Concrete ranks among the most important construction materials in the world, alongside metal and wood, and it is used all around the world to make objects such as sidewalks, highway overpasses, building foundations, and even flooring for a building’s ground floor (such as in a warehouse). Concrete is very tough and convenient to use, but even then, it is not indestructible. Old concrete may need to be touched up or replaced, and concrete services can be hired to help. Such concrete services can perform concrete raising for a sidewalk, or they can perform concrete grinding services for a building’s floor. So, what is there to know about the use and maintenance of modern concrete?
All About Concrete
Not only is concrete nearly universal and convenient to use, but the very idea of it is an old one. Even the ancient Egyptians made and used a primitive form of concrete, and there are surviving examples of it. Of course, today’s concrete is much more effective, and it is made up of sand, aggregate, water, and cement. Once concrete is poured into place, it cures, or hardens, and this is why concrete mixers keep their materials in a rotating drum (to keep it soft). Typical concrete has a strength of 3,000 psi, though the toughest concrete out there can be as durable as 20,000 psi instead, for the most heavy-duty jobs. Not only that, but concrete is becoming even more popular to use inside regular buildings, since it is tough and has good performance. Often, it takes the place of linoleum, marble, and granite floors on any structure’s ground floor. But what if concrete services are needed to smooth out its surface, or if a sidewalk is falling apart? Even concrete needs some upkeep sometimes.
Concrete Grinding and Lifting
These are two of the types of jobs that concrete services can provide, when they are called upon to fix up damaged concrete. While homeowners can buy and use concrete repair kits for minor cracks in their concrete patios, major repair jobs call for something more. For example, suppose a warehouse’s or an auto shop’s concrete floor is bumpy and rough, or worn down and stained. If so, workers can be hired who have concrete grinder machines. Some such machines are large, and others are small, handheld models.
Once hired, concrete service workers will use the larger grinder devices and rove over the concrete floor everywhere they can, typically making many passes so they can do a thorough job. Such machines have rotating disks under them that will grind and scrape on the concrete surface, and thus make it smoother by removing bumps and other upraised imperfections or rough areas. Those grinders have to be tough to do that job, and indeed, they can feature silicone carbide or tungsten carbide materials, and they might even have diamond bits embedded in them. Such grinders can remove 1/8th of an inch of material, and leave it smooth and ready for epoxy. As for the corners and edges of the room, handheld grinders can reach these cramped areas and finish the job neatly.
Doing this allows epoxy to be put down, and epoxy treatment is vital to make a concrete floor tough and attractive. This increases the floor’s weight tolerance, and helps prevent the formation of cracks and also blocks stains. A floor treated like this is also easier to paint on, and many warehouses and auto shops need to paint markers and zones for workers’ references.
A sidewalk or concrete patio will sag and crack if the earth underneath becomes too heavy with water, and this strains the concrete a great deal. As a result, the surface is uneven and has large cracks, and this rough surface is not only unsightly, but a hazard for foot traffic and light vehicles, such as bicycles and skateboards. So, concrete lifting services will use a machine that pumps material underneath the impaired concrete, which expands and lifts the concrete back to its intended level. The workers may then seal up any remaining cracks or imperfections, and the sidewalk is ready for use once again. Older methods such as slab jacking, needed time to finish, but a modern lifted concrete can be used as soon as the job is done.