These two words are commonly mistakenly interchanged in everyday use, but they actually refer to different things. First, let us define what concrete is. Concrete is an composite substance made up mainly of aggregate material that is held together by a binding substance. For concrete, the binding substance used mainly is cement. This means that for concrete to be produced, there must be cement present in the mixture. Hence, cement refers to a very valuable part of concrete. But the hard, rock-like gray material that we see in driveways, walls, sidewalks, roads and lots of other structures is what concrete is.
Yes, concrete does come in many forms and variants. These various kinds of concrete may be needed in certain types of projects especially those that require special qualities of the concrete. For instance, a structure expected to sustain heavy loads for prolonged periods should be harder, while an artful piece such as those made into various shapes like fountains should be more flexible. The variations can be achieved by the careful science of altering the proportions of the components of the concrete so that the ideal quality is achieved. Other types of concrete include the various eco-friendly kinds of concrete.
In our experience, it is true that a concrete contractor should be present in almost any kind of concrete project. There is a lot more to concrete work that just the act of mixing and pouring of concrete. To be sure that mistakes are avoided, it is important to be adequately versed on the principles behind what is done as well as the rationale behind every step. The truth of the matter is that concrete work is an endeavor that can tolerate only very little mistakes. It is important for everything to be planned well and for the execution to be accomplished by capable hands.
Concrete setting in the rain is a situation that must be avoided at all costs as much as possible. The rain can be detrimental to the overall quality of the concrete, and therefore, the final outcome of the project. Water is one of the important components of concrete. It is the substance the activates the cement to begins its function as a binding material. The mixture is sensitive the alterations in the volume of water. This amount can increase when the wet concrete is rained on. Ultimately, weaker concrete can result, and this structure will easily crack, so this must be avoided.
Yes, it can be painted. As time goes by, there are more newer methods that are developed to improve the look of concrete and make it aesthetically pleasing. But at the end of the day, one can never go wrong with something as classic as painting the surface of it. But there will be certain considerations. The most important by far is the kind of paint to use. Be sure to check the label and ask for elastomeric or masonry paint. This kind of paint is especially designed for concrete such that it adheres well even under the changing environmental conditions.
In most cases, it will not be easy to pinpoint the exact reason why concrete cracks. This is due to the fact that more often than not, there is more than one culprit as to why this is happening. For people without much background on the principles of using concrete, the environmental stresses like heavy loads or forces may be on your mind as the main reason. However, the most significant ones can often be traced back to how the concrete was mixed. Any error in the amount of each of the proportional parts of concrete can be detrimental to its durability.
Concrete must undergo a careful process of curing before it can be fully used. This principle is very important when installing a driveway. All too often, the property owner may be too excited to finally use the new driveway. However, to be safe, one must wait for at least seven days, and up to ten days before starting to drive over the surface. For parking, a whole month since the pouring must pass first. Alterations can occur within the concrete if disturbed early on, so the curing process must be respected aptly before the driveway is put into full use.
As the name would suggest, a concrete sealer is a substance that is designed to seal concrete. Since it seals form the surface, it can prevent some superficial damage from getting through it. This material is cheap and easy to apply. You will not even need professional assistance. Sealers comes in various forms, but they have the common ingredient of a penetrating resin, such as acrylic, epoxy, or polyurethane. When applied, they can offer surface protection for up to 5 years or so. Hence, reapplying the sealer just every 2 to 5 years is often good enough to add some protection.
Like many things, concrete is also susceptible to change in the environmental conditions, and that includes the weather situation. This is most significant when concrete is being poured, about to be poured, or just after pouring. In terms of temperature, the winter is not ideal for pouring concrete since it can make the mixture freeze. Remember, the concrete contains water, and when this water freezes before being poured, the mixture is no longer viable. Rain is also something that is avoided since it can alter the proportions of the composition of the concrete. All these must be accounted for during pouring.
Beyond the price, concrete driveways are much, much better than asphalt. This is because paying for more in this case means you are paying for better quality. There are many differences in the substance of concrete and asphalt. In general, concrete is more durable than asphalt. This means that a concrete driveway will require less repairs and maintenance than what might be need for an asphalt driveway. Frequent maintenance can also mean piling up costs. Because of this, asphalt usually proves to be more expensive than concrete in the longer term. Concrete driveways also last ten to twenty more years.
Good concrete is actually not that difficult to come by as long as you know the right techniques and how to manage the proportions of the different components of it. We know now that concrete has two basic components: the aggregate materials and the cement. The aggregate materials are usually sand and crushed rock. Hence, the proportions will follow this. There is commonly four parts of crushed rock with two parts of sand and one part of cement. In most situations and in many basic concrete structures, this is sufficiently strong and just right for their specific purposes and uses.
Yes, it is very much recyclable. This comes as good news for those who are conscious about both costs and the environment. Concrete is one of those materials that can be considered as 100% recyclable. Did you know that from the time concrete is being manufactured, it can already be recycled? The ash and other scrap can be added to the aggregate sand. For most companies these days, there are protocols governing the transport of concrete scraps from demolition sites to their designated recycling facilities. Recycled concrete is not only good for the environment but is also much cheaper to use for new projects.
As much as possible, with anything, we want to have the best possible quality. This is basically the main rationale for why we test concrete. We test concrete simply because we want to make sure that it is in the most ideal and most optimum quality possible. The simple tests that we do are enough to know if there are some corrections that can still be done to enforce some changes which will result in an even better concrete. Hence, it is always best to proceed with these simple tests, which often include slump test, measurement of air content, and their derivatives.
Because usual concrete stains have some component of oil or grease, one might think that it will be had to remove. But in reality, it is not. Maybe you are just using the wrong products or techniques. Here are some tips that we can give. Make sure that you get a cleaner that has a main active ingredient called sodium triphosphate. This works best against grease, especially when the stained spot and soaked with the product for a long time. After that, scrubbing can help in completely clearing out the stain from the concrete. If necessary, these steps can be repeated.
Yes, concrete does benefit from being maintained. But unlike many other kinds of materials, it is easy to maintain concrete. There are few simple but very effective things that you can do. One is simply maintaining its cleanliness. Dirt and mud can easily be displaced by using a regular garden hose. If you have a powerwasher, then better. We also recommended using a concrete sealer which can be applied every 2 to 5 years. Last but not the least, make sure that a professional regularly evaluates the state of your concrete so that any damage can be easily addressed before it worsens.
Concrete is a composite material meaning it is composed of many other substances. It is important to understand this to appreciate the component where the color comes from. Gray is the main color of concrete mainly because it has cement, which is also gray. The color spreads throughout the material once water is added to the cement and the aggregates get mixed. The gray color of cement originates from black iron ore, one of the raw materials that make up cement. Cement itself is no longer black because of the additives to iron ore which make it less and less dark.
Concrete does not gain strength by drying out. Rather, it is the action of water on the mixture that actually facilities how strong and hard it gets. Without water, rock, sand, and cement are just a mix of solids and nothing more. But when water is added, there is a chemical reaction that happens between the water and the cement, turning it into a glue-like binding material, able to hold the aggregates together. As long as water is present, the reaction continues. Therefore, by the time water is gone and dried, the concrete will have been at its strongest state.