Traditional concrete is made of water, cement, air, and an aggregate mixture of sand, gravel, and stone. The recipe with more cement will crack easily, and without enough will be rough and porous. The longer the concrete is kept moist, the stronger it will become. To protect the concrete, precautions must be taken when curing concrete particularly in extremely cold or hot temperatures.
Concrete is a rigid material, all concrete shrinks and all concrete cracks. Weight bearing, slope, tension and movement of the earth cause concrete to break and crack as it is an inflexible material. However, there are upgrades to your project that can be added to support impact resistance, weight bearing, and structural soundness.
Generally speaking, concrete is cheaper for larger pours because the initial setup charges are absorbed. In essence, planning on three separate pours at different times is costly due to the setup charges per each separate pour. Its most efficient and less expensive to do all pours on a property at the same time.
Removal, grading and levelling and any associated dumpsters may impact the final cost. If you choose to leave the material onsite, for instance moving decorative rock or earth for other uses on the property may reduce your cost of removal. If there is minimal removal, we would recommend a bagster instead of a dumpster. If you add any materials to the dumpster (a sofa, household refuse, car parts) it will impact the cost of the dumpster as it will then be a “mixed load” and we will pass those associated costs onto you. The type and amount of material and removal, as well as grading and levelling will vary based on the project. The material of removal such as sod, gravel, or jackhammering concrete and access of heavy equipment to assist with removal will also assist in reducing associated labor expenses. Your pour can be directly on top of the bare earth or dug down, depending on the details of your project.
Access is a major factor in concrete pours. Use of equipment such as backhoes for removal, or pumps to move the concrete from the truck into location will vary. Concrete poured in areas that are not on ground level will require special equipment.
There are several factors that give resilience to concrete. Pounds per square inch (psi) measures the strength and durability of concrete. The higher the PSI, the higher the cost and the stronger the mix. Average PSI is 3000, unless the structure is in a colder climate, or special use such as footers, walls, or for load bearing. Standard thickness of concrete is 4 inches; however, you can choose to increase the thickness of the concrete based on how the space is intended to be used and your preference. Where there is only foot traffic and no load bearing there is no need for any upgrade in the concrete.
Upgrades mesh, rebar, fiber are options that may or may not be suitable based on how the area is intended to be used. Rebar is for load bearing and is good in compression not tension. It creates a counterbalance when weight is applied. Metal will bend, but concrete is not a malleable material. It will hold a force but not prevent cracking and can oxidize and rust which can create future failures and cracks in the concrete. Rebar can also float to the top and poke out or drop to the bottom, poking out.
Metal mesh makes concrete more durable but will help with cracks associated with shrinking of concrete while curing. They will not keep concrete from cracking structurally or cosmetically. Metal mesh is not intended for weight bearing and will not substitute for rebar.
Fiber mesh is distributed throughout the concrete evenly and reinforces structural integrity. It also strengthens the concrete and create a higher impact resistance. If cracks occur, fibers reduce the severity of the cracks, allowing the concrete to maintain its strength. Fiber gives the concrete more tensile strength moisture resistance and performs better in extreme temperatures. However, fibers can leave a fuzzy finish unlike smooth grey concrete. We can install a coating on the top to leave an attractive finish and to match all concrete in the area.
Coloring, stamping, overlays, finishes vary to leave the concrete a particular aesthetic. Colored or stamped concrete is installed at the time of the pour. Concrete coloring is either added directly to the concrete mix with pigments or stained directly to the top of the grey concrete. This is not an exact science as cement from the earth does not start as a base of white where coloring can be matched to existing or accurately predicted. There are only a handful of color options, with black or brown being the most commonly chosen color. Stamping involves placing a rubber mat over the wet material to create a pattern. There are an array of choices for stamped concrete depending on your preference of pattern. Designs may consist of brick, stone or other decorative patterns to provide the desired look, sometimes mimicking other common building materials, but retaining the strength and benefits of concrete.
Concrete Texture is commonly referred to as its finish. Smooth finish is the most common, broom finishing will create slip resistance, salt finish is created by applying rock salt that leaves small pits in the finished surface when washed away. An exposed aggregate finish is created by washing the top layer of concrete away which exposes the edges of the natural stone aggregates that are mixed into the concrete.
Water-based (acrylic) staining provides for a much larger range of colors, including black and white. Concrete overlay in either paints or stains can be applied to concrete of any age, as long as the concrete is in fair condition. Overlays allow for concrete of various pours to be matched to create uniformity. Concrete coatings such as acrylic overlays have other benefits such as a cooling factors, slip resistance, cracks, are easily cleaned, and protect the concrete from erosion and weather.
Arrowhead Deck and Concrete is your preferred contractor for all your concrete needs. We will be happy to provide free estimates for your project. Our expert installers have been trusted in Arizona for over 20 years. Our dedication to your satisfaction is evident in our high standards and fast delivery. If you are interested in completing your project with concrete coatings, the slab must fully cure. Estimate approximately one month after pour to coat the fresh concrete.
Concrete can fit any range of specifications to suit all applications. Choose from any of our custom surface finishes and coatings to dramatically change your environment. Concrete is durable, water resistant, environmentally friendly, and fire resistant. Concrete is an economical solution to create unique landscapes and additional living space, having the ability to be molded to any shape
For more information or to schedule your free estimate, call us at 602-833-8560 or email Solutions@ArrowheadDeck.com.