When planning your latest home improvement, it is crucial to choose the best concrete to ensure a successful project. With every home improvement project comes the need for the right tools and the best materials. This is especially true when planning a project involving concrete, as an inferior concrete or an incorrect selection will not deliver the results you seek. Concrete comes in a wide range of compositions and uses as well unique strength and durability, so you can choose the best concrete for your project, inside or out. The professionals at Turnbull Masonry offer these options to help you chose the concrete you need for your project.
While the terms concrete and cement are used interchangeably, the truth is cement is a component of concrete along with gravel, sand, water, and other materials. Concrete, then, describes the final product, after mixing and pouring. Mortar, the mixture which holds stone, brick, and other masonry together is made similarly with cement, sand, and water. Now that the terms have been clarified, let’s explore some common types of concrete so you can choose the best type for your project.
For sidewalk projects, concrete is mixed used water, sand, cement, and gravel. Water is a key component, as too little water will result in a concrete that cannot be easily poured, and too much water will deliver a weak slab which is unable to stand the test of time.
Generally “normal” concrete is a mixture of cement, water, and aggregate. This type of concrete sets quickly in under 90 minutes dependent on the humidity. While “normal” concrete features a strength values of 10 MPa (1450 psi) to 40MPa (5800 psi), it is not durable enough for severe weather conditions such as continual freezing and thawing.
Formed by mixing cement, water, and the strongest available aggregate, high-strength concrete is much more durable, capable of heavier loads up to 6,000 pounds per square inch. High-strength concrete features a lower water cement ratio as well as silica fume, which is added to prevent the build up of free calcium hydroxide crystals. The water reduction and silica fume addition increase strength, they reduce workability, thus super plasticizers are also a crucial component of high-strength concrete.
High-performance concrete features its own unique mix to create a concrete that is workable and durable. Super plasticizers, as well as silica fume and fly ash, are combined with a reduced water cement ratio to enhance the mixture’s durability and reduce calcium hydroxide. High-performance concrete, though not resistant to freezing and thawing can handle between 10,000 and 15,000 psi.
Air-entrained concrete delivers a high-tech solution to the issue of freezing and thawing common in Toronto and the surrounding area. The air-entrained admixture gives the concrete the ability to withstand an ongoing freeze/thaw cycle. How? The process of air-entrainment lowers surface tension of water and creates air bubbles while the air-entrained agents prevent the bubbles from connecting. Think about it, the freeze/thaw cycle causes trapped water inside the concrete to expand, cracking the surface and damaging the stability. Air-entrainment gives the water space to expand through the air bubbles, and so decreases cracking during the freeze/thaw cycles. The result – air-entrained concrete can withstand as many as 100 freeze/thaw cycles, compared to only four for “normal” concrete.
Call on Turnbull Masonry for the Best Concrete
Turnbull Masonry is ready to help you choose the best concrete for your project. With the professional team at Turnbull, you will find the needed expertise to ensure the success of your project. Contact Turnbull Masonry today and get the guidance you need for your Toronto concrete project.