The temperatures may have dropped into the 40s last night, but you still woke to the sounds of construction throughout the neighborhood this morning. From the commercial concrete work that is being completed in the parking lot of the neighborhood grocery store to the residential gutter installation that is being finished on your neighbors home, as soon as there is enough daylight, the workers are in place and tackling the work of the day. Following the strictest of guidelines when it comes to weather conditions and temperature restrictions, you have also recently learned that both residential and commercial concrete work also has to meet several kinds of safety standards. In fact, concrete contractors in your area are often so busy that they are able to focus on industrial, residential, or commercial concrete work solely. Knowing that they can fill their work calendars with plenty of jobs, these concrete contractors often find that they are more efficient when they focus on certain kinds of work.
For most consumers, however, are knowledge of the work that needs to be done is still pretty limited. For instance, although the terms cement and concrete often are used interchangeably, the two terms are very different. Those in the industry, of course, know that cement is actually an ingredient of concrete. Concrete itself is a basic mixture of aggregates and paste. The aggregates are sand and gravel or crushed stone; the paste is water and portland cement. Having a knowledge of the ratios that are needed of these ingredients, of course, is the secret behind pouring a great parking lot, road, driveway, or sidewalk.
When Was the Last Time You Had Concrete Work Done at Your Home or Office?
As America continues to deal with the implications of an again infrastructure, industrial and commercial concrete workers provide part of the solution. The scheduling of the cement pouring to create all of the concrete surfaces that our society now relies on is essential. This schedule, however, can fall victim to rain and snow and extreme temperatures. This is why it is so important to make sure that you are always working with the best concrete contractors who understand the most efficient concrete quality and productivity management. When one part of a major construction process falls behind, of course, you risk long delays if other contractors are not able to adjust.
Consider some of these other facts and figures about the many ways that cement and its end result concrete are used in the world where we live and the impact that it has on the economy of the nation:
- Although it is a product that has been used for a very long time, concrete remains as a product that is used more than any other manmade material in the world.
- Through a process called hydration, the cement and water harden and bind the aggregates in concrete into a rocklike mass. This hardening process continues for years, which means that concrete actually gets stronger as it gets older.
- Portland cement is the most common type of cement typically used around the world. This is in part because it is used as a basic ingredient of concrete, mortar, stucco, and many kinds of non-specialty grout.
- Nearly 30% of interstate highways in the U.S. are built using concrete, an indication of how versatile and reliable this product is.
- In the year 2017, the U.S. produced 2.4 million tons of masonry cement and approximately 83.5 million tons of portland cement.
- Because it infiltrates many different kinds of markets, the concrete industry is worth more than $37 billion and employs more than 2 million employees in America.
The oldest known man-made concrete mix dates back to around 500 BC. An indication of the fact that concrete can last for thousands of years. As a result there is also a growing market for companies that are finding ways to tear up and reuse the concrete that is already in place in the making of new roads and parking lots. As more and more companies want to find a way to be less wasteful, these concrete reuse programs are becoming increasingly important. As cold weather approaches these projects will slow.