Concrete is the bedrock of modern civilization -- and your home!
Perhaps the earliest known occurrence of cement is from twelve million years ago... A deposit of cement was formed after an occurrence of oil shale located adjacent to a bed of limestone burned due to natural causes.
And now, concrete is literally holding up your entire house! In your driveway, your patio, on your house, and may even be on top of your house in the form of roofing tiles.
But with alllll that concrete also comes a few concrete problems, of course...
There are four main reasons for all concrete problems:
- Concrete must be properly designed for load, seismic and soil conditions... (This is critical, because homes need to be attached to their foundations!)
- Concrete does not dry, it cures. Therefore, care must be taken to keep concrete moist until it's done curing.
- Concrete is not waterproof! Slabs will need vapor barriers and walls will need waterproofing.
- Concrete is strong in certain ways -- but very weak in other ways... So steel reinforcement is very important (fibers, rebar or post tension cables).
But don't worry, there are ways to make sure you do concrete right!
Here's a few tips to get you started:
First off, make sure the surfaces are damp before a pour. After a pour, the concrete should stay damp. Also, make sure all cracks are patched...
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