I find it easier to go into a home improvement project if I know a little about the tools or products involved. So this article should help those out there who are looking to start a concrete project.
Less confusion is a great thing when it comes to any task. Here are some basic terms that are related to the process itself:
- Pouring – this is the literal term for how concrete is put in place. On a micro-scale it can be poured from a bucket or wheel barrel. On large sites it is poured out of a big truck with the spinning tank everyone can recognize.
- Finishing relates to the smoothing out of the concrete after it is in place. This is done with various tools depending on the stage of the finishing. The end result is a nice hard surface that began as a lumpy mix of sand, stone, cement, and water.
- Curing begins after the concrete finishing ends. In layman terms it is the process that new concrete goes through to attain its long term strength.
While we are soaking up concrete knowledge, how about some fun facts?
- Concrete is the most widely used material in the world, according to Wikipedia. This makes sense because building projects need long-lasting materials and concrete has stood the test of time.
- That test started back in the 14th century. That’s how far back researchers found evidence of its use. The Great Pyramids would be in better shape had concrete been available back in the days of King Tut!
Moving forward with our concrete terminology:
- The term “slab” confuses some folks. A slab is a strip of concrete laid as a single unjointed piece. Slabs are used for foundations, small patios, and grill/hot tub areas.
- One term that is often associated with patios, driveways, and walkways is “stamped concrete.” This is a process that enhances concrete surfaces. Concrete craftsmen use special techniques and tools to create a textured look before the concrete dries. This can be a less expensive way to create a nice patio without using bricks, pavers, or other stones.
- So what’s the difference between stamped concrete and stained concrete? Most homeowners can guess that staining is a way to change the color of their concrete, which is correct. Staining is a good idea for a fresh look on an old walkway or pool area. Staining is for decorative use, but did you know that it will also seal and protect your concrete surfaces?
- Did you know that cement is not the same as concrete? As a kid, I didn’t know this was the case. However, as any construction person knows, cement is an ingredient that goes into the creation of concrete. The other three materials needed to mix in are water, sand, and stone (usually gravel).
Hopefully you are more familiar with concrete terminology at this point and it helps you when you start a project using this versatile building material. You wouldn’t go shopping for a boat without knowing some keywords like outboard, deck, or hull. Information is power!
If you have a concrete project in mind, please give us a call today and schedule an appointment. Call us at 215-919-6600 or send us a message here!