What Makes Good Concrete?

Ever wonder what it is that makes quality concrete?

Ever wonder what it is that makes quality concrete?

Concrete is all around us, whether we are walking down the street or sitting on the couch on top of our home’s foundation. Good concrete is essential to sturdy structures and safe roads. What makes good concrete?

Concrete Basics

Concrete and cement are not the same thing. Concrete is made from a powder called “Portland cement” mixed with sand, gravel, crushed stone, and water. Cement is an ingredient used to create effective concrete, so the two are actually distinctly different. Concrete does not dry. Instead, it “cures,” or reacts over time with the water to harden.

The Right PSI

The right psi is essential when choosing a good concrete mixture. 4000 psi, 3500 psi, and 3000 psi are all used to describe the compression strength of concrete. Compression strength is how resistant concrete is to downward force, like footsteps or the weight of a building, after 28 days of being cured. As a rule of thumb, 3000 psi concrete can be used for walls or footings. 3500 psi can be used for floors, walkways, and other flat surfaces. 4000 psi concrete is often used for driveways or roadways.

The Number of Bags

The number of bags a concrete mixture has refers to how many bags of Portland cement are in the mix. The higher the number of bags, the stronger the concrete mixture will be. The most common concrete mixtures contain between 5-7 bags of Portland cement. However, since concrete mixtures today often contain additives like fly-ash, the number of bags is not quite as reliable of an indicator of quality as it was before.

The Chert

Chert is the stone found in deposits of aggregate that are used to form sturdy concrete. Chert is highly porous so that it can absorb a huge amount of water over time. This leads to chert not holding up as well in moist and wet areas as it does in drier climates. If chert is in concrete in a high concentration, it can cause holes to develop over time as the freeze-thaw cycle sets in.

Quality Concrete You Can Trust from PTG Enterprises

If you want to protect your property or parking lot and ensure it has a long lifespan, choose PTG Enterprises for your seal coating and asphalt needs.  We offer commercial concrete, masonry, asphalt installation, repair, and paving throughout Baltimore, Harford, Anne Arundel, Howard, and P.G. Counties. If you are interested in hearing how we can help you, contact us online or give us a call at (410) 636-8777. For more tips and tricks, be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitterYouTubeLinkedInGoogle+, and Flickr.

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