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Not all Concrete is Made Equal

Feb 5th 2020

It is a common assumption among people that all concrete is more or less the same and can be made with more or less any amount of effort or planning. But of course, this is not true. The chemistry of concrete is in fact very sensitive to many different weather conditions and uses. The basics of concrete is that it is a mixture of cement with an aggregate. Cement itself is a glue and sand (also called silicia) but many of the issues that can occur in concrete is from the aggregate. Aggregate is simply large pieces of rock that have been crushed and is used to fill the space. The problem occurs because not all rock is the same kind of rock. Each has its mineralogical properties such that when combined with the certain weather conditions or environmental factors can cause cosmetic problems. All of the aggregate that is used is in general appropriate for construction such that it maintains its strength over time. But what is good for construction is not always great for curb appeal.

One common issue we called about is pitting of driveways. This generally occurs because a rock known as lignite is used as part of the aggregate. When the lignite gets cold, it expands and cracks off the bit of concrete above it leading to pits in the driveways of various sizes.

Many homeowners do not know what kind of chemistry is in there concrete. But for those for whom new houses are being built, they can actually request from the builders samples of the concrete used in their basement and their driveway. For everyone else, SealGreen’s cleaners and sealers can help prevent cosmetic damage to driveways by mitigating the effect that weather can have on their driveway.