Despite it’s ubiquitous presence in our cities, homes, and everyday lives, there are plenty of falsehoods about concrete floating round out there. In this article, we debunk some of the most popularly held misconceptions about our favourite building material.
Concrete has a negative environmental impact
The concrete industry is one of the primary producers of carbon but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is bad for the environment. When you consider the environmental cost per use of concrete, it is actually quite small. This is because concrete is by far the most durable building material available and if a concrete structure or surface is built and maintained properly, it has the potential to last for hundreds of years.
Professional concreting services are a waste of money
Just because every hardware store in the country stocks concrete pre-mix and you can find a YouTube tutorial that shows you how to DIY your own concrete driveway, doesn’t mean you should take concrete installation into your own hands. If concrete is to be properly installed, it takes skill, experience, and a degree of engineering knowhow to ensure the final product is functional, durable and safe.
Concrete is solid
Contrary to popular belief concrete is a porous material, so liquids and gases are capable of passing through even the densest concrete structures. However, concrete comes in a range of different porosities depending on the mix design, materials, sealants, and chemical admixtures used. Getting the porosity right for a large scale concrete installation project is crucial, and this is another reason why you should always call in the professionals if you have something like foundations or a driveway to install.
Concrete is depressing to look at
Although concrete used in construction and civil engineering tends to be the texture-less grey stuff that comes to mind when we think of concrete, there is actually quite a diverse range of decorative concrete finishes which can be used achieve a stylish effect. Stencil concrete, exposed aggregate concrete, and coloured concrete are all great examples of ways this material can be used to lift the appearance of your home or business.
Water is concrete’s natural enemy
Whilst a concrete mixture with too much water will be weak, and water can in some circumstances act as a catalyst for concrete to decay, it also plays an integral part in giving this unique building material it’s strength with curing. Concrete curing is the process wherein the moisture loss of the concrete is controlled, so that the concrete can form powerful chemical bonds with the water molecules. It is these powerful bonds that give concrete it’s strength and durability.