There are many Myths out there about the concrete industry, and I thought it would be fun and informative to address them. So here we go!
Concrete Does Not Require Regular Maintenance
So many times we get calls from people who claim that they want concrete because they do not want to have to perform any maintenance. While true in some cases (some Roman concrete surfaces have never been maintained and are still going strong), if you want to preserve the aesthetics and beauty of a new concrete job, it is recommended to use concrete sealer to protect it from the natural ailments such as pollen (and unnatural ailments such as oil, and spills). Also, if you start to get significant cracking due to settlement issues, it is important to ensure that large amounts of water aren’t going through the cracks and compromising the substructure.
Concrete Always Cracks
There isn’t a crack proof mix that I am aware of as of yet (if you find one, let’s go into business and become billionaires!). However, using proper crack preventative methods such of correct jointing for expansion, using the correct mix out of thousands of mixes for each application, using the proper additives to battle the weather elements, and using the correct reinforcement and properly installing it to name a few. I must admit that that improper concrete installation from other people and contractors makes up for a huge portion of my business.
Even old concrete pours if done correctly can remain solid
This is TRUE! I have seen concrete more than 100 years old in perfect condition. I have also seen 3 week old concrete with numerous cracks. It has nothing to do with material, and everything to do with the application.
You HAVE to have gravel underneath concrete
Gravel is not necessary in North Carolina. If you have hard compacted red clay or fill underneath your concrete surface, gravel may not be the best use of your money. However, if you feel you might get moisture underneath the slab, or if you feel that there could be freezing underneath the slab (not typical here in the south), then gravel may be a good option for you. It is important for your contractor to be able to assess the site to make sure your dollars are being spent in the right areas.
Concrete cracked because material is faulty
Again, the fault usually lies with the ordering, and application of the material, not the material itself.
Concrete cracked because contractor messed up
This is NOT ALWAYS the case. Concrete is very unpredictable, which is why I have never seen a reputable contractor offer a 100% crack warranty. We have an industry leading warranty that covers cracking due to faulty installation, but sometimes cracks happen. I always laugh when I think of one of my contractor friends who brags about his “tailgate” warranty. When his tail hits the gate, the warranty expires! Fear not, our warranty is much better.
You can’t drive on freshly poured concrete for 1 week
Sometimes there is a need to get on freshly poured concrete sooner than 1 week. Although we recommend staying off of new concrete for as long as possible to allow it to gain strength, there are some customer needs that do not allow much time for curing. For example, many businesses need to run daily to keep the operation going. For some cases, we can pour a high-early mix, allowing you to use the concrete 24-48 hours after the pour! Obviously, this material costs more money, and requires more labor to install (it sets super fast) but is a good option if you are in a time is money scenario!