The concrete industry plays an indispensable role in the construction of residential and commercial buildings. Nearly every building requires some form of concrete for foundations, walls, basements or walkways. Paving concrete mix is also important for modern transportation because it can be used for roads, driveways, parking lots and garages. Anyone who is involved in new construction or extensive remodeling will probably require concrete, and because the machinery can be expensive and difficult to operate, concrete work is best left to the professionals.
The form of concrete used most often is ready-mix concrete, but it is often referred to by the trade names Redi Mix concrete, Redi-Mix concrete or Ready Mix Concrete. This type of Houston concrete is prepared in factories using proprietary recipes of Portland cement, water and a mixture of aggregates, such as sand and gravel. It is then delivered to work sites in specialized trucks known as in-transit mixers. The trucks used for cement mixing ensure that the concrete arrives at worksites fresh and ready to be pumped or poured.
The first factories for cement mixing were founded in the 1930s, but the industry began to expand rapidly in the 1980s. Before ready-mix concrete was widely available, concrete Houston was mixed at the worksite, but this often resulted in an inferior product because it was not mixed with the same precision that is used in factories.
Although ready mix concrete is now the preferred form, many construction specialists have claimed that it is not as reliable as traditional concrete because it is mixed in the same fashion for every application. This has led many concrete companies to offer custom-mixed concrete when traditional mixtures will not meet the requirements of a project. Concrete experts can develop specific formulas to meet a project’s specifications while ensuring that it complies with local building codes.
Residential Concrete Applications
Concrete pumping is necessary for many types of residential construction, including horizontal and vertical applications. A professional concrete company will bring an in-transit mixer with enough pourable concrete for the job, and there is no waste or cleanup required.
One application for residential concrete is to create the foundations and slabs used in single-family homes. The stability of each of these homes relies on a solid concrete foundation. In the case of vertical residences, such as condominiums and apartment buildings, concrete is necessary for the walls and support beams. Other residential applications of concrete include the following:
• Front steps
• Garage floors
Commercial Concrete Applications
Without a commercial concrete supply source, many public buildings, hospitals and office buildings would not exist. Some developers believe that commercial concrete is more important than concrete used for residential purposes because commercial buildings are usually larger and accommodate more traffic.
Commercial concrete experts use a variety of equipment to complete their jobs. While premixed concrete arrives through a fleet of in-transit mixers, the concrete must still get from the trucks to the specific locations where it is needed. Equipment for concrete pumping can be attached to the mixers so that it can be freshly poured into remote or tight areas. These pumps consist of detachable arms and chutes that can be arranged in a variety of positions. Some of the commercial applications for concrete are as follows:
• Office buildings
• Shopping malls
• Parking lots and garages
In addition to residential and commercial construction, concrete is also imperative in infrastructure applications. The concrete requirements for modern transportation are enormous, and without concrete, the world economy would virtually collapse. Ready-mix concrete is vital for roadways of all types, including city streets, highways and interstates. Once all of the cars and trucks arrive at their destinations, concrete is needed to provide parking lots, loading docks and sidewalks. In addition, airports could not be functional without concrete. Airline terminals rely on concrete, and runways would not be very safe without it.