Mar 2018 MOST COMMON MYTHS ABOUT CONCRETE
As the popularity of various concrete installations continues to grow, we investigate a few myths and misconceptions about concrete floors, walls, precast installations, paving and other concrete features. Understanding how to care for concrete, ensuring that it’s optimally installed and guaranteeing that durability and strength is maintained throughout its lifespan, we debunk six common misconceptions about concrete and cement installations.
Myth 1: Concrete flooring, walls and paving is expensive.
Fact: Cement and concrete installations are, on the contrary a cost effective solution to decorative flooring, walls, precast wall installations and paving solutions. Not only is the installation of concrete cost effective, materials are affordable and the lasting benefit of its durability and permanency makes cement the ideal composite used in beautifying your home.
Myth 2: All concrete installations will eventually crack.
Fact: Provided that the cement, sand, aggregate and water ratio is prepared correctly, placement and the pouring process is expertly adhered to and the inclusion of control joints and curing are used during and after placement, various concrete installations and features should remain crack free throughout their lifetime and serviceable for their intended purpose. The incorrect installation of any flooring, walling, paving or other home improvements can lead to adverse defects, blemishes and imperfections, but when prepared and fitted correctly, shortcomings are avoided and a durable, resilient installation can be enjoyed.
Myth 3: Concrete cannot be placed in cold or under extreme weather conditions.
Fact: Decorative cement and concrete placements can now be installed in below freezing conditions given advancements made to cement/concrete mix constituents, engineering techniques and other technological innovations made in the cement and concrete industry. While extremely cold conditions are uncommon in South Africa, where colder weather used to have a negative impact on the placement concrete, today extreme conditions have a minimal bearing on the outcome on the successful placement of concrete.
Myth 4: Concrete floors, wall installations and paving solutions do not require any maintenance.
Fact: Although renowned for its lasting durability, hard wearing and resilient makeup, concrete installations are optimally preserved with routine maintenance, upkeep and cleaning, and intermittent sealing. Preserving stained effects, stamps and embellishments, crack repairs and the regular application of sealants will see various concrete installations last and remain aesthetically appealing for longer. Extend the life of concrete features in your home with regular cleaning to remove oil stains and grime, apply a good quality concrete sealant at regular intervals, beautify them with a colour stain and repair cracks with concrete patching.(preferably purpose made repair materials from preferred suppliers).
Myth 5: Cement to water ratios is inconsequential.
Fact: Concrete mixing is both an art and science with expert care needed to ensure that the water to cement ratio is of optimal proportions as well as the correct aggregate is used where necessary. While adding more water may make pouring and placing easier, a concrete mix that is too wet will compromise the durability and strength of cured concrete and potentially lead to spalling and surface cracks.
Myth 6: Cement is not environmentally friendly.
Fact:While prepared using man-made methods in a plant, cement is made of mostly natural elements, including lime, ash and natural compounds. Concrete installations also contribute to various “green” home improvements indirectly supporting a number of eco-friendly lifestyle installations.