Concrete is one of the best materials for both indoor and outdoor construction. It’s versatile, strong, and reliable when it’s treated the right way. But many people don’t realize how many misconceptions surround this simple and amazing building material. Here are some of the most common ways that concrete is misunderstood.
Concrete or Cement?
The first step in understanding a material is to have the right terminology. The problem is that the word “concrete” is used interchangeably with “cement” when they are, in fact, not the same thing. The important distinction is that cement is an ingredient, and by itself cannot make a good building material. Cement is a combination of minerals, like calcium and iron, with silicon that is used as a binder in concrete. When you mix cement with water, aggregates such as sand, and other additives, then it becomes concrete. So if you get confused by the use of these terms, remember that concrete is a building material, and cement is one key ingredient in concrete.
Conditions for Construction
Building with concrete is not a very complex process, but some key factors affect the final product. One of these factors is the weather and temperature. It’s not a good idea to pour concrete any time of year unless the conditions are ideal. In other words, it’s just as bad to pour concrete in the dead of winter as it is on the hottest summer day. Extreme temperatures and too much humidity can prevent concrete from drying evenly. For best results, talk to a paving contractor about having it done during the early fall or late spring.
Even though concrete is a very strong material, you can take some extra measures to protect it. Concrete is porous, which means that it can let in water easily. While being porous isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it could be a good idea to get a concrete sealant to help prevent water damage. Also, be careful to avoid harsh cleaning methods, like power-washing, on concrete. At the very least, use the lowest pressure setting to power wash, otherwise simply hosing it down could be better. Do not ever use an acid wash on concrete, even if it has a sealant because the acid is very damaging.
Contact M&D Paving Today!
Are you ready to start your next paving project? If you want professionals you can trust for high-quality concrete or asphalt paving, look no further than M&D Paving, Inc. We are a third-generation, family-owned and operated asphalt paving company serving the Maryland area. With over 35 years of experience, we are a licensed, bonded, and insured MHIC member. Contact us online or give us a call at (443)-820-3057 to get a free estimate today.