Concrete is one of the longest-lasting man-made materials you can use. In fact, some buildings made of concrete are still standing after thousands of years. The Hoover Dam, the Panama Canal, the Roman Pantheon and the Roman Colosseum are all made of concrete, and they are still going strong even after so much time has passed. The Hoover Dam and the Panama Canal are exposed to trillions of gallons of water, and they stand up to the elements.
It’s no wonder that concrete is also the most widely used man-made material in Colorado (by tonnage).
If you want the same long-lasting results for your Colorado building or industrial structure, concrete may be the solution. Of course, investing in concrete repair and concrete restoration can help your building last even longer, whether it has been damaged or you have reclaimed an older building and want to salvage it.
Composition of Concrete
Concrete is a blend of materials. Primarily, it is a mixture of cement and water, with some aggregate material. Because aggregate is used in the mix, there can be wide variation in how long concrete lasts.
Aggregate materials can include sand, gravel, crushed stone and even recycled construction materials such as asphalt, blast furnace slag and bottom ash.
Not only does the choice of aggregate influence the look and texture of the concrete, but it also helps determine the strength of the concrete. Some aggregate material is stronger than others, and the ratio of materials also influences the strength of the finished product.
Aggregate helps to strengthen concrete by bearing the weight of the compression. Cement on its own is very brittle. If the cement cracks, it can weaken the whole structure by allowing the aggregate to shift. Natural breakdown of materials and vibrations caused by natural shifts or weather changes can also cause the concrete to weaken, leading to the need for concrete repair.
Concrete reinforcement with steel rebar or carbon fiber can help to prevent the weakening of the structure from such changes.
Concrete grading is measured by its compressive strength, or how much poundage it can support per square inch. The stronger the concrete, the higher the PSI. Residential buildings need a PSI of at least 2,500, and commercial buildings need at least 4,000. Skyscrapers may have concrete with anywhere from 10,000 PSI to 20,000 PSI.
Colorado Concrete gets stronger as it ages and its ingredients continue to bond together. Additives can be included in the mixture to help this process along. Chemical additives can make the concrete resistant to temperature changes and freezing and can help slow the breakdown of natural ingredients. Calcium silicate hydrates can also help reduce creep.
Bonding agents are used to adhere concrete to concrete, such as when conducting concrete repair or concrete restoration. Bonding agents typically include natural materials, such as gravel or cement.
Acrylic bonding agents and resins can also be used in the restoration process. They may be applied to one surface to prepare it for the concrete paste.
The strength of bonding agents can determine the overall strength of the concrete and the longevity of the building.
If you want your concrete structures to last as long as some historical buildings, you’ll need to understand exactly what materials are used to create the concrete, as well as what additives and bonding agents have been used to strengthen it.
At Pride Development and Construction, we can help you choose the best concrete for your Colorado building, whether you are creating a residential structure or commercial or industrial operations base. We are concrete experts, and we can help you with the construction of your building or the repair and restoration of it. We have solutions for concrete repair and restoration, including carbon fiber repair and reinforcement. Call us today to find out how we can help you.
3027 South 45th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85040
Office: (480) 968-6848