Cement and concrete are different things. However, it is true that they are often confused with each other and at times, the terms are even used interchangeably. Cement is only of the many components needed to produce concrete. This is made when powdered iron ore is mixed with other ingredients like clay and limestone. This powdery substance, when mixed with pounded rock and sand then combined with water will react to form the pasty stuff that is wet concrete. This is the one that is being poured into molds which will eventually harden into the rock like consistency of solid concrete.
Yes, concrete is available in various kinds and forms. Mostly, these can be produced by modifying the amount of the individual ingredients of concrete. All concrete mixes will have the same base components: cement, crushed rock, sand, and water. There is normally a fixed recommended proportion, but it can always be modified if the situation calls for it. For example, you can increase the proportion for rock if you want the particular structure to be tougher. Other kinds of concrete are the environment friendly ones. These are the one that are pervious to water, allowing it to drain directly into the subsoil.
Yes, most concrete projects would need the supervision of a concrete contractor, that is, if you want the project to look perfect and successful. Not everyone has the right competencies to handle concrete work. Anything that you would make with concrete needs the fundamental knowledge, skills, experiences, equipment, and many more. Unless you have all of these, you will need a concrete contractor. Moreover, the preparation would also require a lot of technical work. For example, excavation and preparation of the subgrade are difficult to get right without the proper machinery. Therefore, you must prioritize looking for a reputable company who can help you.
No, it should not. We strongly advise against letting the concrete set especially during a heavy downpour. At our company, we always make sure to bring enough waterproof tarps to cover the wet concrete just in case it rains unexpectedly. Water is a very important component of concrete. However, concrete relies a lot on the balance of the proportions of its individual components. Extra unmixed water from the rain can disrupt the balance and the reactions within the concrete mix. If possible, we postpone pouring concrete for a big project if the weather forecasts predict a heavy downpour on the scheduled day.
Most concrete is just gray after it has been poured. This color is not very attractive for many people. Fortunately, there are many ways to color concrete among the option are staining and painting. For painting, it is recommended to use a special type of paint, known as elastomeric paint or masonry paint. This kind of paint has special components that will help it stick better with concrete, and also adjust with the subtle shrinkage and contraction of concrete. It is best to use rollers for applying elastomeric paint. This can help apply the paint evenly. This is also a precaution since it can block paint sprayers.
Cracking is a very common problem for concrete. Many times, it is not that serious and there are only thin hairline cracks in the concrete. There are usually many factors contributing to the cracking of concrete. A lot can be attributed to small mistakes made during the preparation of concrete. For example, an incorrect proportion can be a red flag. Oftentimes, people make the mistake of putting too much water into the mix. This can be detrimental because this can increase the extent as to which the concrete will shrink. The pulling forces of the shrinking can cause the concrete to crack.
You must let the concrete cure for more than a week or at least 10 days before driving over your driveway. This is because the concrete remains very unstable even after it has already partially solidified. It remains so even until 30 days after. Therefore, it will not be good to park on it until after then. You will notice that it will remain wet during the first day after drying. It is not advisable for people, even children, and pets to walk on it within the first 24 hours after pouring. These are precautionary measures to prevent early deformation.
You can use a substance like a concrete sealer to keep the surfaces of your concrete floors smooth and flawless. They can prevent damage against spills, wear, and other mechanical damages. The sealer itself contains many kinds of chemicals. Commonly, what we use is those based on acrylic. There are inexpensive and are widely available in hardware stores. Other types of chemicals that can be used are those that contain penetrating resins, epoxy, or polyurethane. These are easy to apply and you can just put them on as seldom as every two to five years. This will provide good protection already.
Yes, the weather has a great influence on the concrete. Heat levels or the lack of it can heavily affect the quality of the concrete in the long run. Higher temperatures play a role in the mixing of the ingredients. The right amount of heat is needed to properly combine the different components present. At low temperatures in the winter season, the concrete mix can lose heat very fast. During the mixing and pouring, a great temperature lowering can affect the quality of concrete. There are instances where the wet concrete prematurely freezes, hampering the natural chemical reaction that is responsible for making the concrete hard.
You have a lot of options for materials to use for your driveway. There is dirt, gravel, asphalt, and concrete. Among these, concrete is the most expensive. However, it also has the heaviest long-term benefits. After its installation, you will hardly need to think about it anymore. This is because it will seldom need maintenance. This is a lot less than what you will need for a gravel or asphalt pathway. Therefore, having to pay more initially means having the most long-term benefits too. You should never think twice about investing your hard-earned money on a good quality concrete driveway.
The proportions and the combinations of the different components of concrete play an important role in the strength and durability of concrete. In standard industry terms, there are seven parts of the concrete mix, which is composed of three different ingredients. The seven portions have four portions of crushed rock, with two parts of sand, and one part only of cement. This will comprise the 4-2-1 mix. Water will be added into this mix to make a homogenous concrete mixture. This is good for many situations. At our company, this is our default mix, although variations can be made as necessary.
Yes, one of the greatest things about concrete is that it is completely recyclable. There are many chances to recycle concrete throughout the course of its life in service. Scrap that is produced as byproducts of the manufacturing process of concrete can be added to the aggregate materials in concrete projects. When the concrete structure has already finished its life in service, a common end point is demolition. It is now standard protocol for concrete contractors that handle demolition activities to transport the removed concrete to the recycling facilities for proper processing. These can be used again for new concrete projects.
We need to test concrete to make sure that the concrete work we have done for you is of the highest quality. Among our routine tests early after pouring the concrete is the slump test and the measurement of the air content. The findings from tests like this can tell us whether some mistakes were made that would result in the concrete not hardening as it should. The information the results tell us can also help us direct where the correction can be done. Therefore, the solutions that we will plan will be properly targeted towards making sure that the concrete does not lose its expected strength.
Stains on concrete is not very unusual. This is a problem that is encountered in every other residential or commercial property. This is usually seen in driveways where cars are parked and grease drips. Fortunately, simple substances like sodium triphosphate can help fix this problem fast. Just leave some sodium triphosphate on the affected part for less than one hour. After that, it can easily be scrubbed off with the help of a stiff brush. If there are still marks after rinsing, it may be necessary to repeat the whole process. If sodium triphosphate is not an option for you, just use your household detergent.
Despite being known to be low maintenance, concrete will still need some maintenance. After all, low maintenance does not equate to zero maintenance. Luckily, the things that you need to do to maintain concrete are very simple. Most of these can be done by anyone at home. In general, most of concrete maintenance is just cleaning. For dirt and mud, you can hose them away or use special powerwashers. Several techniques are also available to remove stains. Another thing you can do is the simple application of concrete sealers like epoxy or acrylic on concrete flooring every 2 to 5 years.
Concrete has many components. This includes cement. Cement is the part of concrete that confers it gray hue. This is the main contributor since sand and rock is not consistently gray, yet almost all concrete turns out to be gray. Cement gets its color mainly from iron ore, which is black. When this main component is mixed with other substances to produce concrete, the result is a gray color. Although gray is a flexible neutral color, it is not necessarily attractive. Therefore, you have the options of adding some color to any concrete structure by means of painting or staining.
No, drying does not strengthen concrete. What strengthens concrete is the complex reaction that takes place between water and cement. This is called the process of hydration. This is a process that results in the formation of compounds and crystals that capture the sand and rock aggregates into a pasty material that will eventually harden. This process takes places while there is water in the mix. Typically, most concrete will already have 90% of its strength by the first week after pouring. While it still has some water, the reaction will continue, which will make the concrete harder in time.