As a property manager, having concrete knowledge is always a good thing. As one of the world’s most common building materials, concrete no doubt plays a major part in your professional life.
Here are a few hard facts you need to know about concrete.
Cement Isn’t Another Word for Concrete
Yes, cement and concrete are not the same thing. You can have a concrete sidewalk but there’s no such thing as a “cement sidewalk.”
Cement is one of the ingredients that make up concrete. Simply put, concrete is a mixture of paste and aggregates. The paste is made up of Portland cement and water. “Portland cement” is the generic term for the type of cement found in virtually all types of concrete. The paste coats the surface of the fine and coarse aggregates and through a chemical reaction called “hydration,” the paste hardens and becomes stronger, to form the rock-like mass of concrete.
This is what makes concrete wonderful to use in building projects. At first, it is malleable – easy to shape and work with – and then it hardens into something durable.
As one of the most-produced materials on Earth, concrete has the strength, lasting power, easy maintenance and low cost that make it the go-to material of houses, schools, high-rise towers, hospitals, airports, bridges, highways, rail systems and many other structures.
The Cure for Concrete
Curing refers to when the concrete sets during hydration and is one of the most important parts of the construction process. When done properly, curing greatly boosts concrete strength and durability.
In our concrete pouring process at R&M Concrete, we recommend a curing compound be applied immediately after the finish, since it helps the concrete cure evenly and reduces cracks. In any case, the entire curing process lasts 28 days, but the first week is the most critical. You’ll want to follow our time recommendations before walking and driving on your new concrete surface.
During curing, it is also critical that the concrete surface is kept damp to allow the hydration process to finish. Additives called “admixtures” are sometimes used to speed up the curing process when the temperature is low.
For a Long Life
While concrete is sturdy and requires little care, there are a couple of things you can do to help give it long life. First, apply a good-quality sealer the day the concrete is placed or within a month after. And occasionally clean it with soap and water. Both things will reduce the occurrence of staining or discoloration.
R&M Concrete is Tulsa and Oklahoma’s leading concrete company. Our qualifications and experience, combined with a focus on quality and attention to detail, have enabled us to compile a proven track record for concrete projects that are completed on time and on budget.
Contact us today for a free estimate for your next concrete project.