Concrete Tips

Concrete Tips

Please don’t call it a cement sidewalk.

Cement is a small component of concrete. Think of it this way: cement is to flour as concrete is to bread. Ready-mixed concrete is a complex construction material, composed of unique mixtures of cement, sand, stone and water. Various admixtures can also make concrete do certain things, such as set up faster in cold weather, set up slower in hot weather or become more flowable without decreasing strength. Mixes can be specially proportioned for specific uses, such as basements, footers, driveways, sidewalks and roadways. There is no limit to the flexibility that concrete can provide for your construction project.

Have it your way.

Modern technology has made concrete a versatile material, readily adaptable to your unique needs.

  • Cold-weather days (under 40 degrees) — Order calcium chloride, or non-calcium chloride if metal rebar or wire mesh is used, to speed up set time and help protect against freezing.
  • Hot days — Order retarder to slow down set time, giving you ample time to properly finish the concrete.
  • Concrete wetness — Add a water reducer or plasticizer (high range) to increase slump without impacting strength.
  • More durability — Add fiber mesh—hair-like fibers of either plastic or metal-based materials—to increase surface durability and minimize problems, such as plastic shrinkage cracking.

An ounce of cure adds tons of protection.

After your concrete is finished, it is important to adequately cure it. This ensures the concrete continues to hydrate and gain strength, especially on the surface. You can cure concrete by spraying on cures or keeping the hardened surface moist. When the concrete has cured for 28 days, add a penetrating sealer to protect the concrete for at least five years. Properly curing and sealing concrete, helps it last a very long time.

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Ernst Concrete