Concrete: From Antiquity to Today

Home and business owners rely on concrete for all different kinds of things these days. Whether they are building a patio in a backyard or laying the foundation for a large building, concrete is a cost-effective material that can stand the test of time and provide strength and stability for a number of structures. But concrete is not some modern invention that people just discovered within the last century or so. It actually has a very long history and has been in use for more than 5,000 years.

History of ConcreteAccording to Concrete Network, the earliest forms of concrete date back to 3,000 B.C. when the Egyptians mixed mud and straw to create bricks and combined gypsum and lime to make mortar. They used them to build the pyramids, which as you know, are still standing at this time, as strong as ever. Roman architecture spanning from 300 B.C. through 476 A.D. relied on concrete as well that contained animal products to serve as admixtures to make it more versatile in specific applications.

Modern cement that is made using limestone and clay and that hardens when you add water to it was invented in the early 1800s, and by the end of the 1800s, bridges and streets were first built using concrete. By the turn of the century, those living in the early 20th century were ready to experiment with concrete further by using it to erect buildings and build houses. That led to the development of ready mix concrete in 1913, which was concrete that could be mixed at a central plant and then delivered wherever it needed to go.

Since that time, concrete has continued to develop and evolve, and people have found new ways to use it. They’ve found ways to stamp it and turn it decorative. They’ve used it to build countertops inside of homes. They’ve even discovered ways to polish it, which has made it popular in retail stores and some homes due to its durability and aesthetic appeal. Concrete has certainly come a long way over the years and will likely continue to change and evolve as we find new and exciting uses for it.

If you are planning a project that requires concrete, Bergen Mobile Concrete offers on-site mix and delivery services. Evening and weekend deliveries are always available through us, as well, and we can also often accommodate last-minute delivery requests. Call us at 201-797-7550 today to schedule a concrete delivery for your next home renovation or construction project.

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. As Ask the Builder notes, 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!

Temperature and Concrete: Know How Weather Affects Your Pour

Concrete is such a common material for foundations, slabs, sidewalks and other construction projects that it is easy to forget it needs to be poured under the right circumstances. The weather, and particularly the temperature, plays a significant role in allowing concrete to set properly. Here’s how the weather affects your pour.

Cold weather presents a number of challenges to pouring concrete. Freezing temperatures, heat loss between the time the concrete is mixed and when it is poured, and snow or ice can wreak havoc on your concrete installation.

Concrete Pouring in Cold WeatherFreezing temperatures are a significant problem when pouring concrete. The concrete must harden to a strength of at least 500 psi before freezing, notes America’s Cement Manufacturers. Newly poured concrete that freezes before it has adequately hardened may be irreparably damaged as a result. In fact, concrete that freezes can lose as much as half of its intended strength.

Frozen ground is also a problem when pouring concrete. Even if the air temperatures are above freezing, ground that is frozen will likely cause trouble. Frozen ground can increase the time needed for the concrete to set. Further, the ground may also settle and reposition after a thaw, causing the concrete to shift and crack. Pouring concrete onto frozen ground requires first taking steps to thaw the ground.

Snow, ice or standing water are also common at construction sites during the cold weather. Pouring concrete on top of this moisture can lead to problems, as it may affect the rate at which the concrete sets or introduce too much moisture into the concrete mixture, impacting the cured concrete’s final strength.

Concrete that is mixed at a plant and then transported to a job site will lose heat during transport in cold weather. A general rule is that the concrete temperature will decrease by about one-fourth the difference between the mix temperature and air temperature for every hour of transport. During winter weather this could easily amount to 5 or more degrees per hour. Fortunately, at Bergen Mobile Concrete, we use a fleet of state-of-the-art, metered mobile concrete mixer trucks to deliver concrete throughout northern New Jersey. With our ability to mix on-site, you can get exactly the volume you need and without the risk of temperature loss.

We aim to provide dependable, reliable service on every delivery, regardless of how much concrete you need. To learn more, call us today at 201-797-7550 and request a quote for your next project.

Our Concrete Delivery is Flexible, But Not Like this Flexible Concrete

Here at Bergen Mobile Concrete, we are all about flexibility. After all, that is the backbone of our business – the ability to deliver concrete to your project during days, nights and even on the weekends.

But what if you could not only get flexibility with your delivery service but also with your concrete as well? A new material out of Singapore might just be the answer.

Named ConFlexPave, this new form of concrete was developed at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore where researchers were trying to create a concrete that was not only stronger than your traditional mix but also more flexible than what we are used to.

Curved ConcreteA long time in the making, this ConFlexPave was first dreamed up when the inventors decided to try and understand how the components of concrete interact with each other at the microscopic level, reports Archinect. Taking a look at these interactions helped them to create this new blend of concrete.

In a nutshell, the concrete utilizes a polymer microfiber to allow the material to bend under extreme pressure while also improving skid resistance. With these new implementations, the concrete has the potential cut down on construction time and on-site work. Plus, despite being flexible, this new concrete is actually stronger than traditional mixes, making it all the more useful for a wide range of potential applications if it becomes available for mass use.

Although fiber reinforced concrete has been around for some time now, these new developments will certainly be a big help to a number of projects. These advancements are just another step forward and a good prediction of how much easier major projects could be in the future.

While we’re still several years from flexible concrete availability, we at Bergen Mobile Concrete are the delivery service that you can depend on to be flexible to meet your needs and your schedule. We can deliver anywhere in Bergen County at just about any time, and you can count on quick and dependable service with every delivery. Plus, with our metered mobile mixers, we can make just the amount of concrete you need, eliminating overbuying and waste.

When you need concrete delivery for your project in the greater Northern New Jersey area, give us a call at 201-797-7550 and get your concrete fast.

Different Projects, Different Concrete: Part 2

Most mixes of Portland cement are very similar, but there are many differences that builders should know about before picking what type of use. The type of cement that you should use changes dramatically based on the job, as well as the physical and chemical requirements for specific applications.

In total, there are eight different types of Portland cement. Let’s look at the differences and the types of jobs each should be used for with information from the Portland Cement Association.

Type I is used for general projects and is suitable for almost all day-to-day concrete applications.

Type II concrete is used for structures in water or soil that contain moderate amounts of sulfate. This type of cement is also commonly selected for use in locations there heat build-up is a concern.

Type III cement provides a great deal of strength and resistance even in its early state – as little as one week. This makes it desirable for quick-moving projects.

Type IV moderates heat generated from hydration, which makes it ideal for use in heavy-saturation scenarios and massive concrete structures like dams.

Type V cement is resistant to chemicals, such as high-sulfate soil or water, meaning that it can be used in harsh environments with ease.

Air-Entrained ConcreteFinally, there are three mixes used to make air-entrained concrete: IA, IIA and IIIA. They have the same properties as types I, II and III, but have small quantities of air-entrained materials combined with them.

Knowing which type is right for your job site can make a big difference in the success of your project. Builders should also look at some other characteristics of concrete before picking one. Some of the top considerations include slump – the measure of plasticity of the concrete when it is being poured – and fly ash content, which reduces cost while slowing the setting time, giving you more time to place and shape the poured concrete while working.

Finally, there are chemical admixtures put into concrete that can enhance certain performance characteristics of concrete, notes wikiHow. This can range from making more fluid concrete to pour in confined spaces to water reduced mixes that minimize the need to include construction joints where using them may not be possible.

There is a lot of consider when selecting your concrete, so if you have any questions, just give us a call at Bergen Mobile Concrete. We work with different types of concrete all the time, so we can answer any questions you have. To learn more or to schedule a concrete delivery, call us today at 201-797-7550.

Different Projects, Different Concrete: Part 1

All concrete is not made the same.

There are a wide range of different types, strengths and compositions of concrete, based on what the material will be used for. Concrete strength is measured in pounds per square inch or PSI. Normal mixes range from 2,500 to 5,000 PSI, with some specially designed mixes capable of more than 10,000 PSI.

Let’s look, though, at the common range and what different strengths of concrete are used for with help from wikiHow.

2,500 PSI

Used primarily in driveways, walkways and floors slabs, this concrete tends to be the cheapest. It’s used also as fill material and performs satisfactory for these types of projects.

3,000 PSI

Used in general construction, this mix is durable and has good finishing characteristics. It can be placed fairly wet without sacrificing quality.

Concrete Grades3,500 PSI

Perfect for areas where significant loading is expected, such as for paving curbs. Other uses include building footings, bond beams, grade beams and floor slabs.

4,000 PSI

This concrete is used for heavy traffic payment and heavy-use floor slabs, like those in shops or warehouses. This mix is made to handle a great deal of weight for a long period of time.

5,000 PSI

Incredibly strong, 5,000 PSI concrete and higher PSI-rated concrete mixes are used for special construction projects where high-impact resistance and low wear rates are expected.

As you can see, concrete comes in many different forms. The final decision comes down to the type of job being done. If you are about to start a job and want to know what concrete you should use, call us at Bergen Mobile Concrete. We have worked with a wide-range of concrete projects and can help you determine the right pressure and mix for the type of project you want to complete. Picking the wrong type of concrete can be detrimental to your project, so make sure you have the right one before you start.

To learn more or to schedule a concrete delivery, call us today at 201-797-7550.

Maximizing the Strength and Durability of Your Pour

Concrete Pouring Concrete is one of the most used substances in the world, but there are still questions about how to get the most out of the material. When it comes to getting the best out of concrete, the secret is in the pour. Follow these instructions to improve how you pour concrete that will better help your concrete throughout its life.

Most people think concrete should be poured on a sunny or hot day, but that’s incorrect. In fact, concrete is best poured on overcast damp days where the temperate is about 55 degrees. While it may be hard to time your pour to optimal weather conditions, try to keep it in mind when scheduling a pour as extreme temperatures can be detrimental to concrete’s longevity. Look for days where the temperate is more mild or at least not as extreme as others. If you have to pour on a bad day, there are still ways to improve your site conditions.

Windy days cause too much water to evaporate from the surface and shrinkage cracks often develop. If you pour on a hot day, as is sometimes inevitable during the summer, put a tent over the surface or a screen to block the sun a little and alleviate some of the heating impact of the sun.

As for cold weather, make sure the concrete is covered with insulating blankets, straw or plastic as soon as it’s finished and keep the cover on for at least 72 hours. As concrete hardens, it releases heat through internal chemical process, and you want to store this heat to stop the concrete from drying out or freezing, leading to the possibility of cracking.

At Bergen Mobile Concrete, we’ve poured concrete in all types of conditions. If you have any questions about how or when to pour, please give us a call. We specialize in concrete delivery services throughout the region and have worked in all sorts of climates and conditions. We’re happy to help you out. Give us a call today at 201-797-7550.

Pour Perfectly With These Seasonal Pouring Tips

Concrete can be poured at almost any point in the year, but the different seasons bring with them both positives and negatives that need to be considered. This is especially true for those of us in the Northeast United States where we tend to get a little bit of each season, even though both spring and fall seem too short. Here are a few things that ConcreteNetwork.com suggests you keep in mind when pouring new concrete during each of the four seasons.

Winter Concrete PourWinter

Because of the cold weather, the ground tends to freeze the farther north you go. Since this is the case, use a cold-weather concrete mix for all exterior concrete placed in the winter months. These specially formulated mixed include set accelerators that help the concrete cure faster, as well as air-entrainment admixtures that can help with frozen conditions. It also may seem obvious, but be sure to use hot water when mixing concrete this time of year.

Spring

With wet and sometimes windy weather, think about placing plastic sheeting over poured concrete to keep moisture at bay. Surface evaporative control agents can also be added to help cure the concrete quickly and completely when the weather is wetter. Be sure to also consider the frost in the ground when pouring concrete at this time of year to ensure that your foundations set properly.

Summer

While in the winter, we want to shorten the set time, in summer we want to extend it. Hydration stabilizers and water reducers are commonly used to allow concrete more time to set in humid conditions. Using the proper amount of water, along with allowing the extra time for finishing, are highly recommended. Fortunately, summer soils are generally free of frost, which means that there’s less risk of instability or uneven pours following any frost heaving.

Fall

Due to freeze-thaw conditions, the Northeast is prone to spalling and scaling of concrete, so spend extra time again on finishing. Air-entrainment additives should be mandatory on all jobs done in the fall, and hydration stabilizers and water reducers frequently used to extend the working life of concrete without weakening it.

If you have any questions, reach out to us at Bergen Mobile Concrete anytime. We’re happy to help you with your next project and can deliver concrete wherever it’s needed. We know all the tips and tricks to make sure your concrete looks and performs the best it can, no matter what season you’re pouring in. Call us at 201-797-7550 to schedule a concrete delivery today.

Make Your Pour Easier with Our Concrete Buggy

If you’ve ever transported concrete before using a wheelbarrow, then you probably know how heavy it can be. With ready-mixed concrete that’s made to pour, it’s important each load gets transported safely and quickly. Fortunately, the invention of the concrete buggy has made the lives and jobs of concrete contractors much easier.

Concrete BuggyWhat’s a Concrete Buggy and How Does It Work?

A concrete buggy is a brilliant invention designed to help workers get concrete to where it needs to go in a much more convenient and fast way. This all-wheel drive machinery connects behind concrete trucks where the concrete pours right into the container. Once the buggy is full, it can be driven to where it needs to go. It can drive on flat land as well as up steep hills and through narrow spaces. Concrete buggies are much more convenient to use compared to wheelbarrows as the buggy does all the heavy lifting for you!

By utilizing this machinery you can save yourself overtime charges and extra labor. You can also save your workers from feeling sore and tired at the end of the day. Why suffer from a backache after a hard day’s work, when you don’t have to? When concrete is freshly poured directly from the truck to the buggy, all you need to do is drive it and pour it where you need it. This machinery is perfect for concrete jobs on steep hills or behind a narrow access, including decks, patios, walkways and driveways. The concrete buggy will change the way you work with concrete forever!

Never Let a Load of Concrete Go to Waste Again

The concrete industry has come a long way over the years, from wheelbarrows to concrete buggies; there are always way to improve job efficiency. Transporting loads of concrete from the truck to the final destination has never been easier with our concrete buggy

Learn more about our concrete buggy and schedule a delivery for your next concrete project today by calling Bergen Mobile Concrete at 201-797-7550.