Over the years, various myths have developed about concrete. We believe it’s important to educate our clients about concrete to better manage expectations during a project. While there are many myths about concrete, we’ve compiled some of the most common amongst those who do not regularly work with the medium.
Myth #1: Concrete will always stay level
No matter how flat and level a concrete surface is when it is installed, chances are it won’t stay that way over time. Changes in moisture and temperature in a slab can result in horizontal movements, and the surface may even change in shape or curl. Curling occurs when the edges at the joints and cracks are lifted and is most often due to the moisture and temperature differences between the bottom and top slabs.
Myth #2: Concrete is very durable and can’t decay
Concrete is tough, but it doesn’t make it unbreakable. General wear and tear, harsh weather conditions, or corrosion of the reinforced steel beneath can all lead to degradation of the surface. If a concrete surface is used more by heavier machinery or is subject to harmful chemicals, the breakdown can take place even quicker. Although the decaying process can take some time, it is a very real possibility for any concrete surface.
Myth #3: Concrete is not porous
While it feels solid, concrete is a very permeable surface. Liquids and vapors can easily pass through in a matter of hours to months, depending on the make-up of the concrete. Using mixes with lower water to cement ratios or utilizing sealants and vapor retarders under the slab can help make concrete less permeable and a bit more water tight, leading to longer lifespan.
Myth #4: Concrete that is reinforced can’t crack
Concrete is naturally subject to volume changes due to temperature and moisture cycles, and any concrete that is restrained from movement may develop cracks. In fact, the rebar that is responsible for restraining the surface allows this to happen. Having concrete reinforced doesn’t prevent cracks, but it is effective at holding them together, taking the stress from the concrete itself.
Myth #5: Concrete can be put over frozen ground
Attempting to install concrete on frozen ground will result in multiple structural issues when thawing occurs. The concrete will start off warmer, but the frozen soil will cool it more rapidly which ends up slowing the hardening process. Not only that, but once the ground thaws out, the concrete will end up settling unevenly and result in cracking. It’s best to wait until the soil temperature is as close to that of the concrete as possible, or use other thawing methods prior to construction, but do not use pellets of calcium chloride to do so.
Contact A1 Professional Asphalt and Sealing Today
Please contact us today if you are looking for an experienced and reliable commercial concrete provider. Our team would be happy to answer all of your questions during a quick consultation. We provide a wide range of concrete repairs and installation services, as well as asphalt work for businesses throughout the St. Louis area.