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Eagle Materials delays its aggregates business split as COVID-19 virus crisis continues

US building materials group Eagle Materials has announced, in a statement released to the New York

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US building materials group Eagle Materials has announced, in a statement released to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) this week, that it is delaying the separation of its aggregates division.

The company says: “Today’s market conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have affected the company’s previously announced timeline to separate its heavy (cement, aggregates and concrete) and light-side (gypsum wallboard and paperboard) businesses.”

Previous deadlines now look impossible to achieve: “Eagle Materials remains committed to the separation,” says the statement, “and reaffirms that the strategic rationale for the separation is unchanged, although the timing for the expected completion of the separation has become uncertain.

“The company will continue its preparation to ensure that the two businesses are well-positioned for the separation when the markets recover.”

To keep the financial base as stable as possible, Eagle says: “The company is taking prudent and precautionary actions to maintain its financial flexibility.

“We recently took several actions to reduce our spending and maximize free cash flow, including limiting capital spending to critical maintenance, safety and regulatory projects and managing the timing and duration of our maintenance programs.

“We also amended our bank credit facility and term loan to extend the maturity to August 2022 from August 2021 and increased the leverage ratio requirement to 4.5x debt-to-EBITDA with no step downs through the maturity date.

“We are also well-positioned to manage expenses in the face of potential demand impacts from COVID-19 given that a majority of our cost of goods sold is variable in nature.”

According to the NYSE statement: “At March 31, 2020, we had total liquidity of approximately $295 million ($115 million of cash on hand plus $180 million of bank revolver availability) with no near-term debt maturities.

“Our liquidity position will be further enhanced by the recently enacted CARES Act which will enable us to utilize the tax asset generated by the Kosmos acquisition and carry it back to recover taxes paid in prior years at higher tax rates.

“We anticipate that this modified NOL treatment will generate a tax refund of approximately $100 million.”

There will also be a focus on debt reduction.

According to Eagle president and chief executive Michael Haack: “As our nation reacts to COVID-19 and the large-scale effort to contain it, we remain focused on navigating the crisis, keeping our employees and their families healthy, serving our customers as an essential business, and protecting the financial stability of Eagle during these uncertain times.

“These steps are part of a broad array of internal actions we are taking to manage our cash flow and to be prepared in light of these conditions.

“Just as we entered this environment in a strong financial position, we are taking immediate actions to reduce expenses and manage liquidity so we can maintain strong financial footing as we move forward beyond it.”

The group states very clearly in its NYSE message that: “We have taken actions to protect our employees and to focus on business continuity and improve our financial flexibility.”

The company is working hard to “limit our employees’ potential exposure, including implementing policies and practices that are consistent with or exceed CDC and government guidelines, restricting visitor access to facilities, enforcing social distancing protocols and undertaking additional, rigorous facility-cleaning procedures.”

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Source: https://www.aggregateresearch.com/news/eagle-materials-delays-its-aggregates-business-split-as-covid-19-virus-crisis-continues/

Concrete

Go to our new site for all your aggregate industry news

We have a new site with a truly global outlook. Please go to www.aggbusiness.com NOW

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We have a new site with a truly global outlook. Please go to www.aggbusiness.com NOW to find out what is happening in our industry. AggBusiness.com has everything you need from the best aggregates industry news service in the world.

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Source: https://www.aggregateresearch.com/news/go-to-our-new-site-for-all-your-aggregate-industry-news/

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Concrete

Everything You Need to Know About the Freeze/Thaw Cycle of Concrete

Given just how crazy 2020 weather has been in Louisiana, there’s really no telling what we should expect this winter.  One thing is for certain, however, and it’s that the frequent freeze/thaw cycles will affect your concrete. While this is something that your concrete contractors will typically take into account on their own, it’s important
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The post Everything You Need to Know About the Freeze/Thaw Cycle of Concrete appeared first on Port Aggregates.

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Given just how crazy 2020 weather has been in Louisiana, there’s really no telling what we should expect this winter. 

One thing is for certain, however, and it’s that the frequent freeze/thaw cycles will affect your concrete.

While this is something that your concrete contractors will typically take into account on their own, it’s important that you understand what’s going on with your slab over time. 

How the freeze/thaw cycle works

When temperatures drop below freezing, the water or snow that your concrete has absorbed becomes frozen. This causes an ever-so-slight expansion in your concrete, and when the weather warms up again, it begins to thaw and contract. 

The constant expanding and contracting movements within your concrete, no matter how slight they may be, undoubtedly have an effect on its durability. This can result in joint deterioration, spalling, cracking, and surface scaling.

Preventing concrete cracks during winter

Concrete is one of the most durable materials on the market, and its strength is determined by its ability to resist chemical attacks, weathering, abrasion, and weight. 

Concrete that’s anticipated to experience harsh weather or other extreme conditions can be engineered to withstand even the craziest circumstances. 

That being said, concrete that’s frequently subjected to freezing temperatures will need to be properly installed in order to counteract freeze/thaw cycles and not crack prematurely. 

Expansion joints are a must-have for concrete that will be exposed to freezing temperatures, and their purpose is to isolate the concrete from the rest of the structural components. 

Once the weather changes, these joints will allow for movement between structural parts when necessary, but also restrict it in places that may cause cracking.

When investing in a project like a concrete driveway, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Talk to your contractor about what you plan to park on your driveway, how often you plan on using it, and ask about concrete joints. 

At Port Aggregates, our professional and experienced contractors are willing and ready to answer any questions that you may have regarding your project. We have over 40 years’ worth of experience doing concrete pours in the rapidly-changing Louisiana weather. Contact us today to request a quote!

Source: https://www.portaggregates.com/freeze-thaw-cycle/

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Concrete

9 Ways to Use Crushed Limestone

Crushed limestone is one of the most versatile materials on the planet, and its unlimited advantages have made it quite the hot commodity among contractors of all industries.  Limestone is a very common stone that’s readily available and affordable. The possibilities are endless, and crushed limestone can be used to complete almost any outdoor project.
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The post 9 Ways to Use Crushed Limestone appeared first on Port Aggregates.

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Crushed limestone is one of the most versatile materials on the planet, and its unlimited advantages have made it quite the hot commodity among contractors of all industries. 

Limestone is a very common stone that’s readily available and affordable. The possibilities are endless, and crushed limestone can be used to complete almost any outdoor project. These are just a few of the many ways limestone can be used:

1. To create driveways

One of the most common uses of crushed limestone is in laying driveways. While similar to gravel in its size and texture, limestone offers a larger variety of colors to choose from and is extremely durable. 

2. To regulate soil pH

Crushed limestone can be used to create aglime, an agricultural lime used to regulate soil pH by reducing its acidity. Contractors will sometimes spread it throughout newly constructed properties before sod is laid down to improve the lawn appearance. Farmers also use aglime to enhance their crop growing conditions. 

3. As a road base

The bases of highways and roads must be filled with a reliable aggregate before they’re strong enough to endure the weight of traffic. This is where crushed limestone comes into play. Because of its size, strength, and affordability, it’s one of the top choices for creating a smooth and level road.

4. For pipe bedding

Did you know that crushed limestone is often used for underground pipe bedding? It’s one of the top materials for this task because it levels, supports, and protects the integrity of the pipeline. It’s also a great insulator and will not expand or contract due to environmental factors.

5. To make concrete

Concrete is made out of crushed aggregate (like limestone), water, cement, and sand. Concrete made out of limestone is extremely durable and eye-catching.

6. To prevent erosion

Crushed limestone can be used as rip rap to prevent shore erosion. Its affordability and reliability make it the ideal choice for protecting streambeds, pilings, shorelines, and bridges from ice and water damage.  

7. As a railroad ballast

Railroad ballast allows water to flow away from train tracks and supports rail ties. The material chosen for these ballasts needs to be strong and angular, which is why crushed limestone is a great choice. 

8. To coat roofs 

When limestone is ground into a fine powder, it’s often used as a roofing and shingle coating to protect the roof and deflect heat. 

9. To fill underneath slabs

Unfortunately, concrete can’t be laid down directly on the ground. It requires a layer of crushed stone, like limestone, to fill the area between the slab and the ground in order to remain level. This layer of rock also helps prevent cracking and allows for proper drainage. 

At Port Aggregates, we offer high-quality crushed limestone in a variety of options. From finely ground calica powder to chunky 55-pound rip rap, we’ve got just what you need. Contact us today to request a quote for your commercial or residential project

Source: https://www.portaggregates.com/9-ways-to-use-crushed-limestone/

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