When it comes to outdoor projects around your home, you have two major options: asphalt and concrete. While the former can serve when it comes to driveways, the latter is a more customizable option suited for driveways, patios, walkways, walls and many other creations. But as you’re talking to concrete suppliers and planning your projects, there are a few concrete myths you should know not to fall for:
- Myth: Concrete Is Always Gray and Boring
Sometimes people shy away from concrete (even opting for expensive options such as stone) because they think it has to look stark or industrial. But in reality, colors and additives can be mixed in to give concrete the look of an entirely different material, or stamps can be applied to add visual interest. Of course, you might not be able to get all these services from basic concrete contractors who focus on pouring foundation slabs. But if you look around and choose your workers carefully, you’ll find that concrete can look graceful and elegant.
- Myth: Concrete Is High Maintenance
Once poured, dried and sealed, there’s very little you need to do to concrete. You may want to re-seal it every five to 10 years (depending on a wide variety of factors), since concrete is somewhat porous, but that’s about it. More attention needs to be paid to how the concrete is poured in the first place. The ground needs to be prepared, the area needs to be free of tree roots, the weather forecast needs to be clear so that the concrete will have time to dry — all these factors will affect a project’s lifespan much more than any maintenance on your part down the road.
- Myth: Concrete Is Weak in Cold Weather
As with many myths, there’s a kernel of truth here: Concrete doesn’t withstand the freeze-thaw cycle as well as, for example, asphalt. That’s why many people choose asphalt for driveways in areas with extreme weather. But concrete, when correctly poured, is one of the most durable building materials ever created. If you’re concerned about cracks, talk to concrete suppliers about various mix options, or ask local concrete companies how they deal with weather in the area.
- Myth: Concrete Is Too Expensive
It’s true that if you compare concrete costs directly to asphalt costs, concrete seems expensive. But concrete also lasts much longer and is less likely to need touching up over the years, which means fewer calls put in and dollars paid to concrete and asphalt repair companies. And when you consider that concrete can be made to look like much more expensive materials, then concrete services appear even more affordable.
Concrete suppliers, what other common misconceptions do you think homeowners have regarding concrete? Homeowners, are you considering any concrete projects? Discuss in the comments.