Concrete structures are designed to be “durable.” Have a look at most facilities built in ancient times. What stands out is how dusty they look, but how strong and new they still seem to be. Concrete structures can last more than 100 years with proper maintenance. For instance, a garage floor with a concrete slab with the best garage floor coating will last more than bare concrete that is hardly maintained.
The durability of these concrete structures has been degrading over the years. Unfortunately, this degradation of these concrete infrastructures is becoming more expensive in construction.
Mixture and application are not the only determinants of concrete durability. Service conditions also contribute to concrete degradation. Here are a few suggestions on how to install durable concrete.
What makes concrete structures durable? The durability depends on the service conditions, mixing, and application. For strong and durable concrete, the mixture has to be consistent and uniform with the least water.
It is no secret that you will need water for concrete to hydrate. For a chemical reaction to occur, you will need enough water. A small amount of water is necessary if the concrete has to turn out stronger.
Large and small surfaces often give direction on how the application should be. When working with more extensive applications, e.g., foundations, the ratios should be 1:3:5 cement, sand, and gravel. With small applications, for instance, fill-ins, you should use a mixture of 1:3:1 cement, sand, gravel.
When carrying out a construction project, you agree with me; you cannot avoid the joints. In most concrete structures, weak joints are usually the construction joints. This is because water has a way of penetrating in and through.
This usually causes degradation of the structure in various ways. The most noticeable one is through corrosion of the reinforcing steel. If you want to take care of random cracking, use enough specified control joint positions.
It would be best if you always kept in mind that these cracks are usually random and made by the concrete itself. To solve this problem, ensure that each joint uses a solid waterproofing system.
Steel rebar is essential for construction purposes. It provides a vital tenacity to concrete. For effective results, one should learn how to place the steel rebar correctly. When steel rebar is close to the surface, it is hard to control spalling and premature corrosion.
This gives room for small cracks leaving room for water to enter the concrete structure. With a continuous leaking of water, the cracks will become large, attacking the rebar.
Most people overlook the curing process in achieving durable concrete. The curing process is vital if you want to achieve the ideal and utmost strength of concrete. For ultimate results, the curing process should be as slow as possible.
You have come across concrete infrastructures covered in synthetic material. Also, you’ve seen in hot and dry climates the water being sprayed on infrastructures. This is to help with the curing process. Ponding is an ideal method when it comes to curing a horizontal surface.
It will help if you let the concrete cure for almost a month. This will make you understand why slow curing is significant. Slow curing is ideal for avoiding spalling, cracking, and degradation of infrastructure.
From the above ideas, it is now clear that creating durable concrete it’s a process. It is dependent on various factors. It will be best to follow proper mixing, jointing, ideal steel reinforcement, and slow curing. This allows the concrete structure to be strong and durable. And these concrete structures will be resistant to degradation.
These steps are significant during concrete installation. It will help achieve strong and desirable concrete infrastructures.