Concrete Floors

Frequently Asked Questions

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1. Cement is an ingredient in concrete, much like flour is an ingredient in bread. Dry, powdered (Portland) cement is blended with sand, stone and water to produce concrete.

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2. Concrete, like all construction materials, contracts and expands under various conditions of moisture and/or temperature. Cracks may be caused by movement of the ground, or heavy loads (like trucks). The lack of proper curing and control joints will contribute to random cracking. 

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3. As a rule of thumb, in the summer, a new concrete driveway may be opened to cars (not trucks) after seven days (WE RECOMMEND 2 WEEKS). In cool weather, wait an additional seven days.   We suggest concrete driveways not be constructed in the winter, unless EXTREME protective measures are taken to prevent damage. The best time of year in Southeastern Michigan to construct a driveway is after April 15th and until October 31st each year. 

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4. Curing means maintaining satisfactory moisture content in concrete for a long enough time during its early stages so that its desired properties develop. Adequate curing provides additional strength and durability. Concrete cured for three days will have only 66% of the strength of concrete cured for 28 days. 

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5. A cubic yard of concrete measures three feet by three feet by three feet, or 27 cubic feet. It will weigh about 4000 pounds. It will cover an area of 81 square feet when placed four inches thick.

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6. When we want our concrete to be watertight and durable while being exposed to freezing and thawing, we add a small amount (6%) of microscopic air bubbles into the mixture. These bubbles provide expansion space for water that may saturate the concrete, freeze and expand. Air-entrained concrete should be specified for exposed (outside) concrete. 

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7. A minimum of four inches is generally enough for a residential driveway or garage floor that will be used by cars and light trucks only.  If a parking area will be used by both cars and medium to heavy trucks, the slab should be six inches thick. Frequent use by heavy trucks may require a slab six to eight inches deep.

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8. Since all concrete cracks, the wire mesh can be placed in your slab to prevent heaving concrete if the ground surface below shifts or settles unevenly. 

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9. Deicers containing salt and or calcium chloride should be generally safe for use on quality concrete pavement after the first winter. Never use any deicer that contains either ammonium sulphate or ammonium nitrate. Anyone who buys a deicer under a brand name should read the label to see what it contains.

 

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10. Owners should not use salt during the first winter, especially if the concrete was placed after Sept. 15th and not sealed. We suggest the use of sand instead. Don't allow ice and snow to accumulate on the slab during the first year.

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