The terms cement and concrete have often been used interchangeably. However, cement is an ingredient used when mixing concrete. Cement is a powder that, when mixed with water, will harden into a durable solid form: concrete.
Concrete is formed using a mixture of aggregates and paste. Sand and gravel combined with water and cement will harden through a process called hydration in which the aggregates are bound together, forming what we know as concrete.
The ratio of water to cement is the highest determining factor in the strength of the concrete. The more water, the further spacing there will be between the cement and the hydration products. It is to be noted that the workability of the cement will also be affected by such measurements. Therefore, it is crucial to have the proper balance depending on the application you are employing.
The majority of concrete mixtures are made using Portland cement, which is grey in color. Through methods of staining and adding pigments, the cement can be modified in color.
The importance of curing concrete is a determining factor in the overall strength and durability of your concrete surfaces and structures. The hydration of concrete occurs when there is a reaction between the cement water while being kept at an ideal temperature. By keeping the concrete moist during this period, it will ensure proper hydration and a solid form.
The application of a concrete sealer is put in place to protect it from damage and staining. By creating an impermeable layer on the surface of your concrete, it will last longer and be much easier to maintain. Two types of sealers exist: topical and penetrating. As the names suggest, topical sealers adhere to the surface of the existing cement providing a visual enhancement while penetrating sealers use a chemical reaction to penetrate the surface.
During colder temperatures, it may be necessary to heat the concrete materials to complete the proper installation. The time it takes for the concrete to set may be extended. The curing process requires specific temperatures. Therefore, sheeting or insulation blankets may be used to protect the heat from escaping during colder installation periods.
Many factors can affect the strength of your concrete, even after it has been mixed. Pores are holes in the concrete that can be filled with air or water. The more porous the concrete, the less strength it will have, therefore the water to cement ratio is an important key factor when contemplating the strength of your concrete.
Other factors, such as the soundness of the aggregates, cement composition, and grinding of cement, all have an impact on the structural integrity of your concrete.
When concrete is installed properly, it is one of the most durable and long-lasting products. In order to prevent cracking prematurely, it is crucial to have professionals who will follow precise guidelines every step of the way. Due to weather conditions and movement of the soil around your property, it is possible over time that cracks will appear. With Elite Constructors Inc., these issues can be easily repaired.
It all depends on the severity and thickness of the cracks. At times, these can be an aesthetic issue that can easily be repaired with bonding agents to prevent the crack from getting larger. It is important to have any damaged concrete looked at by a professional to assess the problem and take care of it immediately.
When you are planning to install a new driveway, the biggest decision is what material to use. Concrete lasts much longer than asphalt and is easier to maintain and repair. The main difference between the two is the material that is used to adhere the aggregates together. While tar is cheaper than cement, the difference in quality is undeniable.
The decorative components that are possible with cement make it a highly versatile and affordable product for curb appeal.
Depending on the source of the stain, there are many products available to remove stains from your concrete. For instance, oil stains can easily be removed using a degreasing agent and then a poultice to absorb what remains. For rust stains, plain white vinegar will neutralize it and make your concrete look as good as new. Contact us for more stain removal methods for your concrete.
Maintaining your concrete will lengthen its lifespan significantly and require very little work to do so. Preventative measures can be taken to fix surface problems such as crack filling, patchwork, pressure washing, and protective coatings.