Category Archives: Concrete

cement-vs-concrete

What are 12 Types of Cement?

Concrete construction involves many different types of cement. What about cement vs concrete? What are the key properties, advantages, and challenges of each? The main types of cement include: hydrographic cement, expansive cement, air entraining cement, white cement, high alumina cement, blast furnace slag cement, sulfates resisting cement, low heat cement, quick setting cement, rapid hardening cement, Portland Pozzolana cement, and ordinary Portland cement. Let’s go over some of the key types.

Know the Difference

What is cement? Cement vs Concrete:

  • Cement is not the same as concrete
  • Many people mix the terms
  • Cement is a concrete ingredient
  • Concrete is a mix of paste and aggregates (often sand, gravel, or crushed stone)

Ordinary Portland Cement and Portland Pozzolana Cement

The most popular type of cement for concrete construction is Ordinary Portland Cement. Construction projects use ordinary Portland cement globally for a wide range of construction projects. Portland Pozzolana Cement has a higher resistance to chemicals. Construction companies use Portland Pozzolana Cement for sewage projects, marine structures, and any concrete exposed to water like bridges and dams.

Rapid Hardening Cement and Quick Setting Cement

Construction companies use rapid hardening cement for prefabricated concrete construction and road projects. The mixture hardens in three days, allowing for earlier removal of formwork. Quick setting cement also sets earlier but with lower strength.

White Cement and Colored Cement

Both of these types of cement are used primarily decoratively for architectural design. Contact our professionals about customizing your concrete construction. White cement can be used for swimming pools and garden ornaments.

High Alumina Cement

High Alumina Cement has high comprehensive strength. The cement is more workable and ideal for projects subject to frost, extreme temperatures, and acid.

Contact our experienced professionals today about your concrete construction needs. We are ready to help you.

blacktop-paving

What are the properties of Asphalt

When considering asphalt concrete mixtures, each mixture needs specific properties to meet recommended safety guidelines. Whether for blacktop paving or other construction projects, reach the required mix properties in stability, durability, flexibility, fatigue resistance, skid resistance, impermeability, and workability. Read the specifics below.

The Importance of Stability

Stable paving will remain smooth and not alter in shape regardless of loading and stress. This is essential for blacktop paving. A balance between internal friction and cohesion increases stability. This will help maintain shape under heavy traffic.

Maintaining Durability and Impermeability

Pavement withstands considerably stressed due to traffic, weather, and moisture. To maintain durability, use maximum binder content and a denser gradation of stripping resistant aggregate. This helps reduce the passage of moisture, water, and air through the pavement.

Workability and Flexibility Are Key

The more workable the mixture is, the easier it is to place and shape. Ensure stability to avoid issues with workability. If a mix is too easy to work, then the resultant mixture can be unstable. This “tender mix” might have too much moisture, not enough mineral filler, or too much sand. Flexibility determines if the pavement will resist cracking. All asphalt pavement needs flexibility to avoid cracking, potholes, and other damage. 

Fatigue Resistance

Constant heavy traffic leads to bending in the pavement. If the pavement has not been mixed properly or exhibits fatigue, cracking results. Aging and poor mixing contribute to poor fatigue resistance.

The Importance of Skid Resistance

For high traffic areas, skid resistance helps tired grip the surface and avoid slipping and skidding. Especially important in areas with high precipitation, skid resistance prevents accidents and injury. Avoid smooth surfaces. Rough surfaces have more skid resistance.

Follow all mix requirements to maintain these key desirable properties. If you have questions about paving, asphalt, and concrete, feel free to contact our experienced professionals today. We are ready to help you with your project.

parking-lot-maintenance

What is the Cheapest Driveway Material?

Homeowners and business owners have many choices when choosing the right type of material for their driveway. Parking lot maintenance, aesthetics, and weather are all important factors in determining the right type of material. What are the materials available for your driveway, and which is the cheapest?

Asphalt Driveways – Pros and Cons

Asphalt driveways continue to be the least costly option. Regular parking lot maintenance is necessary, as asphalt is prone to cracks and potholes. Harsh weather conditions and water damage can easily deteriorate the asphalt. Because of its relatively high maintenance, regular resealing and repair is necessary every few years. While this may be a good option for most situations, realize the amount of work that needs to be done to maintain the asphalt.

Expect to resurface the driveway every ten to fifteen years, especially in harsh climates. Asphalt is relatively easy to plow in the winter, especially when compared with gravel or stone parking lots and driveways. It also provides better traction for pedestrians, minimizing falls. Asphalt has a nice curb appeal.

Concrete Challenges and Benefits

Concrete driveways cost a little bit more than asphalt driveways. It has very similar properties in regards to durability but with a longer lifespan. Sealing is recommended regularly, and concrete is prone to damage and cracking in harsher weather conditions. Concrete does not have the curb appeal of asphalt. Ask about custom options like color and brushing for more aesthetic appeal.

Paving Stone Driveways

While paving stone driveways have a higher cost, they also add the most attractive curb appeal to your home or business. Enjoy a stone pavement lifespan of thirty years or more with low maintenance. Stone blends with landscaping, driveways, and fountains. Brick and stone last in harsh climates. Paving stone requires professional installation. Enjoy a luxurious driveway for decades.

interlocking-driveway-gravel

How to Remove Weeds from Driveway Cracks

Homeowners constantly lose their battle with weeds. Whether you have an asphalt pavement driveway, cement, or an interlocking driveway gravel entrance, weeds magically reappear. They sprout around gardens and stepping stones, in driveway cracks and potholes, becoming an unseemly nuisance. How can you remove weeds from your driveway for good?

Chemical-Free Options

While many ways exist to terminate weeds, some older green remedies may work. For example, pour vinegar over your interlocking driveway gravel or driveway cracks. Vinegar, a natural herbicide, kills all plants. This means you don’t want to spray vinegar on flowers and your regular landscaping, just where you want to eliminate weeds. Add dish soap to the vinegar for a more effective solution. Another quick solution? Pour hot boiling water over the weeds.

Pull Weeds

If you don’t mind a little bit of hard work, simply pull out the weeds that grow. Prevent future weeds by filling cracks with cement crack filler. You want to pull the weeds before they seed. Once they seed, even if you have pulled every leaf and root, the seeds will start a new batch of plants.

Herbicides

If you have a particularly nasty weed problem or conventional methods don’t work, then you can use a commercial herbicide to reduce weed growth. Any local garden store will have these on the shelf. Read the instructions carefully and be sure to follow all safety directions. Apply regularly to prevent weeds.

Salt

Finally, if you want to prevent weeds from growing, you can apply salt to the soil. Salt will kill any plants trying to grow. Be sure that the salted soil does not wash into your garden, flower beds, or any area that you desire foliage. This will kill wanted plants, too. Follow these simple tips to remove unwanted weeds from your driveway.

asphalt-reconstruction-tips

5 Ways to Improve Your Driveway Curb Appeal

Your home’s driveway is the first feature that any visitor or prospective buyer will see. Attractive curb appeal is an important aspect of any residence. There are many ways to enhance the overall look of your home, including repairing or replacing your driveway or installing a custom paved walkway. Read more to find out helpful asphalt reconstruction tips, style options, and other ways to improve your home.

Repair Old Driveways

When a visitor drives up to your home, do they see worn, cracked pavement or potholes? Two helpful asphalt reconstruction tips include patching up any small holes and cracks once they occur and repair potholes before further damage affects the structural integrity of the driveway. Why are driveways so susceptible to damage? Harsh weather, snow and ice, or water damage all affect your driveway. In fact, the constant freeze-thaw cycles in colder regions cause regular damage. Contact a professional contractor to inspect your driveway. They will let you know if your driveway needs replacement or just patching.

Add an Attractive Retaining Wall

Create a retaining wall to prevent run-off and soil erosion. Speak with a contractor about integrating your landscaping with a retaining wall or berm. Add aesthetic beauty to your residence.

Interlocking Stones

Add luxurious elegance to your driveway, walkway, patio, or sidewalk with interlocking stones. Artistic and unique, they are a durable attractive feature ideal for any residence. Installation is surprisingly easy. Durable and easy to maintain, interlocking stones are a sensible way to improve your driveway and yard.

Prevent Runoff

Combine landscaping and hardscaping to prevent water runoff. Runoff can cause damage and is often unsightly. Native plants are ideal for preventing runoff affordably and easily. Additionally, use gravel and similar materials for your driveway to prevent runoff. Filter strips can trap pollutants and debris.

Hardscaping

Add stone, gravel, or brick hardscaping to add to your residence’s overall architectural style. Line a driveway with brick pavers or a sea of pebbles. Hardscaping can add beauty while also serving a function. Improve your home’s overall curb appeal with landscaping, hardscaping, and driveway maintenance.

 

precast-steps

3 Benefits of Precast Steps for Your Home

When selecting the right steps for your home, should you consider precast steps? There are numerous benefits to choosing these for your home. Weigh the benefits and challenges before making a decision.

Better Quality

One of the primary benefits of precast steps is that the steps are constructed with a higher quality off-site. Unlike casting the steps on-site, which is often dependent on outside conditions like weather, when steps are precast, they are closely monitored in a controlled environment. This ensures better quality and a closer inspection of manufacturing. Weather can negatively affect the mixes and method of on-site casting. Eliminate this with precast.

A good installer will use the best materials at the outset. Good concrete needs a very specific mix, and shouldn’t include organic materials like shale. Professionals will take the time to test the fresh concrete to make sure that it is consistent with high durability and strength.

Easier Installation

Although concrete is extremely heavy, as long as your steps are a reasonable weight, they will be installed relatively quickly at your residence. Homeowners do not need to wait for the steps to gain strength as the material hardens. Additionally, accelerated curing off-site ensures that your steps will be stronger and more durable over time.

Because of the controlled environment at the precast shop, they will ensure that the temperature is ideal for casting. Cold concrete can take too long to cast and if the temperature is too hot, cracking can result. And if you need multiple steps with the same cast, it will be easily done and arrive ready to install.

Versatility

Besides steps, you can combine many other elements and products. For example, fences, pool coping, and foundation walls can all be precast. You can use precast concrete for any building, from a small home or apartment complex to a large-scale hotel.

Speak with a professional about the needs of your home. They will help you find the most durable product for your home.

concrete-repair

Everything You Need to Know About Concrete Repair

Every homeowner should know the basics about repairing their driveway. Most concrete slabs will have cracks over years of use. Outdoor concrete slabs are especially susceptible to deterioration. Erosion can lead to damage over time. Knowing how to maintain and fix problems save time and money. Here are a few tips about concrete repair that every homeowner should know.

Time to Clean

Before beginning concrete repair, be sure that the area is clean. Quickly sweep away any debris, leaves, rocks, and loose concrete. You can do this with a broom. Use a wet-vac to suction any water, mud, and liquid, especially if it has been raining or snowing recently. A leaf blower or pressure washer can also be used to clean out any cracks.

How to Fill the Concrete with Caulk

Once the concrete cracks are clean of debris and liquid, then you need to use repair caulk. Fill in the crack with the repair caulk. Use the foam backer rod with a screwdriver for cracks that are wider than a couple of centimeters.  Push the foam backer rod down a few centimeters before applying caulk.

Resurfacing

Do you want to return your driveway to its earlier days of glory? There are several options. You can speak to a paving professional about how you can repair your driveway. Resurfacing is a very popular and relatively simple option. You can also use a product like concrete resurfacer to fill in the cracks and create a new smooth surface. You would need several tools like a mixer and mixing paddle to fill in the cracks. Be sure to smooth out any surface. Some contractors recommend going over the concrete with a broom to create texture. This can prevent slipping on a too-smooth surface. Your concrete driveway will look as good as new with resurfacing.

Maintenance

Your concrete driveway requires regular maintenance to lengthen its life and provide the safety and smooth surface that you need. Keep the driveway clean. Fill up cracks at cold joints once immediately. Then apply the caulk. Proper maintenance and upkeep will allow you to enjoy your driveway for many years to come.

 

asphalt-paving-cost

3 Tips When Calculating Asphalt Paving Costs

There are many options to consider when calculating the asphalt paving costs. Calculating the overall cost of construction and installation depends on a variety of factors. Asphalt overall is a very safe, clean option that provides an excellent surface for a variety of options. Whether a driveway, parking lot, or walkway, it provides business and homeowners an excellent protective surface. What are some of the key factors when counting the final amount of asphalt installation and cost over time?

  1. Choosing Asphalt vs. Concrete

Choosing the correct material for your home or business climate is an important design when considering asphalt paving costs. There are two major options: asphalt or concrete. In cold weather climates, most home and business owners select asphalt. It can endure extreme temperatures, which causes expanding and contracting. In warmer areas, concrete is a better option. It has a longer lifespan, usually three decades. Asphalt typically lasts for twenty years. Overall asphalt is less expensive than concrete in regards to maintenance and repairs. Additionally, it can conceal automobile oil leaks and stains better than concrete.

  1. Calculating Installation

Asphalt installation is an affordable option overall. Some of the factors to consider when calculating the amount of installation include specializes top coats and sealants, clearing, a granite foundation, and any local material costs. You also want to calculate drainage and any geotextile additions. Proper drainage lengthens the lifetime of the paving.

  1. Other Costs

Some other costs to consider include local permits, weather considerations, and engineering costs. For example, curves, slopes, and angles can affect the overall costs. Your property will need proper drainage and the topographical features of your property will affect these costs. Those living in extreme temperatures will need to reapply sealant every few years at the least, though many contractors recommend that owners seal the surface on a yearly basis. Consider all of these options when calculating the cost of your asphalt driveway.

 

concrete sidewalk and patio ideas

Concrete Sidewalk and Patio Ideas

This summer create original concrete sidewalk and patio ideas to help your outdoor space really come alive. Enjoy both style and practicality. Make your home an oasis of comfort and beauty, a place to recharge after a long day and reconnect with friends and family.

Beautiful Designs with Stamped Concrete

Enjoy exquisite luxury and beauty with original concrete stamp designs. Add images and interesting patterns to your walkways. Add a little bit of curb appeal with beautiful textures and shades. Choose from a variety of ideas like flagstone, brick, slate, or even wood. Stamped concrete patterns are ideal for sidewalks, patios, driveways, and outdoor decks. Use these patterns to line your swimming pool or provide a unique entryway to your home. Speak with your designer to find the right pattern for you.

Customize

Don’t choose drab colors for your concrete walkway and patio design. Instead customize your space with style in mind. Sidewalks can be curved or straight, minimalist or decorative. Use saw cut designs as a means of artistic expression, showcasing your unique taste. Flagstone, brick, or paver walkways can be created that fit the architecture of your residence. Work with experienced professionals to help your artistic vision come to light.

Functionality and Structure

Make your concrete patio and sidewalk ideas both aesthetically pleasing and functional. You can do this a variety of ways. Work with the organic structure of your home. Integrate steps, landscaping, and your natural use of the outdoor space to set up an ideal layout that maximizes both efficiency and comfort. Have structures like beautiful trees, a pond, or swimming pool? Design your patio and sidewalk to be an extension of these structures. Line the pool with an impressive walkway that leads to a comfortable patio space. Ideal for entertaining and refreshment on a long summer day.

Use these simple ideas to create an oasis in your own home. Enjoy your outdoor living space with beautiful walkways and a spacious patio.

hardscape ideas for small backyards

5 Hardscape Ideas for Small Backyards

You don’t need to own a castle to enjoy the benefits of beautiful hardscaping. These 5 hardscape ideas for small backyards are ideal whether you own a bungalow, cottage, or modest home. Enjoy a wonderful outdoor living space without the big space.

Work with Your Home’s Style

A small home needs a special touch. Work with your home’s natural architecture and landscaping. When designing your hardscape layout, keep in mind your backyard’s natural beauty. For example, if you have a small vegetable garden, you design a small patio and walkway that accentuate the lush greenery. If you have a pond, create a low wall around it for comfortable seating.

Think Outside the Box

Use this opportunity to be imaginative. Look at your backyard, close your eyes. What do you see? Can you place a beautiful fountain or pond in your backyard? Is there room for a paved walkway, or perhaps a deck for grilling and entertaining? Think about your favorite vacation spot, then try to imagine the same feeling and style (in miniature) in your backyard.

The Professional Touch

When designing the perfect hardscape ideas for small backyards, the experienced eye of a professional can help you realize your dreams. Engage their know-how and architectural prowess to truly reimagine your outdoor living space.

Nature

No matter your climate, letting your hardscaping accentuate the beauty of nature and the organic will give your backyard a sense of ease, relaxation, and aesthetic comfort. Make a haven just a few steps away, filled with lush greenery, a small patio, and a walkway that embraces the natural flow of your backyard.

Be Practical

You may want a massive waterfall or impressive pergola like the one that you saw at your favorite resort. Work with the space that you have. Think more about the style versus the actual fixtures. Enjoy transforming your outdoor living space, no matter how small.