Concrete’s durability and strength make it the most used construction material around the world. It has became a revolutionary staple in the construction field, thanks to its durability, strength, and aesthetic versatility. Concrete is a favourite for driveways, patios, slabs, walls, and more.
But no matter how invincible concrete seems, there will be limitations to it. Sooner or later, ageing will catch up on your concreted area. Dirt and cracks will begin to show, but should you be worried? Various factors determine the longevity of the concrete installed on your property. This article looks at 5 factors that influence how long your concreted area will last.
Location of the concrete
Plants and trees are a wonderful addition to any landscaping, but they may pose a risk to the longevity of your concrete, dependent on where they are planted and the type of root system they typically have.
Why are tress and plants a threat to concrete? Trees, specifically roots, affect the moisture level of the soil, making concrete prone to cracking as well as the physical strain that growing root systems pose underneath concrete, sometimes elevating areas which lead to cracks and uneven surface. Moisture causes a shift in the soil underneath, letting pressure in, then cracks start to show. Professional concreters prepare the soil for concrete by clearing the area, excavating, removing any roots and set a base layer of sand and road base which is then followed by your concrete. If corners have been cut or your existing slab has been DIY-ed, chances are you might have to redo the concreting project if root systems are growing underneath the slab. If you want to salvage the trees or ornamental plants, talk to a tree professional (like an arborist) alongside your concreter to find out the best solution for your project. When considering future planting of trees, consider their root systems and account for how far the roots will spread in relation to your concreted area. As for existing trees and root systems, they will need to be thoroughly cleared before any concreting is done, this will ensure that your investment into concreted area will last.
Drainage and base preparation
Water drainage is an incredibly important factor to consider when planning to pour concrete. The presence of consistent moisture or pooling of water in an area will lead to faster deterioration of the material (whether concrete, timber sleepers, pavers) as well as moisture will affect the soil which means that the foundations will likely move, causing cracks and uneven surfaces on the concreted area. Careful planning by a concreter in the beginning of the projects, taking into consideration drainage, is paramount to how long your concrete will last.
The slab itself
The slab itself, how thick it is, reinforcement techniques and curing conditions will influence how long your slab lasts. When preparing to pour concrete, whoever is managing the project needs to consider the soil, the area, the needs of the home owner and the budget when planning the project. The thickness of a slab will go a long way in durability, if corners are cut to save on concrete costs, a thinner slab will be more prone to cracking. If your concreted area is a driveway, it is crucial to have a thick enough slab to withstand the weight of vehicles, furthermore if your vehicles are extra large or if you have trucks parking in your driveway, your concrete will need to be thicker. Reinforcement techniques including reinforcement bars or mesh will give your concrete more structural integrity, this is important if your local area is prone to steady moisture, such as areas in South East QLD. Not all concreted areas will require reinforcement bars, therefore discuss the need for them with your Caboolture concreter when they come to your property for an onsite quote.
Type of soil
There are various kinds of soils and there are various reinforcements to be made for the concrete to be able to best suited to your area. Having knowledge about local soil is important and an added benefit of hiring someone local to construct your slab. More reactive soils like black soil or clay will be more reactive to moisture and temperature fluctuations, so it is a crucial step to determine what types and kinds of reinforcements will be able to hold the slab safely in place, sturdy, and intact.
Concrete is supposed to last for decades, centuries even, if well maintained. External factors and ageing will inevitably lead to deterioration and visible signs of wear and tear, therefore taking care in the planning and designing stages of your concreted area and taking measures to protect the structural integrity of your concrete will mean that your investment goes much further. Location of your concreted area, drainage, soil type, the slab itself are factors that will influence how long your concrete will last without compromising. Invest in top quality work and materials that are designed to last. Contact your local concreters today for a free quote.