The Fine Work of a Concrete Company

Humanity has always made use of a wide variety of construction materials, some older than others. Wood, certain metals, and even concrete rank among the oldest, often pre-dating even the written word. Newer materials such as steel I-beams, plastics, metal alloys, and others are used as well for modern commercial buildings, but those traditional materials such as concrete have yet to be replaced. Industry experts may agree that simple, traditional methods are best for certain jobs, and a concrete company is a fine example of this. The concept of concrete dates back over two millennia, and the oldest example of man-made concrete dates back to 500 BC, the days of the Greeks. Concrete has a long and proud history of being a useful and nearly universal construction material, and that continues to the present day. Concrete materials are nearly always present in a modern construction job, and concrete contractors from a concrete company will be hard at work.

On Concrete

What else is there to know about this ancient construction material? Concrete contractors in Delaware, Florida, California, or anywhere else are all using the same basic material, which is largely made up of several main ingredients. Cement is one such ingredient in concrete, although some people mistakenly use these terms interchangeably. Cement is not a finished product, but rather, the adhesive that binds the ingredients of concrete into a solid material for use. Concrete is made up of aggregates and paste, and those aggregates are typically sand, gravel, and/or crushed stone. The paste, meanwhile, is water and portland cement that binds it all together and allows it to cure (become solid). The process of curing is also known as hydration, when the cement and water harden and bind those aggregates to form a rock-like mass. In fact, this process may continue for years and allow the concrete to get stronger with age, not weaker. This is partly why some concrete formations that are decades or even centuries old are still standing and fully functional. Dams are a fine example of this.

This is a widely used material, and in fact concrete is used more than any other man-made material around the world even today. This makes for a large industry; by now, in the United States alone, a given concrete company is part of an industry worth $37 billion, and some two million people are employed in the concrete business. Even a small concrete company may expect plenty of contracts in all kinds of commercial construction jobs. How might this work?

Concrete on the Job

What can concrete do? This material can be used for many different commercial jobs, being a flexible material. For example, drain channels may be made of concrete, channels that may carry away water from other areas safely. But that’s not all. Concrete is also an essential material for building overpasses, the large bridges with roads that go over other roads or similar obstacles. Nearly any American motorist has driven both on and under an overpass and may have seen the overpass’s thick columns. What is more, this material is key to building any building’s foundation. No modern structure is built without a foundation, and any construction project will call for a concrete company to help out with this.

In fact, a concrete company will be one of the first companies to act on a construction project. Any modern project requires multiple crews with varying skills and materials to pool their expertise together, and a project begins with digging and smoothing out the ground to make a foundation site. then, a concrete company will arrive, set up wooden barriers, then pour that concrete. Such concrete will be administered with large, distinctive concrete mixers, and this material will be smoothed over with large rakes and similar handheld tools to make for a flat surface free of air bubbles or ripples or lumps. The wooden barriers keep the concrete in place and in shape, meanwhile. And while the concrete is still curing, the concrete company workers may use tools to carve patterns, lines, or shapes into the concrete if asked. Either way, the concrete will soon cure and harden into a solid foundation, and the rest of the building may be constructed on top.

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