Project Blog

What is the difference between Cement and Concrete?

Cement was a building material of both the Greeks and the Romans, but when Rome fell the widespread use of cement was lost for hundreds of years. Then in the 1700's Joseph Aspdin, a British citizen, discovered that if he added clay to limestone then superheated it, the resulting mixture would set anywhere, even under water. He patented what he called Portland cement, which is still the cement in use today. Dams, oilrigs, dock supports, bridges, lighthouses and various other structures are made with Portland cement.

Concrete is a masonry material that uses cement to bind together crushed stone, rock and sand. Cement makes up about 10% - 15% of the total mass of concrete. Although concrete is very strong, it requires reinforcement if used as a building material because of its poor tensile strength, or ability to withstand the horizontal forces or sway buildings must endure from wind or earthquakes. In short, concrete doesn't stretch or extend very well in reaction to cross-tensions.

Concrete can be reinforced by pouring it over long steel rods , called rebar or adding fibers to the mix then letting it set. Concrete sets faster or slower according to how much gypsum is added to the mixture. Therefore if a contractor schedules concrete to be placed (poured) at a certain time, make sure you are available and there is nothing blocking the area where the concrete truck needs to access and deliver the concrete. The set time of concrete can be accelerated by adding calcium chloride, or can be slowed down by adding retarder. These compounds affect the development of the hardening crystals that form as concrete sets.

Due to the high content of rock, concrete is extremely durable, attractive and is often used around pool areas, for sidewalks, driveways, roads, and of course skyscrapers among many other uses like subways, silos and lamp posts. The ingredients in both cement and concrete are among the most abundant on earth, and neither contains byproducts. Both extend renewable resources due to long life, and can be recycled to make future cement or concrete.

Acorn uses recycled concrete, in all of their concrete project as a base. We do this in order to achieve a highly compacted base, weather it's for your patio, driveway, or garage floor it will be compacted, to reduce shifting later. Concrete also comes in different strengths, or P.S.I, depending on what your project is. Concrete is also different depending on if it is to be poured inside a structure, or outside the structure. For example your exterior concrete will have an admixture of air, this helps with the severe weather changes that occur in our climate.

What if my Concrete has rust stains?

Rust stains can become visible on Concrete and can originate from many sources. Rust may be caused from the aggregate used, as it may contain iron oxide, or from rebar being placed too close to the surface. Often times a homeowner believes the rust appears due to problems with the installation or the concrete mixture. This is not the case. If your concrete has rust stains, use these helpful tips and suggestions for removing unsightly rust stains from concrete surfaces such as foundations, patios, sidewalks, driveways, and porches.

Rust stains on concrete are all too common for those having well water. It is near impossible to prevent rust build-up on concrete foundations, driveways, porches, patios, and sidewalks. When watering plants and bushes, the rust builds up over time, and leaves behind unsightly orange marks. These marks can turn a beautiful home into an eyesore.

If well water is the source of the problem, when watering bushes and plants around the foundation and other concrete areas of your home, use a spray nozzle that allows for better control. Although it isn't easy, make every effort to avoid spraying concrete with well water that contains high levels of iron.

Rust stains can also occur on patios, sidewalks, and porches when metal furniture begins to rust. These marks often go unnoticed until furniture is moved. Maintaining a coat of paint on old metal furniture can prevent this problem.
If your metal furniture has begun peeling and rusting, remove as much of the old paint as possible using a wire brush. When refinishing the furniture, apply top-quality metal primer as the base coat, and follow label directions on rust-preventative paint for the topcoat. Not only will your metal furniture look brand new, but also there won't be any future rust stains to worry about.

To remove existing rust stains from concrete there are several methods to try. Lemon juice, which contains acid, is a natural remedy for removing rust stains from concrete and other hard surfaces. Pour or squeeze undiluted lemon juice on rust stains, and let it sit for several minutes. If the stains are on the side of a concrete foundation, put lemon juice in a spray bottle, and spray the rust-covered surface. Use a sturdy bristle brush to scrub the area, and then rinse the lemon juice away along with the stain.

Another natural solution for rust removal is ordinary household vinegar. Apple cider vinegar and white vinegar both contain acid. Use either one to aid in the removal of unsightly rust stains. Either pour or spray undiluted vinegar on the stains, and allow it to set for several minutes. Scrub the area with a sturdy bristle brush, and rinse the vinegar and stains away.

Both vinegar and lemon juice can kill or damage foliage. Use caution when using these products around plants and bushes. After using these products for rust removal, be sure to rinse the area thoroughly with a hose. The vinegar or lemon juice will be diluted, and it should not cause any damage to surrounding bushes or plants.

If your rust problem is a difficult one, you should try using a commercial rust remover containing oxalic acid. It usually comes in powder form, and it is toxic. Follow label directions, and exercise caution when using it around children, pets, and foliage.

Sometimes stains on concrete foundations are caused by exposed metal rebar that has rusted. Rebar is the metal rod that reinforces poured concrete foundations. Many times portions of these metal rods are exposed. When these rods rust, they also become weak. Over time, the rust becomes an eyesore, and the weakening metal rods become a hazard to your foundation. After removing stains on your foundation that are caused by rusted rebar, you should seal the concrete to prevent any further rust or damage. Concrete sealer is available in most home improvement stores, and it is well worth the cost and time involved in application.

Rust on concrete surfaces is a problem for many, but it doesn't have to be a permanent one. Use these solutions and methods to remove and prevent rust, and your concrete will look like it did when it was new.

Project Average Cost Amount Received
Attic Bedroom $4,200.00 87.8%
Batroom Remodel - Mid Range $10,750.00 89.3%
Bathroom Remodel - Upscale $32,100.00 89.0%
Bathroom Addition $12,300.00 93.5%
Family Room Addition $51,985.00 80.6%
Basement Remodel $37,265.00 76.5%
Master Suite Addition - Mid Range $67,900.00 71.4%
Master Suite Addition - Upscale $110,000.00 76.9%
Home Office $8,450.00 81.0%

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