So what is this material we call concrete? What is it made of? What is the difference between cement and concrete? As any concrete contractor in Portland can tell you, the quality of the concrete depends entirely on the skilled mixture of high-quality ingredients.
Concrete, in its most basic form, is a mixture of water, cement, and aggregate. The aggregate is made of coarse rock particulates. The most common cement comes from what is called Portland cement. Portland cement is not only used to make concrete, but also stucco, grout, and mortar. It is made from limestone and clay which hardens when water is added.
When all this comes together it solidifies into a rocklike mass through a chemical process known as hydration.
Why do Builders Use Concrete?
Because concrete starts out wet, it also starts out as malleable. This allows the substance to be shaped and sculpted. When the substance dries it becomes hard enough to be a foundation for skyscrapers, bridges, superhighways, and almost anything construction-related.
Why the Need for a Portland Concrete Contractor?
This all seems pretty straight forward, right? Why the need to hire a professional for a laying a simple mix? The key is actually in the mix. Getting concrete right means mixing all the ingredients in exact amounts. Too much cement and the concrete will be prone to cracking. Too little and the spaces between the aggregates will not be filled, leaving a weak and rough surface.
Of course, getting concrete to stay at the right moisture level while it is being poured and shaped does require special, heavy equipment. Additionally, special skill and preparation is needed for the pouring and shaping process. That is why the help of a trained concrete contractor is imperative.
While it may not be the world’s most exciting mixture, concrete is certainly one of the most necessary for today’s growing cities. Now go wow your friends, or win that trivia game with your new found knowledge about concrete!