Concrete has been a popular building material for hundreds of years and continues to be so. This is because concrete can withstand a lot of wear and tear, as well as stand up to the elements in many cases. Concrete is primarily known for being used as a material to make patios, driveways, sidewalks and bridges. Unfortunately, concrete has many negative aspects when it comes to being used for floors, foundations and walls. These negative features can make it difficult to use concrete in certain areas, but there are ways around these issues.
When a homeowner is considering using concrete or other materials to build a new home or remodel an existing one, they should know and understand the possible pitfalls. Concrete does not have the same desirable properties as other building materials do, such as natural stone or wood. For example, concrete is not as strong as solid wood, it is not as durable as stone or granite, and it does not have the same aesthetic appeal as natural stone. Because of these and other issues, the majority of builders choose concrete for construction purposes. With this in mind, it is important that homeowners choose their concrete wisely by understanding not only its desirable properties but its drawbacks as well.
One of the most common issues associated with concrete is that it is too soft and not dense enough to stand up to stress and strain. When a building is constructed, the concrete is usually placed between two opposing structures to create a sturdy foundation for the building. The most typical way to construct a concrete foundation is through a poured concrete mixture that is combined with additional reinforcement material, such as steel, cement and a variety of other substances. Another way is to pour the concrete into molds, then place the mold around the structure. Concrete is typically reinforced by steel mesh, concrete tiebacks and by using various other additives. When the concrete mixture cools and hardens, it will form into the desired thickness, which determines its final strength and durability.
While the use of concrete is crucial to the overall strength and durability of a structure, it can be problematic when mixed to a specific thickness. Some people argue that it makes the mixture too thin, while others think that the fine quality of concrete makes the thinner mixes more attractive to builders. While some experts are of the opinion that the quality of concrete is more important than its thickness, most experienced engineers prefer a thicker mix because it offers a better structural response.
If the thickness problem is an issue, a better solution might be to make use of a reinforced concrete mixture. Reinforced concrete contains material such as iron or steel that have higher melting points than regular concrete, and this enables it to be reinforced even further by adding additional material. Although, this makes the mixture extremely dense, this type of concrete still offers excellent tensile strength, which means it is more resistant to external stress and strain. In addition to providing higher levels of resistance to external pressure, reinforced concrete can also withstand lower temperatures, which is ideal for use in places where temperatures can vary over the course of the day.
The high level of strength, density and durability offered by prestressed concrete is what makes it so commonly used in the construction industry. Unlike other forms of construction material such as clay, cement or rock, it does not crack easily under pressure and has a very low level of hydrostatic pressure. It is also highly flexible and very easy to mold and shape according to specific requirements. Another major advantage offered by prestressed concrete is its chemical inertness, which allows it to be suitable for use in a wide variety of building applications. Concrete may be used for a variety of purposes such as foundation footings, decorative walls, slabs, column roofs, driveway caps, columns, base drains and basement waterproofing. Apart from these, the concrete may also be used as counter tops in kitchens, bathrooms and swimming pools.