Information about Concrete
Concrete and Cement are not the same. It’s a terminology mix up that often occurs in the concrete industry:
Concrete is a composite material composed of fine and coarse aggregate bonded together with a fluid cement (cement paste) that hardens (cures) over time. Concrete is the second-most-used substance in the world after water, and is the most widely used building material. Its usage worldwide, ton for ton, is twice that of steel, wood, plastics, and aluminium combined.
A cement is a binder, a chemical substance used for construction that sets, hardens, and adheres to other materials to bind them together. Cement is seldom used on its own, but rather to bind sand and gravel (aggregate) together. Cement mixed with fine aggregate produces mortar for masonry, or with sand and gravel, produces concrete.
Proper Installation and Maintenance of Concrete
- hire an experienced contractor and purchase your concrete from a reputable supplier for your next concrete project.
- ensure the contractor does not use steel tools to finish outdoor concrete. Rather, wood or magnesium tools should be used to finish concrete.
- ensure that water is not added to the surface of concrete while finishing. Adding water to the surface will result in the concrete’s failure.
- concrete is to be installed in a timely manner. Finishing concrete for an extended time will result in the concrete’s failure (1.5 hour expiration after batching).
- apply a concrete sealer to the concrete’s surface asap, as per the manufacturers directions (usually after 30 days). Also apply the sealer after the concrete first winter.
- ensure the concrete does not freeze for at least 7 days after it’s installed, but preferably at 14 days.
- always shovel snow from the driveway’s surface prior to being driven on. Hard packed snow on top of concrete can cause scaling of the surface resulting from ice melting products which may be tracked onto the driveway and also freezing and thawing of that snow on the surface.
- do not apply any sort of ice melting products to concrete. It will result in scaling of the surface.