No, these two do not refer to just one thing. They are often interchanged. However, this is for good reason. This is because one cannot exist without the other. In this sense, concrete cannot be complete without cement. Cement is the one which binds all the aggregate materials such as the crushed rock and sand with water. To put it simply, it serves as some sort of glue that hold everything in place. When the water has left the cement, a hard, rock like mass that we know as concrete will be all that remains. Differentiating these can be important for you.
Yes, there are so many kinds. There is more than just one kind of concrete. Although, the differences may be very subtle. To be more specific, it is just the balance of the components that is changed. As for the components, themselves, it will not greatly vary. However, be mindful though that the slight change in the amounts of the components can already cause a significant change in the outcome of the concrete. So, knowing how each the variation in each of the component is take cared of by professionals to make sure that the results are aligned with what is needed.
In our experience, most people do need a concrete contractor. Many people have tried doing their concrete DIY, but these are seldom successful. Moreover, these are often just the smaller projects. For the bigger ones, it will almost be impossible to accomplish them without professional help. For example, someone without the experience and tools might not be able to even start the construction of the foundation. A lot of work will also be dedicated in planning and preparation of the site. If you already have a concrete contractor, these will all be taken cared of and you won’t have to worry about it.
The pouring rain and concrete do not mix well, literally. Hence, it really is not advisable to have the concrete set in the rain. At our company, we make sure that we do everything in our power to make sure that concrete pouring does not coincide with heavy rains. Some of the techniques that we employ are coordinated scheduling, and when worse comes to worst, we bring out the tarps that we have ready to cover the area. So why is it not good for concrete to set in the rain? The added water is out of proportion, causing imbalances.
Yes, painting is an absolute for concrete. The most important thing that you should keep in mind when painting your concrete is that you should use the right kind. There are many variants of paints that are formulated differently based o what they will be used for. If concrete will be painted, the right paint will be masonry paint or elastomeric paint. These kinds of paints have been specially formulated to be able to stick better on concrete no matter the extent of its contraction or shrinkage. So, check the label or be mindful of these when ordering a shade.
In most cases, we cannot really point to a single reason for the cracking of concrete. This is because in real-life, the cracking of concrete is due to the interaction of several different factors both external and internal to the concrete. For those that are ‘internal’ or directly related to the concrete, it could be some mistake in the preparation such as not using the recommended mix proportions. On the other hand, the external factors are more extensive and multiple. Some of which may include weather conditions, how the concrete is used and maintained, and other mechanical causes and factors.
On the average, it is a no-no to drive on the concrete until after a week from pouring. However, for better results, our company practices advising our clients not to drive on it until after ten full days have passed. This will make sure that the concrete has truly reached the 90% strength that it is expected to have by this time. Any time prior, the concrete can still be unstable and permanent changes can occur. As for parking on it, we advise clients not to park until after the first full month. In our experience, this has resulted in great quality driveways.
There is one simple way for you to protect the surface of the concrete from damages. This is every simple and usually can be accomplished by anyone. This is the application of concrete sealers. This are composed of various chemicals, with the major ones usually a choice among polyurethane, acrylic, or epoxy. Just by using a normal roller or a sprayer, this can already be applied. One layer can protect that part of the concrete from damages like spills for the next two to five years. If you have not had your concrete sealed yet, this will be the best time to do so.
Yes, there is an interaction between concrete and the weather especially when those exposed in the outdoor sites. There is a complex process involved in how different weather entities affect concrete. For example, in terms of temperature, the extreme cold can be bad for concrete. This is because the curing of concrete is a function of time. When it is cold, though, the water content of the concrete can freeze before the curing can even take place. Frozen concrete is not usable anymore. Its removal will also be another work. Hence, we tend to avoid pouring concrete during freezing weathers.
The option which will cost you less is not automatically the best choice for you. When it comes to concrete and asphalt, there are many differences beyond just the price. It is true the initially, asphalt can seem to be much less costly to install. However, what may not realize yet is the implication of choosing it. Since asphalt has a less stable consistency when compared to concrete, what usually happens is that asphalt will need to be reinforced and maintained more often that concrete. Mind you, this will not be cheap. Moreover, this can be needed often, hence accumulating costs.
There is no set or ideal mix proportions for concrete. However, unless any special need is raised otherwise, we follow the mixture we know in practice as 4-2-1. Often, this mix is good enough for almost anything. To break it down, this proportion pertains to that which has 4 of the seven parts composed of grinded rock, two parts of fine sand, and just one part for cement. There are some instances where these are modified to give the concrete the ideal characteristics for the setting. For example, we can increase the proportion of rock from four to five if needed.
Yes, concrete can undergo processes which will make it suitable again for use in other purposes. For many concrete companies like us, this is already part of our protocol. We make sure that every bit of concrete is brought to the facilities so they can be used again. We get much of the scrap concrete that we bring to these facilities from the demolition projects that we handle. After removing the concrete, we also plan their transportation. After which, the recycling firm will handle the process. In the end, we also avail from the resulting aggregate material to use in future projects.
We test concrete as part of our routine procedures to make sure that they are in the best shape that they can be. Sometimes, even if we know that we followed the protocol for mixing and pouring, some unexpected things can happen that can affect the quality of the concrete. This is why we make sure that we are not complacent with our procedures. We can learn many things about the concrete by doing a simple slump test or by measuring the air content. We can identify if something is wrong. This will also give us an idea how we can make it better.
Several simple procedures can be done to remove stains from your concrete. This can be achieved even just with regular cleaners and household items. Yes, the stains can be eliminated completely, even without the direct assistance of experts. Our recommended method is this. Make sure that you have at least the following: laundry detergent or sodium triphosphate cleaning solution, and a brush or some form of scrub. First, allow the stain to soak in the solution for at leas 30 minutes. After which, it is usually easier to scrub the stain off. If there is any left, you can repeat the process.
Yes, like all other materials, concrete is not exempted from needing maintenance. Even when we all know that it is durable, it still benefits from the maintenance measures that you can do. For example, you can keep it clean at all times. For outdoor concrete, regularly wash them just by a regular garden hose or with the help of power washers. A simple thing that you also do is the application of concrete sealers. This can be bought from any hardware store near you. Application is just by the use of a roller or sprayer, thereafter, giving supreme surface protection.
Concrete anywhere in the world has that indistinct gray color. When we think of concrete, this is the color that we imagine. Among the many components of concrete, it is the cement part which gives it its color. Hence, you may ask, why is cement gray. Well mainly, it is because of one of its main components, the iron ore. This has a black color. but cement is not made entirely from iron ore. Other materials are added to it. These have a lighter color. When mixed with black, these substances turn the mixture that wil become the cement gray.
There is an intricate reaction involved in the drying and hardening of concrete. It is commonly mistaken that drying the concrete out is the main thing that will make it stronger. However, this is not the process responsible for it. However, it is closely related. The addition of water into cement starts the process of hydration. This is the term for the main reaction that will bind everything together in the form of hardened concrete. The hydration process carries on while the concrete has some water content, and as this goes on, the concrete does gain strength until it is dry.