Concrete is one of the most widely used building materials in America. For concrete to be at maximum strength and durability, it must be mixed correctly with just enough water to make sure the aggregate bits are surrounded by the cement paste that is formed. The concrete must have all spaces filled and be liquid enough to be poured and effectively spread. The percentages of cement and aggregate must be correct.
Concrete must be purchased dry in bags and then mixed with water or purchased already mixed in bulk trucks. Large jobs of any kind are better served by purchasing bulk pre-mixed concrete by the truck. Companies such as FraserCon deliver concrete per specification for foundation systems, concrete paving, and additional structures such as wing wall footings, stairs, footings, column pads, and retaining walls.
Concrete is often used for entire commercial buildings. Concrete form systems are used to build the floors and walls, and other parts of the buildings. But all buildings start with a good, solid foundation. Having a team of strong, tenured, and knowledgeable experts and proven systems makes for a good company to order concrete from. A company with a long history of satisfied customers is another thing to look for in a concrete supplier.
What is Concrete?
Concrete is a building material that is a composite of coarse and fine aggregate, held together by a fluid or paste cement that cures to become hard over time. The cement paste can be made with lime-based cement binders, calcium aluminate cement, or Portland cement. When the aggregate is mixed with water and dry Portland cement, they combine to form a fluid slurry that can be poured and molded into the required shapes. The ingredients combine to form a durable, stone-like building material.
Modern concrete often has additives such as superplasticizers or pozzolans to improve the look and performance of the wet mixture or the finished product. Concrete is most often poured over reinforcing materials such as rebar, rods, or mesh that when embedded in the concrete makes for improved tensile strength. This is known as reinforced concrete.
Why is Concrete a Good Building Material?
Concrete is used frequently in building projects around the world at a rate of twice what steel, plastics, wood, or aluminum combined are used. The ready-mix concrete businesses are the largest part of the concrete market. The downside of concrete manufacturing is that it creates too many greenhouse gas emissions.
Concrete has earned its popularity as a building material over the decades and even centuries because of its superior strength when hardened. It can also be formed to any shape a builder or architect needs. All it takes is the correct forms and reinforcement materials. Concrete is also very fire resistant.
The versatility of concrete extends to its ability to have stones or other decorative materials embedded in its surface, concrete dyes can give it any color, and the surface can be formed into different textures such as looking like stone tiles, brick, or wood slabs.
Concrete projects can be divided into four categories;
Concrete Foundation Systems
Every structure sits on a strong foundation if it is to last. Foundations can include slabs on grade, pier, and beam type foundations, Floating or void box slabs, entire walk-out basements, dropped grottos, additions of rebar slabs, and tella firma type foundation systems. Then, there are specialized foundation systems for special commercial building projects.
Concrete Paving Projects
Concrete is a popular, long-lasting solution for many paving projects. These can include both residential and commercial projects such as:
- City approaches and city walks
- Paving of parking lots, patios, sports venues, and more
- Curbs and gutters
- Dumpster and other pads
- Additional slab projects
Commercial Building Projects
These projects include large commercial buildings, tall office buildings, warehouses, and other government structures. The concrete company will be meeting the criteria for the project as stated by the architect and building engineers in their building specifications and blueprints. These projects carry a huge responsibility for the concrete company to deliver large quantities of high-quality concrete on a tight schedule as work on the construction progresses.
There is no room for cost-cutting or shortcuts on these projects. The future safety of large structures is all-important.
Ancillary Solutions in Concrete
This group of projects includes many outdoor structures and support systems. They include:
- Stairs for both interior and exterior spaces
- Wing wall footings
- Column pads
- Retaining walls
- Additional concrete structures such as outdoor kitchens and fire pits or fireplaces, and more
This is not a complete list of building projects calling for concrete. Any customer who needs large amounts of high-quality concrete can contact a company such as FeaserCon and work with their engineers and concrete experts to work out the details of a concrete order for a custom project. It may be a concrete patio for a public space that needs to be imprinted with a special design or colored with concrete dyes.
It is important to match the concrete formula with the structural needs of every project. Customers with large projects need a concrete company with the ability to deliver large amounts of concrete on a tight schedule. The commercial concrete company must have qualified team members, quality of concrete specified, and systems of delivery and concrete construction that are needed. Concrete is not just delivered and the truck emptied on the ground–it is poured into highly specified and engineered form systems.
Using a commercial concrete supplier with 20 years in the business and an excellent reputation is key to getting the best results on any concrete project. The strength and durability of the concrete foundations, floors, walls and other building features determine the longevity and safety of the concrete project.
Concrete is used on many public works projects such as bridges, roads, storage facilities, and buildings that house public works systems for water, sewage, power, and more. There are hundreds of residential uses for top-quality concrete, delivered by the specialized truckload. Concrete is a very versatile and strong building material that can be left natural or given decorative finishes.