What Concrete Companies Can Do
April 21, 2019
It is safe to say that the American construction industry is enormous, even if one is not counting residential homes. Commercial buildings such as skyscrapers, banks, libraries, schools, and shopping malls are being built every year across the United States, and even the smaller projects require a lot of work and materials to complete. Many different contractor teams will be brought onto a project to see it through to the end, and this ranges from concrete companies to elevator installation crews to window and door experts to electricians and plumbers. Modern concrete contractors will know how to lay a proper foundation for any building, and concrete stands as a time-honored material for construction, past and present. A concrete company can do its job early in any project, and such concrete companies will have all the skilled workers and materials needed for the job. How might this pan out?
This is a composite material, consisting of water, cement, crushed rocks and sand, and more to create a tough final product. Cement is the ingredient in concrete that binds all materials together; it is sometimes mistakenly used interchangeably with “concrete,” but this is incorrect. Cement is an ingredient in concrete, and the final product can be poured into any shape and given time to cure and solidify. Even the famous Hoover Dam is built from this material, and some parts of its body in fact may need many more years to fully cure. Concrete is the most commonly used man made material in the entire world, and today’s American concrete industry is worth some $37 billion and employs nearly two million people. Concrete is useful not only because it is easy to create and pour, but it can assume nearly any desired shape and can also be sculpted or carved for aesthetic reasons during work. No modern building is complete without a foundation, and concrete will do that job just fine when concrete companies are involved.
The Construction Project
As mentioned earlier, any construction project may involve many different contractor teams who can off their own materials and tools, expertise, and more to build a complete building. This of course includes concrete companies, and these concrete companies do their part early in a project. When a new building is to be constructed, for example, the project owner may first decide where to put it. Such a site will be on land that the project owner controls or has permission to use, and this location may be close to major roads and other public transit for increased traffic. The project manager will also ensure that there is enough square footage on the site, and geologists may be consulted to ensure that the soil and ground rock types are suitable for construction. In some cases, there may be nearby fault lines, and this prevents the safe use of certain foundation types. Builders in California, for example, may often have to take the San Andreas fault into consideration.
Once the site is chosen, crews will excavate the ground to create a shallow but wide and smooth foundation, and bulldozers and excavator vehicles may be used for this work. Once that foundation is dug, the concrete companies on board may soon perform their own work. They may lay down boards that create and define the outer edges of the concrete foundation that will be poured, and this prevents concrete from spilling where it’s not meant to go. Now, concrete mixers will arrive, and the crews will help them pour vast quantities of concrete onto the site. This thick material will fill the area and stop where the wooden barriers block it. Once the concrete is poured, workers may use specialized rakes to smooth over its surface, to help clear out any bubbles or ripples that may hamper the concrete or building’s integrity later on. If desired, patterns or shapes or markings may also be carved into the concrete as it cures. And it’s not just foundations; concrete is often used to build American highways and overpasses, and some 30% of all American highways are built using this tough composite material. Overpass pillars and other support units are often made from concrete, and may be a common sight for many drivers on the roads today.