Many building materials have come and gone, but concrete has stood the test of time. Concrete is famed for its extraordinary durability. Concrete structures can last 50-100 years or more. No wonder it is the most popular building material.
A major problem that concrete structure owners face is premature concrete deterioration. From the corrosion of embedded materials to chemical attacks, there are several causes of concrete deterioration. If you notice signs of premature deterioration, move swiftly to address the problem before the durability of your structure is compromised.
Here are some tips to prevent premature deterioration and enhance the durability of your concrete structures.
Use the Right Mix Design
When choosing a mix design, consider the conditions the concrete will be exposed to. Be very careful when deciding the amount of water to be used. Keep the water-cement ratio between 0.40and 0.50 for structures that will be frequently subjected to severe exposure.
Do not add extra water, as it will lower strength and increase permeability. Adding more water than required will also increase the likelihood of scaling. Do not use contaminated aggregates as they can cause alkali-silica reaction or pop-outs.
Permeability can be defined as the rate of flow of fluids into a porous solid. Low permeability helps prevent or reduce the ingress of aggressive chemicals, CO2, and water. Use silica fume to densify the concrete mix and reduce permeability.
Reducing the amount of free water in the mix will also help reduce permeability. Many contractors use water-reducing admixtures or plasticizers to reduce the water content of concrete.
Prevent Premature Moisture Loss
Keep the concrete moist and at an optimum temperature. This will help ensure proper hydration, resulting in increased strength and durability. Proper hydration will also reduce concrete permeability and increase resistance to scaling.
Do not add water to concrete during troweling. If conditions accelerate moisture loss, use an evaporation retardant to prevent plastic shrinkage, crusting, or cracking.
Proper curing is central to extending the life of concrete. You need to maintain conditions that will allow your concrete to harden and gain strength. Maintain adequate moisture levels and take necessary steps to prevent your concrete from drying, cracking, and shrinking. Cure concrete when the temperature exceeds 50°F.
Consolidate concrete into a solid mass devoid of any cracks or rock pockets. Make sure there are no voids behind or below reinforcing steel bars. Remove standing water before concrete placement.
Bayshore Materials Inc. offers a range of high-quality concrete and landscaping products. We have everything you need for your next landscaping or construction project. We have been proudly serving businesses and families for more than five decades now. To have concrete delivered near you, call us at 707-644-0859.