What is Concrete?

Contrary to popular belief, concrete and cement are not the same thing; cement is actually just a component of concrete. Concrete is made up of three basic components: water, aggregate (rock, sand, or gravel) and portland cement. In addition to the basic three components, today's concrete has a host of other additives to add strength to the final product.  Cement, usually in powder form, acts as a binding agent when mixed with water and aggregates. This combination, or concrete mix, will be poured and harden into the durable material with which we are all familiar.

Is concrete sustainable?

Concrete is the best example of a sustainable building material because it makes efficient use of resources, is long-lasting, and can be easily recycled.

  •  Mostly simple and natural ingredients that are from Iowa
  • Local production.  Even made in the same county (fewer miles travelled to get to the job site)
  • Efficient use of energy.  It uses relatively little energy to produce.
  • Concrete is much brighter and require less energy to light
  • Durability of concrete means fewer resources over time are used.  The life span of a concrete driveway or parking lot is measured in decades and not just years

What causes concrete to crack?
All concrete cracks.  Period.  However, we can make attempts to control the cracking.  But even with our best efforts, unexpected cracking can occur.  Cracking can be the result of one or a combination of factors, such as drying shrinkage, thermal contraction, restraint (external or internal) to shortening, subgrade settlement, and applied loads.  We make every effort to predict where we think the cracks will occur and then apply a control joint at the location.

Is concrete warranted?
No, due to ground movements or local aggregates causing "popouts" (ask Stenberg for more details) concrete companies don't offer warranty's on their materials.  However, we also are confindent in the materials we use.


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