Using concrete for construction is not a new idea, but some of the uses are new. For example, concrete flooring installed with a designers etching to give the concrete floor a beautiful appearance is a wonderful new idea to give an old floor a new look. Another relatively new use for concrete is the counter top and back splash. Some of these installations are simply beautiful, and they are very durable. They are also less costly than some other materials that are used for counter tops.
Of course concrete is still the primary construction material for residential concrete foundations, sidewalks and driveways. The strength and durability of concrete is always a factor in using it for construction purposes.
People often believe that cement and concrete are the same, but they are different in that concrete is made using cement. The materials that are used to make concrete are water, Portland Cement, aggregates, and fine sand. Only 11 percent of the mix is Portland Cement.
The ingredient that requires careful measurement is water which comprises about 16 percent of the mix. The Portland Cement comes to life when water adheres to it. The strength of the concrete is determined by the quality of the paste which is dependent on the amount of water that has been added. The lower water-cement ratio will increase the quality of the cement. However, don’t hold back on the water to the point where the workability of the fresh concrete is difficult. Generally, the less water the better provided all of the other requirements are met such as properly consolidating the cement and properly placing it. Concrete can dry out too much if the delivery truck holds the mix too long.
A different concrete ingredient ratio may be required for different applications such as a driveway that heavy truck rigs will use. Concrete laid in areas where the weather can become very cold may need to be specially formulated.
Home Inspections in Cincinnati will require a specific concrete mix for the use that it is intended for. Generally, the concrete mixing company knows what the specs are and will adhere to them. Properly mixed, concrete can become a long-lasting and excellent construction material. However, one size does not fit all. Make sure that the mix is understood and accepted.