The park starts off with a marsh that’s protected with a 6 foot wall and some view niches. I’m not sure if this was an incomplete exhibit or the expectation was to view the animals from the niches, but all I saw were ducks.

The next exhibit was of Dusty the Road Runner. The Road Runner is the state bird of New Mexico and is protected. Dusty is an Imprint. I find Road Runners to be beautiful birds and welcome any chance to see them up close.

I came to the park for the behind the scenes tour of Koshari the bear, for which I failed to read the info panel. I don’t recall how the bear came to the park. It’s interesting that even the Albuquerque Zoo doesn’t have a native New Mexico bear. Other than Wildlife West, the other way to see a native bear is to camp in the Sandia Mountains and put food in your tent. The behind the scenes tour included a guided tour behind the exhibit where we got a slightly closer look a the bear through a chain link fence and the tour guide enticed the bear with peanut butter on a dog bone. Not as impressive as I expected but informative and interesting.

There were a number of other animals that I saw including Phantom the Puma, Farley the Gray fox and Sparky the Lynx. There were also a number of animals that I did not see including the wolves and elk. Most of the animals were smarter than the humans and were staying in the shade. Unfortunately I did not see a lot of animals I would have liked to have seen.

The bird exhibits were left for last and were probably the most interesting. Although the exhibits seem small, most of the birds could not fly. For example Ernie, the Great Horned Owl, right wing was damaged probably from being hit by a car. This is the first time I have seen a native Owl up close.

I would recommend that anyone check out the The Wildlife West Nature Park in Edgewood, New Mexico. The website claims that the park is a few minutes from east Albuquerque, but it’s about an hour from Rio Rancho. I suggest going when it’s not 100 degrees, for both the humans and the animals. It took me about 3 hours to walk through the park with only about half of the animals viewable and I would also suggest anyone going to time their visit with the chuck wagon supper and show at about 7pm. The park costs are Adults: $7.00, Seniors: $6.00, Students: $4.00 and Children under 5: FREE. All of my photos from my last trip are geotagged and viewable on Flickr.

A Rio Rancho Wireless Provider's Tower Comes Down

A video on YouTube show the Roadrunner Wireless WiFi tower on Tulip Road in Rio Rancho, NM, being taken down by the City of Rio Rancho in late 2008. The poster of the video suggests a conspiracy by the city to prevent private business from operating freely.

A communications tower belonging to Roadrunner Wireless Services in Albuquerque, NM supplied wireless Internet to the citizens of Rio Rancho and Albuquerque, NM. This tower was taken down involuntarily on November 24, 2008. The Rio Rancho government illegally interfered with an Albuquerque business, stopping them from supplying wireless Internet to the citizens of Rio Rancho, NM. Now the citizens of Rio Rancho and Albuquerque have no wireless Internet for their jobs, education, etc. They were denied this access because the Rio Rancho government wants an outrageous and unfair amount of money in exchange for the right to deploy wireless Internet. Rio Rancho, NM is now a nationwide joke and embarrassment.

The poster of the video exaggerates the reasons for the towers disassembly. The Rio Rancho Observer says the tower was forceable removed because it did not have a permit and violated ordinances.

The city says the tower must come down because of an order issued by the 13th Judicial District Court in Sandoval County on May 23. The city sought this order from the court because when the tower was erected, it was done so without a building permit and subsequent inspection to ensure safety. The tower is also in violation of city ordinances for height and setback requirements for structures placed within a residential area. The height restriction is 32 feet, plus an additional 10 feet for roof-mounted structures such as chimneys and antennas.

While I support the ability of private business to do business in Rio Rancho, I certainly cannot support them doing it in a way that circumvents safety or city ordinances. This was near my house and as far as I can tell they haven’t tried to installed one legally two and a half years later.

Having looked at the possibly of subscribing to a city wide wireless provider, I found Roadrunner Wireless substandard. Their website used to look like it was mad in 1995 with a flashing star background, tables layout and broken images. Their website today is only slightly better but their coverage map of Rio Rancho can’t seem to load images.

The other city wide wireless provider, Azulstar, barley has coverage.