A New Type of Concrete Can Absorb Water

ConcreteConcrete is an amazing material for a long list of reasons and it is the perfect choice for sidewalks, driveways, buildings, and other structures. However, concrete has improved in several ways throughout history, and inventors are always looking for new ways to use it. Now, a company in the UK has developed a new type of concrete that can actually absorb water at an alarming rate.

That’s right; water-absorbing concrete is a real thing. The specialized form of concrete, called Topmix Permeable, can actually absorb as much as 1,000 liters of water per minute. While it may sound hard to believe, the company has performed several demonstrations that underline the effectiveness of the concrete. In one video, a truck poured more than 4,000 liters of water on to a section of Topmix Permeable concrete, and it vanished almost instantly.

Just how does this concrete work? Well, unlike traditional concrete, Topmix Permeable contains no sand or crushed stone. Instead, the concrete is placed over another layer made entirely out of crushed stone, which allows the concrete itself to remain porous. The water simply moves through the concrete, into the aggregate layer, and eventually makes its way into the earth below.

While the practical application of this concrete remains to be seen, it could be effective in areas that are prone to flooding. And although this is the first example of concrete that has been able to absorb water, it is similar in many ways to porous asphalt and paving blocks that have been used in several cities across the U.S.

We’re eager to see what the future holds for water absorbing concrete, and we’ll be sure to update you with any new information!

Concrete That Can Repair Itself

concrete-crushedHighways. They’re like the veins of America, the blood flowing from coast to coast. Without highways, there’d be nothing really bringing the country together. Politics certainly aren’t doing the trick! Unfortunately a bulk of the highway system is seemingly crumbling.

With that said, highways are one of the most important parts of American infrastructure; it is important for the government to keep up to date on repairs, meaning no potholes or other impediments to smooth flowing traffic. After all, the highway system is crucial to the nation’s economy so the roads must be maintained; it’s really as simple as that. What are the roads constructed out of? Concrete of course!

Congress had to scramble to approve funding for the highway system by July 31. Why such a scramble? We’ll never know; it’s Washington! But their scramble demonstrates just how important the highway system is and how we need stronger and higher-performing highways and bridges. While that’s priority number one, there’s also talk of developing a better system of concrete. That may already be in the works, according to this article in The Christian Science Monitor.

Phoebe Tollefson writes, “It may sound far-fetched, but the technology exists for self-healing concrete. The auto-mending material contains limestone-producing bacteria that activates when wet. The bacteria can lie dormant for up to 200 years, according to the European Patent Office, where the technology is registered.”

Imagine that! Self-healing concrete. It’s almost like something out of a sci-fi movie. It basically starts repairing itself the moment it gets wet. That kind of technology could possibly change the way we see the world. What do you think?

The Evolution of Concrete and What It Means for Humanity

6653499_SWe guess you could say that concrete is like the cockroach of building materials; it’s been used for what seems like forever, and it’s still kicking, and it’ll still be around even after everything else is gone. Concrete is trustworthy, the reliable material that we all come back to. What’s refreshing though is that we’re not using the same methods when it comes to concrete structures; we have evolved, as pointed out in The Independent.

Jay Merrick writes, “In the 21st century, software-generated algorithms and geometry often make the shaping and structuring of concrete as deliberately iconic […] but the aesthetic and atmospheric qualities of concrete architecture are not just about shape-making. It’s about the feel of the material, the light and shadow it creates, its particular sense of lightness, its particular sense of “grunt” – or its lightness and delicacy. Concrete can make asymmetry as graceful as symmetry, or turn volumes of space into engrossing mysteries.”

Wow! That’s quite the ringing endorsement. Sounds more like a religious experience than some architectural structure, but we can agree with that assessment. Concrete is poetry and at Bergen Mobile Concrete, we’re proud to work with this brilliant material. This material has taken civilizations to the skies. This material has solidified our lives in ways never thought possible. Concrete is the backbone from which every city perseveres, the legs on which every city can walk. It is, quite simply, what holds us together and with new technological advancements and a better understanding of the material as a whole, we can only expect concrete to become an even more prominent building block for the future – and that excites us. Doesn’t that excite you too?

We promise you that Bergen Mobile Concrete will evolve the same way that concrete has in order to serve you better!

The Rising Popularity of Concrete Floors

It’s no surprise that people are discovering the benefits of concrete floors. Their cost effective, easy to maintain, and are simply cleaned. Concrete slays in the face of its competitors. Rugs are easily outdated, consume odors, and trigger allergies for many homeowners. Tiles can accumulate mold and mildew in the grout that lies between them. Wood, while beautiful, is temperamental. The list could go on and on.

Concrete is a functional and economical material. They are easy to sweep and mop, becoming particularly important for families with children or pets who shed. They also compliment designs in a unique way. Concrete in its simplicity becomes a base to the vibrant, edgy, or classic personality of your home.  The cost of concrete is also very low in comparison to other flooring materials. It’s variety of finishes offers you the chance to create your own masterpiece and make your house a home. Subtle cracks and tonal differences in the pour add flavor to any home.

The last and possibly most important benefit of concrete floors is its longevity. Concrete can last for years to come without any major repairs or fixes. It can also be swapped out at a later time for any of the aforementioned materials. However, after reading up on the benefits of concrete why would you choose any other materials?

Contact us with any concrete questions you may have and upgrade your home today with Bergen Mobile Concrete.

Structurally Sound

19929959_SWhat are the similarities between concrete and the human body?

When thinking on the fly, it’s hard to think of any, what could a common construction material have to do with biology?

To Henk Jonkers, microbiologist at Delft University of Technology, the two become more similar every day. Take for example your bones. If you break a bone, it begins to repair itself unprovoked until they are completely healed – a brand new structure formed all on its own. Concrete now has the ability to do the same.

Jonkers “embeds the concrete with capsules of limestone-producing bacteria…along with calcium lactate. When the concrete cracks, air and moisture trigger the bacteria to begin munching on the calcium lactate. They convert the calcium lactate to calcite, an ingredient in limestone, thus sealing off the cracks.”

Seems simple right? The concrete heals itself and infrastructure, buildings, and paths remain in new condition for years to come. Water damage and yearly repairs would vanquish! With this immediate seal technology on the market, why doesn’t everyone use it? The answer is a simple cost, as it’s far too expensive a material rolling in at around $33-44 per square meter. But Jonker’s is confident that going forward there will be alternatives to the pricey calcium lactate.

For all the latest in concrete news and materials, keep checking back to our blog!

Source: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/with-this-self-healing-concrete-buildings-repair-themselves-180955474/?no-ist

Why You Should Choose Concrete for Your Driveway

906162_SWhen it comes to creating a new driveway, many people think that asphalt is their only option. However, we’re here to tell you that not only is concrete a viable material for driveway construction, but it actually offers several benefits over asphalt. At Bergen Mobile Concrete, we offer our services for a variety of applications, including driveways. If you’re on the fence about using concrete for your driveway, read on to learn why it may be your best option.

Unlike asphalt, concrete is an incredibly functional material that is used around the world for a variety of surfaces including everything from sidewalks to bridges. When it comes to your driveway, you can expect concrete to hold up for years, without showing any signs of wear or degradation. In fact, concrete is strong enough to support thousands of pounds of weight, which it will most likely need to if you plan on parking even a single car in your driveway.

Not only is concrete extremely functional and durable, but it also looks great too. A concrete driveway will help your home stand out in the best way possible, enhancing the look of your entire property. Concrete is a great choice if you want to increase the curb appeal of your home, which is always something a homeowner should be thinking about.

Last but not least, concrete requires much less maintenance than asphalt. It is easy to remove stains from concrete, and you can even apply a sealant to it to keep the entire driveway better protected.

If you would like to learn more about why concrete is the best choice for your driveway, contact our team today!

Concrete Furniture in Your Home

18856799_SWhen you think of concrete, chances are you think of your driveway, the sidewalk, or perhaps a building. Maybe your thoughts drift toward that construction crew you see every morning on your drive to work, how they’re pouring concrete into molds. In other words, concrete is mostly associated with outside. You never really think about it when it comes to the inside of your home. That, however, seems to be changing, as concrete is a hip, stylish option in interior design.

In this this ABC News article, Kim Cook interviews several designers and their newfound love of all things concrete. Ben Oyeda, a designer working in Boston, says, “Concrete is such an amazing and cheap material. I can get an 80-pound bag from Home Depot and turn it into tables, vases and planters without using power tools.”

Concrete, of course, has a wide variety of uses, but have you ever considered using it to make furniture? Just think of the shelves and coffee tables you can make! After all, it is cheap and amazing, as Mr. Oyeda points out. For him, “Working with concrete has changed the way I see waste.”

That’s probably the greatest thing to take from this concrete interior design renaissance – that it’s environmentally-friendly. Using concrete to dress up the home is making people realize that furniture doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive endeavor – all it takes is a little ingenuity, patience, and the ability to see the bigger picture.

At Bergen Mobile Concrete, we couldn’t be happier with this exciting home development. For more information on the trend, check out the ABC News article!

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!

How to Boost Your Home’s Value

15467455_S(1)When it comes time to sell your home, you will obviously want to sell it for the highest price possible. Even if you bought your home for a relatively low price, that doesn’t mean you can’t expect to sell it for more, especially if you’ve made some improvements to the property. In fact, there are many ways in which you can boost your home’s value, and adding new concrete surfaces is just one of them.

There is nothing more eye-catching than a newly paved driveway. This is especially true if your neighbors have old and cracked pavement around their home. In addition to repaving your driveway, consider adding new concrete walkways around your home. A visually appealing, functional walkway outside of your home will instantly increase the value of the entire property.

In addition to adding new concrete to your property, you can also give your entire front yard a makeover. Consider clearing away overgrown trees and shrubs, pulling weeds, and even growing a garden. Anything you can do to increase your curb appeal and get your house noticed will not only raise its value, but will bring in more potential buyers.

The outside of your home isn’t the only area that could benefit from improvements. Some of the things you can do indoors include adding insulation to your attic, brightening up dark spaces, replacing malfunctioning HVAC systems, installing new floors, and even redesign entire rooms.

The varieties of ways in which you can transform your house are almost limitless. Consider some of these before selling your home, and you can expect your property to become more appealing in no time.

New Application of Concrete in Landscape and Garden Design

concrete-crushedConcrete is a hugely versatile material that stands the test of time. We often think of concrete as building foundations, driveway paving, or standard sidewalk fare. However, DIYers all over are bringing out concrete’s beauty as well as functionality with creative uses to turn houses into homes. Here are just a few of our favorite applications for concrete in the home decorating world.

First up is the new application of concrete in landscape and garden design. Art isn’t just for display in your living room anymore. The concrete look is projected to be a huge trend in 2015 outdoor design. Garden globes and other design pieces are easily molded from cost-effective and long-lasting concrete. And if concrete just isn’t a busy enough material for you, try adding marbles or pieces of colored glass to the mix to really spice things up.

Clean and modern, concrete is also finding its way into interior design as standout functional pieces like kitchen islands. The malleability of concrete allows you to shape it much more cheaply than you would with traditional islands made of butcher block or granite. And sanding concrete down brings out minute natural color hues that will light up a room.

Want an outdoor fireplace, but don’t want the price tag associated traditional stone? Your solution is to use concrete and stamps to mimic the effect, without cleaning out your wallet. For a really upscale look, use a pointed trowel to carve out realistic variations in the material and finish with a stain. The same technique can be applied to walkways. Concrete also holds less heat than stone, so running around the backyard barefoot is no longer an issue.

For more unconventional applications of concrete in the home and garden, keep up with our blog. And for all of your concrete needs, contact Bergen Mobile Concrete today!

Source: http://www.wptz.com/creative-uses-for-concrete-in-your-garden-home/30460408