Concrete mixing

A Beginner’s Guide to Mixing Concrete

After a few years of use, it is normal for your concrete surfaces to require some repairs. Most people want to do the repairs, installing or replacing concrete on their own. Even so, most people have never worked with concrete before and are therefore clueless about how concrete mixing works. It is often advisable for you to work alongside a concreting expert even as you try to be hands on. Their expertise and help will ensure that you get the concreting jobs done right.

When it comes to concrete jobs, the materials you need depend on the scope of your project. You will need a concrete mixer for your project. There are companies that hire out this machinery which includes an operator.

Mixing ratios

The first thing you need to know about mixing concrete is the fact that the surface you create should be strong enough to support 3000 pounds per square inch. Therefore the mixture you make need to be thick enough to offer this support. It is important to adhere to materials mixing rations based on the area you need to cover to ensure the surface created is strong and durable.

There are 4 basic components used to make concrete. These are cement, sand, aggregate, and water. To produce 3000 PSI concrete mixture, you need to mix one part cement, three parts sand, 3 parts aggregate and one part water. The water to cement ratio is what indicates the strength of the mixture. The water and cement ration should be equal. A common mistake done when mixing concrete is to add more water than required trying to make the process of mixing and spreading easier. On the other hand, using a lower amount of water than the required water to cement ration will make the mixture too hard to mix and work with.

Concrete measuring

For small home projects, 5-gallon buckets can be used to measure concrete. With the rations above, you can make use of the bucket as a measuring tool. Therefore, one bucket cement, three buckets sand, three buckets aggregate and one bucket water can produce enough concrete for your small home improvement need and create surfaces that can withstand 3000 PSI.

The mixing process

If you need to mix large amounts of concrete, you can hire a mixer from a concreting company. For very big projects, you will need an electric mixer. This machine mixes the concrete in a spinning tub which makes the mixing process easier and less tedious. For smaller amounts of mixtures, you can consider using a wheelbarrow and a shovel to mix. Regardless of the mixing methods you go for, the mixing ratios should always be the same.

Curing concrete

Every slab of concrete requires at least 28 days of curing. During the first 7 days after applying the concrete slab, it is advisable for you to pour water on the slab every day. This allows the curing process to run smoothly and as it should. This is the time the concrete hardens to reach its maximum expected strength potential.

Concrete vs Asphalt

Concrete vs Asphalt

When choosing paving options for driveways and pavements, most homeowners have to choose between concrete paving and asphalt paving. While these two materials are used to create the same effect in a space, there are a lot of differences in the two. These differences can make decision making easier.

Material difference

Asphalt is made using aggregate, which is crushes sand and rocks bonded using bitumen. When paving using asphalt, bitumen is mixed with aggregate and poured on a bed of heavier aggregate. A steamroller is used to press the asphalt which compacts it. The asphalt is them left to cool off before it is used.

When it comes to concrete paving, the concrete used also have an aggregate but in this case, the binder is cement. As it dries, it creates a stiff pavement.

Sustainability

There are differences between asphalt and concrete paving when it comes to maintenance and sustainability.

After being used for 6 months or a year, asphalt roads and pavements need to be sealed. Asphalt will require subsequent sealing every 3 to 5 years. This does not require any special tools and can be done by anyone with a little knowledge on the same. Sealing the asphalt extends its life which can see it last up to 30 years with proper maintenance.

For concrete driveways, concrete paving slabs, or concrete house slabs, once installed, they can last for up to 50 years with minimum maintenance. Concrete slabs do not require sealing even though sealing it can improve its finished look. Repairing cracks in concrete is easy and can be done by anyone.

Durability

It is always beneficial to go for a durable solution for drive3asys and house slabs. Concrete is far more durable than asphalt. It is also stronger than asphalt meaning it can hold more weight over a longer period than asphalt. A 5’’ thick concrete paving slab has a load capacity of an asphalt pavement that is 8’’ thick. Asphalt will only last about 20 years with proper maintenance while concrete can last up to 50 years.

The cost

Asphalt is more affordable to install than concrete with an average of about $3 to $5 per square foot. This means that it costs between $900 and $1500 to install a 300 square foot of asphalt paving in your driveway. On the other hand, it can cost between $1500 and $3000 to install a concrete driveway in the same space.

Even so, when considering the cost of either asphalt or concrete slabs, you cannot just look at the cost of installing. There are maintenance charges that come into play after the installation is done.

For asphalt, a lot of maintenance and sealing is required after every 3 to 5 years. For concrete house slabs, very little maintenance is required and can last for up to 50 years before a redo is required. Asphalt cannot last this long even with the regular maintenance. Therefore, asphalt proves to be more costly in the long run than concrete paving slabs.

Kerb appeal

Unlike the old days, concrete driveways today can be dyed to any color desired. This provides a unique addition to any home’s exterior space. This makes concrete a better choice for anyone going for a look that is eye catchy. Also, concrete can be textured and polished. On the other hand asphalt is only done in black color.

Conclusion

While the concrete vs asphalt debate is far from over, it is clear that concrete driveways and concrete house slabs are a better choice if one is lolling for durability, style, and comfort that will last for years.

Concrete Driveway

Concrete Driveways – Why They are the Best Option

Concrete Driveways – Why They are the Best Option

When it comes to remodeling homes, restructuring the driveway is one of the most important aspects to consider. Restructuring your driveway is a good way of adding value to your home. A concrete driveway is the best option to go for if you are looking for a new, lavish look.

Your driveway is prone to a lot of wear and tear over a short period. You may find that you will need to remodel it a few more times before you need to remodel your house. To ensure you do not spend too much time and resources remodeling every few years, a concrete driveway would be the best choice.

A concrete driveway can last through harsh weather conditions with ease. This is one of the benefits associated with concrete driveways.

Here are other benefits you can enjoy when you go for concrete driveways.

Design flexibility

When it comes to designs, concrete driveways are very flexible as they are not just confined to slab finishing style. You can also paint them in any color you desire for aesthetic value. Also, coloring your concrete driveway will give it a boost the ambiance of your home. It is also possible to pattern your concrete driveway in different designs to make it interesting. When you concrete your driveway, you add character and warmth to your home.

Durability

Driveways made of concrete are sturdy and very durable. This is because concrete can withstand the pressure from the traffic in the driveways without wearing off easily. A concrete driveway is a safer bet when compared to other driveways made of tiles or bricks that can break easily when they undergo too much pressure. With a concrete driveway, you only have to undertake periodic maintenance to enjoy the long service life it offers.

Affordability

A concrete driveway is the most cost-effective way of building an access to your property. Their durability makes them a worthy and affordable investment in the long run. If you were to compare the overall cost of installing and maintaining a concrete driver over other options, you will find that you use a significantly low amount on your concrete driveway.

With concrete driveways, you also have the choice of installing reflective lights that are energy friendly as they do not run on electricity.

Home quality improvement

Your driveway is the first thing people see whenever they visit your home. Concrete driveways add value to your home’s appeal giving it a professional and clean look. Concrete driveways are also very versatile. They can be built to suit your home’s landscape.

With a reliable concrete driveway expert, you can be sure to enjoy these benefits and more when you install a concrete driveway.

Concrete House Slab

Concrete House Slab Costs

Building custom concrete floors is a dream come true for any homeowner. Construction of one foot of concrete slab can cost between $2.88 and $3.88. Even so, estimating concrete house slab costs can be difficult and varies from one location to the other. There are numerous factors that come into play when you want to estimate the cost of installing concrete slabs.

Factors that affect the cost of installing concrete slabs 

1.    Cost of the material

Any concrete slab construction project is determined by the cost of the material to be used. If you are shipping the material, the shipping cost is also a factor to consider. The cost of the material is determined by the size of the space you want to install the concrete slab. A concrete slab specialist is best placed to measure the space required and advice on the materials needed.

2.    Cost of labor      

Different locations have different construction wages rates that are governed by the state. It is important to understand how many people are needed for the job. This has an effect on the project expenditure.

3.    The condition of your site

Most concrete slabs specialists will tell you that the condition of your site matters. Factors that determine the condition of your site include soil quality, contamination, wetlands, utility as well as traffic and environmental issues.

 

4.    Projects schedule 

If your project schedule is small compared to the kind of work needed to complete the project, the cost of construction can significantly go up. This is mostly true when it comes to projects that come with a large liquidated damage clause in the contract.

5.    Contingency plan

Most concrete slab experts will set a percentage of the total cost as a contingency measure. This is meant to cover any unforeseen costs that may arise during the time of construction. You can check with the contractor you are working with on how much they take as a contingency amount as this will affect the overall cost of construction.

6.    Bid timing

Concrete contractors will tell you that concrete construction seasonal disparities and also whether your project clashes with other bid openings can affect the cost of construction in some regions. It is advisable to check with your specialist for the best time to start on your project.

7.    Space to be covered

The size of the space you want to cover with concrete will determine the cost of the project. It will affect the amount of material needed, the time needed to complete the project and also the labor required to get the work done in the agreed upon time frame.

With all these factors considered, your concrete slabs specialist will be able to give you a price estimate of your project and also the time it may take to have it complete.