What Is Concrete Anyway?

Today, it’s nearly impossible to go a day without coming across concrete in one form or another. But, why do we use it? Where does it come from? And what is it, anyway? For something we use so often, isn’t it odd that most people don’t know much about it? Find out the solid answers you need from a foundation repair specialist in Zachary, LA. We know concrete like the back of our hands.

A Short History of Concrete

No one entirely knows when concrete was made or who first made it. However, the first recordings of concrete were in 6500 BC by traders in Syria and Jordan. The next records didn’t come until 3000 BC with the Egyptian pyramids and the Great Wall of China.

Did you know the Romans had a type of concrete that’s held strong to this day, thousands of years later? In the year 600 BC, this Roman mixture became the first widespread use of concrete. Due to the mix’s strength and usefulness, one might say concrete made the Roman Empire as great as they were! However, once the Romans fell, the technique was lost to time. That is, until a transcript describing it was found in 1414.

With our interest piqued for concrete again, a more modern method came about in 1793. But the recipe wasn’t perfected until 1824 when Joseph Aspdin invented portland cement—what we make today. 

So, How Do You Make Concrete?

That being said, what’s in modern concrete? The concrete we use today usually consists of portland cement—a mixture of limestone, clay, chalk, silica sand, and other minerals melted together at insane temperatures. Ready mixes of concrete consist of a mixture of cement, air, water, gravel, and aggregates. Every part of this mix is essential to ensure the final product is durable and dries correctly.

Even mixing concrete mix has a science to it. Sure, it’s only concrete mix and water, but there’s a sweet spot for the consistency that can affect the product’s strength. Add too much water and the concrete will be weak. Add too little and the particles in the mixture won’t stick together. But as the concrete and foundation repair specialist Zachary residents rely on, we know what makes a perfect mix.

How Is Concrete Used in a Foundation?

The sheer strength of concrete makes it one of the most popular choices for foundations today. And the poured concrete method enhances that strength compared to block concrete. When laid properly, the foundation should be able to fully support and distribute the weight of the structure built on top of it. The needs of the structure, as well as the nature of the environment, can dictate the type of foundation used. 

For many homes, a shallow foundation should be appropriate for pad foundations, raft foundations, and footings. However, there are some circumstances that require a deep foundation. These can include:

  • Projects that necessitate foundations with a high load-bearing capacity (such as four-story and taller buildings)
  • Buildings constructed on top of weak soil environments
  • Site restrictions such as property lines

Regardless of whether a building requires a deep or shallow foundation, concrete foundations are common today because of their strength, durability, and resistance to rot, decay, and fire. 

Get the Help You Need From Our Foundation Repair Company in Zachary, LA

Now that you know a bit more about the concrete going under your home, are you ready to begin your foundation repair journey in Zachary, LA? If so, give us a call at (225) 664-5956 or grab a free estimate from us. We’re always ready to help out our customers, and we want you to feel confident in our ability. Let’s make your home safe again with WCK Foundation Repair.

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