Frequent Asked Questions

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To make it clear, these two terms refer to different things. Concrete is not cement, in the same way that cement is not concrete. But one of the vital things to remember here is that cement is one of the many components of concrete. Concrete is the substance that hardens into a rock like material. This has two major components, the aggregates which are crushed rock and sand; and the binding material which is cement. In essence, cement holds the aggregate materials together to form what we know as concrete. This is the important distinction of these two terms.

Yes, there can be variants of concrete even if the basic components are the same. Slight changes with each of the components can produce some concrete with a different characteristic. Hence, it is important to remember that not all concrete is created equally. In a setting where it is necessary to have a tougher concrete, what can be done is to increase the proportion of rock. Aside from this kind of variations with concrete, there are also eco-friendly kinds of concrete. These have the common characteristic of being able to let water pass directly through the concrete and into the subsoil.

It will be highly likely that you will need a concrete contractor. A concrete project is not as simple as it looks. It takes more expertise than just a basic background in mixing and pouring concrete. It is best if proper informed planning is done for the project. Usually, the margin for error is very small, and it is often a lot to risk. Another reason why hiring a concrete contractor is beneficial is the resources, both manpower and equipment. The equipment is not just hard to come by, but they also need to be operated by trained and knowledgeable individuals.

Having concrete that is forced to set in a heavy rain just might arguably be one of the worst nightmares of someone working in the concrete industry. This is because water coming from the rain can offset the delicate balance of the various components of the concrete mixture. Water is one of these important components, and it cannot be present in too much or too little amount. Otherwise, the quality of the cement can be compromised. As a workaround, we try to schedule our pouring activities during good weather. In case of unpredictable rain, we make sure that we bring enough tarps.

Yes, and this is but one of the various design possibilities that can be achieved with concrete. Painting the concrete is something frequently done for walkways, sidewalks, driveways, pathways, and even patios and pool decks. The special thing about this is that any color is possible through the new technologies of paint mixing. Custom shades can be made for you. But when painting concrete, it is important to remember to use masonry or elastomeric paint. These kinds of paint are designed to stick well to the surface of the concrete even as it expands or shrinks. Better to use a roller than a sprayer for this.

In most situations, there is no sole reason why the concrete cracks. There may be many different variables at paly, each affecting the concrete in a different way. The factors which affect the cracking of concrete more severely are those that have something to do with it when the concrete was still in the stages of mixing. One such case is when the wrong proportions and amounts of the different components of concrete are put in the mix. A common error is adding too much water. Water can help make mixing easier, but it can also increase the volume of the wet concrete which can lead to cracks.

One of the unique things about concrete is that it must be allowed to cure before it can be fully used. For driveways, the amount of time can vary, but the recommendation of the experts at our company is that at least seven to days must be allowed before any driving is done over the concrete. But at this point, it is not yet advisable to park on it even if it already seems hard enough. It is best to wait until the first month has elapsed before your drive on it. This ensures that the concrete is more stable.

There are many simple preventive and maintenance steps that you can take if you want to make sure that your concrete can be of greater quality for a longer period. One of which is the periodic application of a concrete sealer. This is a substance composed of chemicals that are designed to stick on the surface of the concrete, offering it some protection from wear and tear and even spills. Applying it as infrequent as every two to five years is often sufficient to maintain the quality of the concrete. This is very cheap and easy to use even without training.

Yes, it is a known fact that the prevailing weather conditions can affect the concrete. In many cases, the temperature is the factor that can have a great effect on its quality and stability. This must always be considered when planning a concrete project, especially during the pouring phase. It is generally risky to do a concrete pouring activity on a day that is very cold. This is because there is a great chance that the liquid concrete mix freezes due to the temperature. Curing of the concrete cannot occur anymore when the concrete mix has frozen, which is why we do everything that we can so that this can be avoided.

There are a lot of situations where the less expensive option is not always the best choice. The setting of choosing a material for your driveway is no different. In most cases, you pay more for something because this more expensive option offers more benefits that cannot be given by the cheaper one. In the debate between asphalt and concrete, this is true as well. Concrete will take years before repairs and other maintenance will be needed since it is tough and stable. For asphalt, sealing is already required just months after it was placed, and this makes concrete more cost effective.

The characteristics f concrete does rely a lot on the accuracy and appropriateness of the mix proportions used for a particular setting.  It is important to follow these recommended mix proportions to use the best kind of concrete for your project. Unless otherwise specified, we use the four, two, one proportion for more projects. This is made up of four parts crushed rock, with two parts of sand, and the last part is cement. This is what makes up the “just right” combination. But then, modifications are still welcome if there are more specific considerations that will be needed for your concrete structure.

Yes, it is quite good news that concrete is reliably recyclable. The advent of new technologies in the recent years has allowed for this to happen. There are many occasions in the lifetime of concrete where recycling is applicable. This is because even the slabs, ash, and other byproducts of manufacturing can be redirected back into processing. After concrete has been demolished, the concrete scraps can be transported to the proper recycling facilities where they can be processed. The resulting material will be aggregates which can be good to use for any future construction projects such as roads, buildings, and more.

It is advisable and frankly, a good decision to test concrete since this will allow you to ensure that you are getting the best possible quality. The results of the tests can be interpreted such that we can determine whether the concrete passes the industry standard. If the problems are detected early on because testing has been done, then solutions can be directed easily. Concrete tests are very simple to do, hence the benefits of the getting the results of tests outweigh deciding not to test simply because it seems inconvenient or tedious. Simple slump test or measurement of air content can go a long way.

Knowing how to remove stains from concrete can be quite beneficial since many property owners will find these blemishes annoying. Usually, it is grease stains that we see often especially in driveways. The techniques on how these can be removed are backed by scientific studies. To combat the oil that is in grease, it will be advisable to use a product that contains sodium triphosphate. It is not hard to find these in your local hardware stores. Ideally, the stain must be soaked in the solution for some time, 30 minutes at least. After which, you can scrub it off.

Concrete may not be the highest maintenance materials there is, but that does not mean that maintaining it is only an option. Keeping it clean is a simple, basic, and yet effective thing that you can do. You can simply hose down your driveway or walls. Better yet, you can use a powerwasher. Another basic thing that you can do even without professional help is the application of a concrete sealer. This can be bought in most hardware stores. Be sure that you choose a product that contains polyurethane, epoxy, or acrylic. We also consider the regular inspection of concrete as maintenance.

Concrete is not cement, and cement is not concrete. The most important fact that you must keep in mins is cement is a part of concrete. Among the many components of concrete, it is the cement that confers its distinct gray appearance. Cement is a power like substance that comes from mining carbon, limestone, iron ore, and clay. Of these substances, iron ore is the black one. The black pigment this contains is diluted when mixed with clay, limestones, and all those other additives, making the cement fray instead. Gray is not the brightest hue, so you can stain or paint your concrete.

The concrete gains strength through the complex chemical reactions that take place between the different components that it has. One of the important chemical reactions involved in this is the hydration processes. This happens when water is added to the cement. This, in a way “activates” the cement which allows the aggregate materials to be bound within this matrix of wet cement. While water is present, the reactions will continue, and this can strengthen the bond between all these small components. Hence, it will appear as if the concrete becomes stronger as it dries, because it becomes maximally stronger as water still reacts.

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