Whether you’re a homeowner or a builder, it’s not uncommon to have questions about concrete. That’s why the experts at Builder's Concrete East in Windham, CT, have developed this list of answers to common questions people ask about concrete mix to make any project they’re working on easier.
So, before you get started on your next project, be sure you know all there is to know about the substance you’re working with:
What Is Concrete Made Of?
Made of a mix of gravel, sand, and crushed stone, concrete also contains pozzolans, water, and other additives. Its main ingredient, however, is Portland cement, which is a mixture of concrete, mortar, stucco, and non-specialty grout. In other variants, colored minerals are added to create different shades.
What’s the Difference Between Concrete & Cement?
The two are often used interchangeably, however concrete and cement are quite different. Cement is an ingredient of concrete that, when combined with water, creates a paste that dries into the hardened material that we are all familiar with.
What Is Portland Cement?
Not a brand name, but a type of cement, Portland cement is an essential ingredient in concrete. There are eight varieties, each designed to meet different physical and chemical requirements of the many applications it’s used for. For general use, Portland cement Type I is best.
How Is the Strength of Concrete Controlled?
The ratio between concrete and water is what predominantly controls the strength of the substance, so to increase its strength, simply alter the ratio. Creating a mixture where the substrate outweighs the amount of water will give you stronger results.
What’s the Rule of Six?
The rule of six is said to make the perfect mix and is often followed by professionals and DIY experts. The rule states you should use a minimum of six bags of cement per cubic yard of concrete being laid out. Second, a maximum of six gallons of water should be used per one cement bag. Third, the mixture should be kept moist and allowed to cure for a minimum of six days. Lastly, if the concrete will be subject to freezing and thawing, an air content of 6% should be applied.
If you’re in the Windham area and need assistance with a project requiring concrete, the team at Builder's Concrete East offers ready-mix materials for use on nearly any project. Check out the products they have on their website now, or call them at (860) 456-4111 for answers to any questions you might have.