Frequently Asked Questions
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Many people are under the impression that concrete and cement are the same thing. In actual fact, cement is one of the main ingredients used to form concrete. Cement is a powdery substance which helps bind materials together. Concrete is a mixture of paste and aggregates.
Concrete is made up of three materials: water, aggregate and cement. When cement is mixed with water and aggregates it becomes a binding agent. Aggregate is grained material often made up of sand or gravel. When poured, this mix will harden into the solid material that is known as concrete.
Aggregate can be made up of a mixture of materials which are used in building and construction. It is used for mixing with cement, bitumen and other adhesives to form a concrete or mortar substance. Fine aggregate is often used when a smooth surface is desired such as a concrete slab. Coarse aggregate is used for larger projects.
Spread a plastic sheet on the ground. Mix your materials on the sheet and place the stone and sand into a pile. Next, place the cement on top of the pile of sand and stone. Shovel the material to one side and create a new pile then repeat three times. Make a large and deep crater in the pile and add water. Fold the mix inwards with a chopping action to ensure the water spreads throughout.
Concrete dust contains high levels of crystalline silica. Inhaling this in the short term can irritate the nose and throat and cause breathing difficulties. Prolonged and repeated exposure can lead to a disabling and often fatal lung disease known as silicosis.
Concrete is one of the most durable materials utilised in the modern world. It is used for long lasting structures as it does not rot, rust or burn. The lifespan of concrete buildings can be double or even triple that of other common building materials.
Your local authority should have a record of when the house was constructed and what materials were used. When a house is made of concrete it usually has a cavity wall. The shuttered concrete layer with a concrete house is narrower than with a brick house.
Concrete contains a network of small pores and capillaries which can ultimately result in leaks and eventually cause deterioration of the structure and even mould formation- especially in warm environments ideal for fungus. By damp-proofing the concrete this can be avoided.
If there is a layer of dust that accumulates on the concrete and enough moisture is present, mould can grow on concrete. Unless the concrete surface is kept immaculately clean, fungus will grow and spread. Controlling the moisture, rather than the dust, is often more effective.
Make a solution of household bleach and water and then scrub and wipe the affected area/areas. You can also buy detergent which is specifically for killing the mould spores. In order for the mould to be completed cleared you must scrub aggressively and for a sustained long period of time. Allow the detergent or bleach solution to soak in for a while to ensure that all the mould is killed.