From Simple to Complex: The Varied Applications of Concrete.
Concrete is one of the most common building materials and can be used in a variety of different ways, including structurally and decoratively. Concrete is a versatile material that can be molded for diverse applications. From driveways to patios and decorative elements of all types, concrete is certainly a material that deserves respect for its range of uses. Richmond Concrete of Virginia has decades of experience with different applications and can provide you with the best choices for your job.
What Is Concrete and Why Is It Used?
To make concrete, crushed aggregate of varying sizes is used. Aggregate may include sand, crushed stones, gravel, recycled concrete, and slag. These materials are broken down into a semi-fine mixture, and then they are mixed with a cement paste that is meant to bind them together to form a stone-like substance.
There are multiple types of cement paste materials that can be used, including lime past or calcium aluminum cement. This mixture is combined with water to form a slurry that can easily be poured into all types of molds.
Concrete is a popular building material because of its durability, low maintenance, and ability to be exposed to all types of weather elements without easily breaking down. It is used in the construction of buildings because it can retain heat and helps to cut down on energy costs.
Types of Modern Concrete: There are three main types of concrete that can be used in construction. Knowing the different types is important for both residential and commercial needs. Richmond Concrete professionals have lots of experience with all of the following options and can assist you by providing you with choices you might not know about.
Regular concrete: When it comes to DIY projects and those that do not involve a lot of concrete, cement mixes are typically used. These mixes may include everything that is needed but the water, or the individual mixing the cement may need to add in sand. Regular concrete can withstand pressures of up to 5800 psi, but any pressures above this amount could cause damage.
High-strength concrete: This type of concrete is able to withstand much greater pressure which makes it ideal for many types of construction. When high-strength concrete is produced, it is made with less water to aggregate ratio, creating a much stronger product. Because there is less water, this type of concrete can be more difficult to work with, so plasticizers are often used to allow the concrete to be poured around the rebar. High-strength concrete is often formed into blocks for a foundation.
Stamped concrete: Stamped concrete is a type of architectural concrete. The finish is made completely smooth or can be stamped with designs. This type of concrete is often used in flooring, walkways, and parking lots. Depending on the application, the concrete can be permeated with pigments or even pressed into textured molds to make the concrete resemble natural stone. At Richmond Concrete our professionals are very experienced with this technique.
What Is Involved in Resurfacing Concrete?
As the name implies, concrete resurfacing involves several steps that are meant to repair and revitalize aged and damaged concrete floors, driveways, patios, and walkways. The following steps are used to fix all types of concrete problems and bring the surface back to life.
1. Power washers are used to wash the surface of the concrete and remove any dirt and grime that might be present. Removing the deeply embedded dirt allows the damage to be exposed so it can be repaired.
2. Any cracks are first primed and then covered with reinforced fabric. A polymer concrete mixture is then applied over the base area to ensure it will no longer crack or become damaged.
3. Any holes that are present in the concrete require a special epoxy mortar application that is able to bond with the old concrete material and ensure the hole is completely repaired.
4. If desired, coloring can then be applied to bring the old concrete back to life and make it look beautiful again. A seal coat is the last layer that is put in place, and it seals the concrete and ensures it will remain protected against weather exposure.
5. The curing process takes up to 72 hours, and during this time, the driveway, walkway, flooring, or patio cannot be used.
What Is the Difference Between Structural and Architectural Concrete?
There are two main types of concrete applications and they include structural and architectural. Structural concrete provides strength to a building and is put in place as a load-bearing structure.
Architectural concrete adds a touch of design, while also helping to add to the structure. The two are typically used in conjunction to ensure the end result is strong and aesthetically pleasing.
Do It Yourself Approaches Can Lead to Mistakes
Because concrete is such a forgiving material, home and business owners sometimes try to take a DIY approach to installation. Although concrete is an easy medium to handle, it must be installed carefully and with an expert approach best done by an experienced contractor. The following shows some of the common mistakes home and business owners make when they try to install concrete without the professionals.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when installing concrete is underestimating the amount of concrete they need. While decorative elements can be superficial, those that will bear loads need to be much thicker. For instance, residential driveways should be no less than six inches thick.
Many individuals find themselves ordering too little concrete. This can be disastrous in the middle of a project because concrete waits for no one. It is always better to order more than is needed than to not have enough.
A lack of knowledge can cause a person to think that all types of concrete are the same. Knowing the different types and where they should be installed is crucial and takes expert knowledge for the best results.
Without the proper tools, concrete novices can find themselves in over their heads with a project. The right tools are critical for ensuring the concrete will be installed precisely and with a finished, professional look.
A lack of proper support in a concrete project can lead to major damages as the ground shifts and temperatures change. If the right support is not in place, the individual will end up wasting their time installing the concrete because it will not last.
The professionals at Richmond Concrete in Richmond, Va. can answer your questions and provide you with ideas and options you may not have been aware of.
Concrete Service Near Me
If you are looking for a reputable and experienced Concrete specialist who communicates well and takes great pride in their work, look no further than Richmond Concrete Pros. Our experienced and knowledgeable staff can provide you with ideas and options to create the perfect end product.
The Bottom Line:
Concrete is a material that can be used in a vast number of ways, allowing for all types of structural, architectural, and decorative projects. Concrete is used in industrial, commercial, and residential settings.
When it comes to concrete projects, it is wise for individuals to rely on professional contractors to ensure the work is carried out to exacting specifications.
Taking a DIY approach simply poses too many risks for a failed outcome. Unless you have all the requisite equipment and know-how to complete jobs like these, the odds of disappointment at the outcome will be high.
Richmond Concrete can provide you with the direction you need. Call Richmond Concrete today at (804) 552-0590.
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