Answering the HARD Questions: What Is Concrete?
Concrete is to the urban landscape as leaves are to trees. You can’t have one without the other.
The hard grey material doesn’t get much credit, and if anything, gets quite a bit of flack. But without it, we wouldn’t have the cities we do today and our homes and urban areas would look a lot different.
Concrete can be used for a wide range of uses, from building foundations to bridges and high rise buildings. It can even be used for making art and other furniture!
With so many concrete types and styles to choose from, including:
But what is concrete made of?
Concrete is made of four main components:
– Fine aggregate (sand)
– Coarse aggregate (gravel or rocks)
The cement is probably the most important part of concrete, without it you would just have a wet pile of mud and rocks. Cement is a powder that, when mixed with the water and aggregates, forms a ‘glue’ that holds the whole material together and makes it hard.
When all the ingredients are mixed together, it creates a thick sludge that is poured into moulds and left to dry. You may have seen footprints or signatures in concrete footpaths that would have been indented before the concrete dried and hardened.
There are also other optional add ins for concrete that will make it stronger, more durable or reduce the amount of water or cement required.
Why choose concrete?
Concrete has many great benefits that have allowed it to be one of the most versatile construction materials on the planet.
Some of these benefits include:
-Concrete is extremely strong. It can be made even stronger with the use of add ins, or using steel reinforcement. Properly formulated and cured concrete can hold extremely heavy loads
-It is durable. Concrete wears very well against the environment, sustaining minimal damage from wind and rain for a long time. It is also fire resistant. This durability means that the maintenance cost is very minimal
-It can be cast into whatever shape you need. Because concrete starts out as a wet mixture, it can be poured into moulds or shaped in whatever shape needed.
-Concrete is cheap. Because the bulk of concrete is made up of cheap materials, sand and rocks, it is an extremely cost effective building material.
Does it have to be grey, rough and dull?
No, not at all!
Not only is concrete versatile in its shape, it is also versatile in appearance. Concrete is easily coloured, painted, polished or stamped to improve its appearance.
Just have a look at the extensive colours and designs available:
Not so plain now, is it?
Interested in seeing how concrete can transform your home and increase the value of your property?