The durability and longevity of your concrete slabs will greatly depend on the quality of your concrete. The quality of your concrete is the most important factor you would want to consider when planning your project.
To ensure the good quality and appearance of your building, you can hire a company that specializes in finishing residential or commercial concrete in Salt Lake City and other metropolitan areas. But how can you tell if you’re getting high-quality concrete?
Here are some ways to check the quality:
1. Consider previous brands
If you have used a brand of concrete before, you can test it for quality to determine if it’s a good option to use for another project. To test previously laid and compacted concrete, check if there are any visible cracks first. Depending on how long ago the pavement was laid, visible damages should be a good indicator of the quality of the previously used concrete.
2. Quality tests
When choosing a brand of concrete for your project, buy a small quantity first, and test it using the following methods:
- Slump test. A slump test is a method that is used to measure the workability of a concrete mix, which will determine how easy it can be handled and poured.
- Compressive strength test. This test is done to measure how much weight can a concrete slab bear before it cracks or fractures.
- Water permeability test. The concrete’s water permeability indicates its resistance to hydrostatic pressure and is an essential factor to test for concrete that is meant to be used in residential applications.
- Initial surface absorption test. Aside from the water permeability test, the initial surface absorption test (ISAT) for concrete is also a good indicator of durability.
Most of these tests will require a few weeks to perform, but if you’re already investing a huge chunk of your finances into this project, it’s better to make sure that you’re using a product that will last for decades.
If testing the product yourself is not possible, or if you’re only doing a small project, skip this step and move on to the following tips:
3. Ask a professional
If you’re planning to hire a paving contractor to lay concrete on your property, they would have a lot of suggestions as to what type and brand of concrete you should use. However, if you’re doing the project the DIY way, consult with a professional contractor, experienced friend, or a concrete salesperson to help you narrow down your choices.
4. Learn what the label means
When you’re browsing for a concrete product at the store, it’s better that you know what their labels mean. Usually, you can determine a product’s quality with the following:
- Strength. The strength of concrete is typically determined by the weight it can carry before it cracks. For residential applications, a product with 2500PSI is usually adequate.
- Mixes. A concrete product can be comprised of different ingredients. That said, you can choose among pump mixes, exposed aggregate mixes, flexible concrete mixes, and others.
It is important to ensure that your concrete structure can stand the test of time. This will also help keep your belongings and the occupants safe.