Concrete is a practical material; everyone knows that. It can also be made beautiful when it is stamped or otherwise decorated. But one downside to concrete that may discourage homeowners from using it is how they have seen it crack.
In reality, however, if the concrete is installed properly it will undergo little-to-no cracking. A well-versed concrete contractor knows how to mix and pour concrete to minimize cracking that can ruin the looks of your surface.
There are certain factors that will contribute to concrete cracking. Let's take a look at some of them as well as steps taken by a quality contractor to avoid them.
Too much water in the mix
One of the more common reasons that cracks, also known as faults, develop is that the concrete was improperly mixed which is typically a case of having too much water in the mixture. The proper settling of concrete happens to the process of hydration. Meaning that the water has to combine with the concrete at our particular pace. While the water evaporates it is contributing to the curing process of the concrete with too much water the concrete cannot hear properly.
Drying too fast
On the flip side of the coin the concrete should not dry too quickly either. The full process of curing the concrete can take weeks or even a full month depending on the type of job and concrete that is being used. In our fast-paced world of quick internet access, fast food and instant gratification we may want to quickly get our concrete project completed but if it is done too quickly it will cause those unsightly cracks in the future.
Another reason that concrete may crack is due to inadequate thickness of the slab that was poured. A proper thickness must be determined by the contractor doing the work he may ask questions like the type of vehicles or other traffic that will be using this concrete slab. For example a walkway is not as thick as a driveway that must support large vehicles. We have heard horror stories of concrete companies near me coming in and saving himself a little money by pouring that is thinner than recommended for the application. Other issues we have come into is home DIYers with little experience pouring concrete either creating a bad mixture for pouring a slab that is too thin.
Concrete poured in Lakewood when it's too cold
The cold weather of Colorado can be a negative factor on the curing process of concrete. If you are nearing the colder months of the year you can speak with your contractor about their experience dealing with cold weather pours make sure that they have adequate experience and that your slab will come out how you imagined it would.
Insufficient control joints
You can have the right mixture the Perfect weather in your concrete can still crack. That is why you see pre-made cracks in concrete slabs these are called control joints. These control joints are used to control where the concrete will. As concrete cures it shrinks thus causing natural tracks that can be controlled by the contractor with these control joints. If the contractor does not place the right amount of control joints you can get random tracks spreading across the center of your slab or concrete patio becoming an eyesore.
Long-term reasons that concrete will crack
A top rated concrete company in Lakewood, Colorado will be able to negate the majority of these issues. Give Lakewood Masonry call if you are experiencing any of these issues with your concrete slabs, we can come out and assess your situation you come up with the best solution.
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When you are deciding what contractor you should use the pour concrete around your home or business it can become a daunting task to sift through the different companies in your area. We will go over five factors you should consider when you are choosing a concrete pouring company in Lakewood get the job done right for you.
Spend a few minutes doing some research
A little bit of research can go a long way towards finding the right concrete contractor for your job. You can check the Better Business Bureau for the businesses rating you can also check Google, Yelp and other review sources to see what prior customers experiences were like. Search for concrete pouring companies near me It is also helpful to have some knowledge of the job you need completed so that you can ask the contractor questions while they are going through your quote.
Ask friends and family for recommendations
Word of mouth has always been a powerful tool for small business owners to increase their volume. A contractor that does high quality work for a good price will always attract referrals from previous customers.
When you are getting concrete work done at your house it is the best practice to have at least three quotes done on the work that you need performed. Often times prices that are quoted can seem very subjective so ask the contractors why or how they came up with the pricing that they did. This can include man-hours amount of material and other factors that will play into the price of the job. It is also good to know that price is not the main deciding factor when choosing which contractor you will use. The company with the lowest price might not do the best work so you have to take that into consideration when you are choosing a contractor you work with.
Check that the contractors are licensed
Make sure that you ask the contractor for their local state license before they start any work. you may also ask them what kind of insurance they have so that you do not become liable for any on-site accident. A high-quality contractor will also know exactly what local permits you will need when installing concrete at your home or business.
Look for experience
A new contractor may not always be the best choice, so asking the company how long they have been in business and maybe for a couple references is a great way of vetting the business. If a contractor has been in business for over 10 years this is a good indicator that they stand behind their work and provide good customer service. Do not hesitate to ask question and to be involved in the process. A good concrete company will walk you through step-by-step what the installation process will look like, how long it will take and what you can expect as the results.
For a concrete contractor in Lakewood, Colorado that passes all of these tests and provide high-quality work day in and day out give Lakewood masonry a call today for any of your concrete needs.
Concrete consists of a mixture of cement, aggregates and water. Concrete may be the most essential and serviceable material in the world of construction. There are many types of concrete that can be used in various aspects of construction, which depends on the type of concrete work you need to complete. Whether you are repairing an old patio or planning to install a new one these are a few reasons why you should consider concrete.
Concrete is low maintenance
You keep your concrete patio looking brand new year-in and year-out all you need is a little bit of maintenance. To ensure that your concrete maintains its beautiful look you will want to wash it off with a hose once or twice a month. If your concrete patio is surrounded by plants or trees you may want to use a pressure washer once a month to avoid stains being left on the patio.
Concrete is very durable
Concrete is a very long lasting and durable material, it actually gains strength as time goes on. Concrete will not a erode over time due to weathering or high traffic making it a great investment for any homeowner. You will not have to re-stain it every year or replace it because it will last over a decade. Unlike wood, concrete does not hold in dust, pollen or pollutants which makes it the perfect material for a backyard patio.
Concrete is versatile
You can form concrete into any shape you desire this means you can add natural curves and twists that are soft on the eyes and make your backyard feel like an oasis. If you like gentle curves they will go a long way towards creating an atmosphere that you will enjoy for years to come. The versatility of the concrete will allow you to easily form and shape your slab to fit into your backyard space.
Concrete is affordable
Using concrete as the material for your patio is a very cost-effective way to redesign and reinvent your backyard. The initial cost of concrete installation and labor costs are lower overall than other materials that are used for patios. Other factors that make concrete affordable are it's low maintenance cost and longevity. Whether you are looking to replace your current concrete patio or simply have it refinished concrete is a budget-friendly option for homeowners looking to spice up their backyard living space.
Concrete color options
Depending on your style there are a hundred different ways you can dress up your concrete to suit your eye complete your vision. You can have the concrete match your landscaping, house color or any other form of masonry you may have in your backyard. Having the ability to personalize your concrete will allow you to create a backyard atmosphere that rivals that of a tropical hotel. Along with color options you can also use stamping patterns to change the texture of the concrete.
Here at Lakewood masonry we can help you with all of your concrete patio needs. Show us some online photos that you may want to replicate and we will be able to get the job done right for you. give us a call today to schedule a free design consultation.
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between concrete and cement?
Both of these materials are very important in the construction industry. The term concrete and cement are often used intermittently to mean the same thing. When in fact, concrete and cement are two different materials and should be differentiated.
The terms cement and concrete can be confused by people who do not work in the construction industry and are attempting a DIY project.
Although the two terms are typically used synonymously, concrete and cement are actually very different materials. Cement is a fine material that is part of both concrete and mortar and is never actually used alone. While concrete is a very strong and reliable material composed of sand, cement and gravel.
Cement can be thought of as an ingredient that is used in both mortar and concrete. It commonly consists of clay, limestone, quartz, shells and sand. These materials are pulverized and mixed with the other elements which includes iron ore, then heated to almost 1,500 degrees Celsius. The results of this process produce a fine ground powder. Cement is also commonly referred to as Portland cement which was created in the 1800's. Portland cement is the most commonly used type of cement in modern construction. It is considered “hydraulic cement” that hardens when water is added.
Concrete has a wide variety of uses in construction. The main ingredients of concrete are sand, cement and crushed stone (or another type of coarse aggregate). The cement that that is put into the concrete mixture is activated when there is water added to the mixture. For small tasks you can purchase ready-made mixtures of cement. For large projects you are able to purchase large cement packets and mix them with gravel and sand.
Concrete and cement: the basics you need to know
If you are unfamiliar with these materials you may have a lot of questions, here are a few answers for you
How can I make the cement stronger?
The factor that is most crucial in predicting the strength of the concrete is the ratio of water to the cement paste that binds all of the ingredients together. The higher this ratio is the weaker concrete products. Less water, more cement equals stronger concrete.
What causes concrete to crack?
When concrete dries the volume will change. Concrete professionals mitigate cracking by integrating concrete joints on footpaths or floors. This allows the crack that is inevitable to be in a straight line through the joint. These cracks are caused by the concrete drying and decreasing in size.
Does concrete strengthen underwater?
As we talked about earlier, Portland cement is a hydraulic cement, meaning that the cement will harden because of a chemical response with the water. This means that yes, it will harden underwater.
We hope that this article has shed some light on the difference between concrete and cement. If you have any additional questions or like us to do your concrete work for you please call us at 720-605-2740