Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ'S)
What is the difference between Concrete and Cement?
If you are like me you grew up playing on a cement basketball court (the driveway) and one of the largest companies in town was “the cement factory”. Truth is, there are very few things in this world that are composed of cement and cement only.
Quite simply, there IS cement in concrete. When cement is mixed with water, a paste is created. When we mix the paste with gravel and sand it turns into what we call concrete.
Concrete will last indefinitely, but cement is much less durable. Concrete is what is used in all larger projects such as bridges, building walls and sidewalks. Cement can be used in smaller jobs like grouting and patchwork repair of crumbling concrete.
The one thing YOU DO NEED TO KNOW is that concrete comes in many, many different forms (consistency). It all depends on the application and load that the concrete will be exposed to over time. Before you purchase concrete be sure to always consult with your expert concrete contractor to fully understand your needs and the options available.
I know one thing, even after answering this question I’m still going to call the big rotating mixer truck going down the road a “cement truck”.
How long will it take for new concrete "to cure"?
This is an important question because concrete does need to properly cure to enable the product's strength and durability. Newly installed concrete also requires hydratrion (a presence of moisture on the concrete surface during the curing period along with a proper air temperature range). Conventional concrete applications will require a curing period of five to seven days. To hydrate new concrete can be kept moist with water hoses, sprinklers, or covered with wet burlap. Professional concrete contractors should be aware of weather extremes and avoid periods when curing temps would fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Is it normal for my concrete to crack?
Yes, and sometimes no. It is quite normal to experience some concrete cracks. As the concrete dries and loses moisture it will physically have a slight change in volume. We would normally expect the concrete to shrink as much as 1/16th of an inch in a 10 foot section. For this reason the concrete installers will put measured joints in the pavement, slabs, sidewalks, and floors to allow the concrete to crack on a straight line, maintaining the clean surface appearance. Unfortunately, cracking may occur due to negligence involved during installation, such as the introduction of too much water.
How do I know if I've been delivered the amount of concrete I ordered and paid for?
The unit weight test is the easiest way to determine the volume of concrete delivered. This information should be readily available on the driver's delivery ticket or should be provided by the manufacturing facility. A fair-minded contractor should normally over yield by .5 percent to allow for waste spillage and never risk short-changing the customer.