Concrete and Corrosion: Why It’s So Resistant to Weather and Erosion

Even the casual onlooker knows how durable concrete is. After all, we have walked past concrete buildings that have lasted years and years – even millennia in the case of some structures from the Roman era. But why is concrete so durable and able to resist even centuries of weather and erosion, and is there anything we can do to help the process?

Resistance to Humidity

One factor that allows concrete to last in humid weather is its lack of organic components. Because there is nothing to rot or decompose, unlike wood and other materials, it is very difficult for moisture to penetrate concrete except through joints between sections. Concrete can also breathe, which means moisture can easily escape, as well, which helps prevent water from causing long-term damage to concrete structures.

Roman Concrete StructureResistance to Cold Water Threats

Cold weather is another one of the biggest threats to concrete as the ice and freezing temperatures wage war on concrete surfaces every time winter rolls around. Concrete in generally warm climates tends to last much better. This is one of the biggest reasons that many Greco-Roman and other ancient structures have lasted in moderate areas where temperatures don’t typically create these cold weather cycles. However, in colder climates, it’s important to use a concrete mixture that can accommodate the freeze and thaw cycles of the winter months.

Resistance to Sulfates and Salts

Concrete is also capable of long-lasting performance in areas where salt or sulfates are a concern. For example, sulfates and salts can react with matter in concrete, especially in locations that experience numerous cycles of wetness and dryness. However, as with ice, using admixtures and low water to cement ratios in the concrete can make it more able to resist this damage. In fact, concrete is often used for concrete in saltwater with great success due to the use of minimally permeable concrete poured with a low-water cement mix.

At Bergen Mobile Concrete, we offer rapid concrete delivery with our mobile concrete mixers that scale concrete mixing to meet your needs. When you use us, you can get the exact amount you need of any kind of concrete mix, whether it is low-water concrete or fast-setting mixes for use in busy areas. We offer delivery options on days, nights and weekends and can work with you to deliver your concrete on your schedule. Schedule a delivery today by calling 201-797-7550.

Concrete Patio Maintenance for the Summer

Homeowners who have a concrete patio on their property know how important proper upkeep is. Not only will it keep your patio looking its best, but it can save you big in the long run. We understand maintaining your property’s patio may not be on the top of your to-do list, but putting an emphasis on your patio’s appearance this summer will go a long way in adding curb appeal and preserving your patio for years to come.

Concrete patio

Repair cracks to your concrete patio

When the summer weather arrives, it means spending more time outdoors on your patio. When you’re enjoying your patio this summer, we suggest inspecting it every so often for cracks. If you notice a crack, call a local concrete company for the concrete that is required for repairs. Make sure to have the cracks fixed as soon as possible, as extreme heat can cause the cracks to get even larger.

Power/pressure wash your concrete patio

Another way to keep your patio looking its best is by power or pressure washing it every summer. Simply spray the concrete to remove dirt buildup and more. For a deep clean, scrub your concrete with a mix of water and liquid dish soap after the power/pressure washing. A final rinse of the concrete after scrubbing will ensure that no soap lingers on your patio.

It’s important to look at the washer’s settings before you begin to spray your patio, as a higher setting may actually cause damage to the concrete.

Properly shade your concrete patio

Once all cracks are fixed and the patio is clean, it’s important that your patio isn’t getting too much sunlight. Too much sun can create cracks once again, as well as discoloration of the concrete. An area rug or umbrella can provide the necessary shade to protect your concrete patio when the temperatures rise.

If you need concrete delivered to your property to fill cracks or are interested in adding a new patio to your property, we ask that you reach out to our experienced team at Bergen Mobile Concrete for all of your metered mobile mixer needs.

With our team, you’ll never worry about ordering too much concrete for your patio project. Simply give us a rough estimate of your concrete needs and we will bring our mobile mixer to your site and create the concrete mix right at your property. This way, you won’t have to pay for concrete you don’t end up using. Learn more about our metered mobile mixers and concrete buggies by calling Bergen Mobile Concrete today at 201-797-7550!

Common Concrete Problems

ConcreteAt Bergen Mobile Concrete, we always make sure to get the job done right in order to ensure your concrete surfaces remain crack-free. However, you may already have existing concrete structures or surfaces in and around your property that appear to be falling apart. But just how and why does concrete sometimes crack? We’re here to go over some of the most common reasons!

Keep in mind that even the highest quality concrete has the potential to crack, and just about any concrete surface will likely show some signs of wear after many years. Fortunately, there are several ways that you can prevent any damage from showing throughout your concrete. But, you may still be wondering why it cracked in the first place. Well, one of the most likely reasons is that it has shrunk and expanded over time due to changes in temperature. If you the concrete is in an area with lots of moisture, you can expect it to expand and shrink even more often, potentially leading to cracks.

While this is not typically planned for, some cracks in concrete are natural and should be expected. For example, concrete driveways typically have control joints. These joints work to create weak spots throughout the concrete, but it is for a good purpose. Without them, when concrete shrinks it would split in random directions across the slab, creating unsightly cracks. With a joint, it will typically only crack in that confined area where the joint is located.

Other causes for cracks in concrete include sun exposure, freezing and thawing throughout the winter, and other environmental conditions. Concrete inside a home or other type of building should have far less cracks than something like a driveway or sidewalk outside.

For more details about concrete cracks and how to prevent them, keep reading our blog!

Understanding Why Concrete Cracks

Understanding Why Concrete Cracks Concrete is one of the most commonly used building materials due to its strength and durability. However, it can be very frustrating to find it starting to crack regardless of how long ago it may have been poured. The fact is there are numerous factors that are involved that can lead to concrete cracks, including soil upheaval and the climate you live in.

When it comes to upheaval, things such as plant roots can cause concrete to crack in multiple places. To avoid this happening, placing steel reinforcement around the area in which the concrete is poured will help keep the roots and soil from affecting it. Another option is choosing not to pour next to mature trees as their roots can extend up to 40 feet.

Now if you live in an area with hot weather, your concrete is more likely to develop shrinkage cracks than if it were in a more moderate climate. The reason is due to heat, as hot and arid conditions – like those sometimes seen during the past few summers – require that more water is used in the initial concrete mixture so it is able to dry properly. However, this excess water can result left over water filling in throughout the concrete, resulting in shrinkage that causes hairline cracks. To fix these cracks, synthetic fibers and sufficient rebar should do the trick.

On the other hand, when there is extreme cold and snow, your concrete can fall victim to freeze-and-thaw cycles that will eventually lead to cracks in the concrete. These can also be remedied with the same items as if the concrete were in heat.

With all of these factors at play, turning to professionals like the team at Bergen Mobile Concrete is your best solution. With more than a quarter century of experience mixing high-quality concrete for the Northern New Jersey area, we can help make sure that you receive the perfect blend of concrete for your project. To learn more or to schedule a delivery, call us today at 201-797-7550!

How to Maximize the Lifespan of Your Concrete Driveway

How to Maximize the Lifespan of Your Concrete DrivewayThanks to their exceptional durability, concrete driveways typically last years longer than driveways paved with asphalt. Concrete is also stronger than asphalt, which can be beneficial if you regularly park heavy vehicles or equipment in your driveway.

That said, no paving material is completely impervious to the elements. Over time, excessive wear can cause concrete to crack and spall, spoiling its appearance and reducing the expected longevity of a driveway. The good news is, there are a few simple steps every homeowner can take to make sure their concrete driveways remain in good condition for many years to come.

Apply a Sealcoat

This is perhaps the single most effective thing you can do to protect your driveway from the elements. A sealcoat prevents cracking by protecting the surface of the concrete from moisture penetration. Ideally, concrete driveways should first be sealed a few months after they’re paved, and then resealed at least once every two years.

Make Repairs Early

Sooner or later, you’ll start to notice small cracks forming on the surface of your driveway. By filling these minor cracks with an epoxy injection, you can prevent them from becoming much larger cracks in the future. It’s much easier and more cost-effective to make these minor repairs rather than wait for them to become more serious issues.

Avoid Chemical Treatments

De-icing chemicals make it easier to shovel your driveway in the winter, but they can also accelerate wear on concrete. Instead of using rock salt or other harsh chemicals on your driveway, opt for gentler alternatives like sand, alfalfa meal or cat litter to give you some extra traction in snow and ice.

Invest in Professional Paving

A concrete driveway’s lifespan will depend largely on whether or not it’s properly installed. Concrete paving might look pretty straightforward, but getting the job done right is easier said than done. If you haven’t had much experience working with concrete in the past, it’s typically best to leave driveway paving to the professionals. This way, you can be completely confident in the structural integrity of your new driveway.

Add Some Color to Your Concrete

Add Some Color to Your Concrete When you think “concrete,” do you automatically picture a boring gray color? We have good news: gray isn’t the only option when it comes to concrete, so if you’re hoping to use it in an interior or exterior remodel, it’s time to reconsider your design plans and think about adding in some colored concrete.

Contractors started using colored concrete back in the 1950s, when synthetic iron oxide was mixed in with concrete powder to give it a colorful hue. In most cases, you can easily obtain an earthy color, like brown and red, by using regular gray concrete; but, if you want a brighter color, you can mix in white cement instead, which gives you a wider range of color possibility.

For DIY projects, most concrete colors can be purchased at your local hardware store; look for bottles of liquid cement color.

First is integral coloring, where a liquid or powder color is added and mixed with the concrete inside the truck.

Shake-on coloring is the application of finely ground pigments and dry cement onto freshly-placed wet concrete. With this method, since the color is only mixed into the top layer of cement, grinding or polishing will damage the color.

Acid staining is another method for achieving a colored concrete, and it’s done after the concrete has been poured and dried. Acid is painted onto the concrete surface, and a chemical reaction results in a mottled color.

Acetone dyes are another option: an acetone dye would be applied once the concrete has set and been polished, but acetone is dangerous for indoor use.

Water-based dyes are a safer option. You can use this method to paint patterns into the concrete, so design-wise this could be the right choice for you. Using the other methods of concrete coloring may not give you the option of creating a detailed design in the finished product.

If you’re interested in working with concrete experts to install colored concrete in your home, call Bergen Mobile Concrete today at 201-797-7550 or click here for a quote.

Stamping Concrete: Intricate Looks, Simple Process

Laying down a brick or stone patio in your backyard will look fabulous, but it can also be quite expensive to install. That’s why many homeowners turn to a much simpler concrete patio. However, there is a solution that offers a balance between the great look of brick with the price and convenience of concrete: stamped concrete.

Stamped ConcreteUsing stamped concrete allows homeowners to make the patio in their backyard look like it is made out of stone or brick at a fraction of the cost or using the real stuff. Stamped concrete is often called textured concrete or imprinted concrete, and it is designed to replicate the appearance of expensive stone or brick. There are even some forms of stamped concrete that look just like tile or wood. If you work with a company that specializes in manipulating concrete, they will be able to use it to press different patterns into it to make it look like just about anything that you want.

Whether you desire a popular style like running bond brick or worn rock or you want to create your own pattern and work actual brick or rock into the design, your options are really limitless. You can press almost any pattern in concrete and, regardless of whether you want something complex or simple, you can transform any patio, pool deck, driveway, courtyard or entryway without breaking the bank to do it. Concrete Network reports that more and more homeowners are turning to stamped concrete because it gives off a very luxurious look and feel without costing a fortune. Since concrete is usually a lot less expensive than other materials, it’s a great, durable and affordable alternative for many homes.

Are you considering using stamped concrete for a new outdoor space at your home? Let Bergen Mobile Concrete handle the concrete delivery for you. Our on-demand, as-needed concrete mixing and delivery services offer quick and convenient service, and our metered mobile concrete mixers mean you only need to pay for the concrete that you need. Learn more about ordering concrete for your next project by giving us a call today at 201-797-7550.

Rock Salt and Concrete: A Bad Winter Combination

Concrete and Deicing SaltIce can wreak havoc on both roadways and driveways. To combat the ice, many homeowners and trucks throw salt down to make these paved surfaces safer for cars to travel. However, for roads, sidewalks and driveways that are made of concrete, rock salt can actually cause quite a bit of damage.

Despite concrete looking like a dense, strong material, it actually absorbs water very efficiently. This means that when rock salt is spread on concrete to melt snow and ice, the salt dissolves the snow and creates mushy salt water that can soak into the concrete. If the temperature outside continues to drop afterwards and freezes this water, it will expand as it reverts back to ice, potentially forcing the concrete to crack from the strain of expansion.

Another thing working against the concrete is that salt is also hygroscopic, which is a fancy way of saying that salt naturally attracts. If salt is pulling more water than normal, the concrete could become supersaturated with water, increasing the potential damage concrete if the temperatures drop.

Freshly poured concrete is especially susceptible to damage from rock salt as well. That’s because once concrete is poured, it is still highly saturated with water during the first weeks following the initial curing process. That’s why if you are going to pour concrete late in the year, it’s important to try and time out your project to provide at least 30 days for concrete to set up before winter weather arrives. If not, you flirt with the potential of the water freezing which can cause the top surface layer of the concrete to fall off.

To prevent rock salt from damaging your concrete, try sand instead. It isn’t going to melt the ice, but it will provide better traction for driving on. Plus, clean up in the spring is as simple as hosing off your driveway – no cracking, no damage and no problems!

To order concrete for your next pour, call contact Bergen Mobile Concrete. We’re experts at delivering concrete on time and in the exact amounts that you ordered – no paying for more than you need. To find out more, call us today at 201-797-7550!

How Populated Travel Can Affect Our Roadways and Infrastructure

The United States is filled with people, but we already know that. Major cities in the country have problems with roadway congestion and traffic every single day. As we continue to fight the pandemic and limit the amount of travel we do, our minds also should be focused on how we handle our infrastructure for future generations.

smart infrastructure concrete bridges

Smart Concrete Roadways

Every year, there is consistent construction being done on bridges, roadways, and highways. As travelers and everyday folk, we forget how important safety is when it comes to infrastructure. There are plenty of bridges and highways in the country that are in dire need of updates and repairs. They were built decades and decades ago, and now they’re showing their wear and tear.

So, what’s the solution?

Well, with new technology and innovation paving the way for many industries, it is also dipping its feet into the infrastructure of this country. Researchers and developers from SMART Lab are implementing technology to make roads safer and more cost-effective. The new systems can have the ability to self-monitor the condition of the roads and bridges. Sometimes, they can even repair themselves(self-healing).

Sustainable Energy + Concrete

As we implement sustainable energy solutions when it comes to energy, we’re also working towards improving our concrete roads. Many roads in the Northeast United States go through extreme wear and tear due to cold temperatures, ice, and snow. This can have negative impact on the roads causing breaks and major cracks. If technology can be developed to help concrete roads and bridges self-repair, then our roads and bridges will be safer, cost-effective, and more reliable.

Concrete Pouring from Bergen Mobile Concrete

If you’re looking for a durable surface for sidewalks, driveways, walkways, patios, and more, don’t hesitate to reach out to Bergen Mobile Concrete. We have the equipment to precisely measure and pour concrete mix for your surfaces without costing your extra money. Contact Bergen Mobile Concrete at 201-797-7550 today or visit us online for more information!

How to Clean Concrete Surfaces

29305947_SWhether you have a concrete patio or driveway, interior concrete floors, or any other type of concrete surfaces in and around your home, keeping them in top shape should always be a priority. And while concrete is highly durable and can look brand new for years to come, there are a few things you can do to help. Concrete can get dirty just like any other type of flooring, so cleaning it on a regular basis is always a good idea.

The first step to clean concrete surfaces is to use a broom to sweep up any debris. You should use a dust mop that can easily pick up and remove dust and other small particles that may be covering your concrete.

Once you have given your concrete floors an initial sweep, you can move on to using water. Mix a bucket of water with some dish soap to create a gentle cleaning mix. Keep in mind that you should not use substances like vinegar or ammonia on concrete because they can cause damage to the material. Next, wet your mop and start cleaning small sections of the surface at a time. Refill the bucket as needed, and repeat this process until you have covered the entire area.

You can also keep your concrete looking new by rebuffing and resealing it as needed, but a simple cleaning should do the trick in most cases. For more tips on how you should care for your concrete surfaces, keep checking back with the team at Bergen Mobile Concrete!