Ask Danny | Ep. 12: Concrete Network’s Founder Answers Top Questions

Rick Magliano

Today's Homeowner TV host Danny Lipford and Jim Peterson, president and founder of
This week, Jim Peterson with answers some of the most-questioned concerns about concrete. (3 Echoes Material Studio/Jim Peterson)

This week, I’m talking to Jim Peterson, founder of The Concrete Community

Jim started this on the web useful resource for home owners in 1999. It presents beneficial and simple-to-understand concrete info to millions of men and women each yr, and also connects owners to area contractors.

Trowel mixing concrete in a plastic bucket
Concrete has 4 factors: sand, cement, gravel and drinking water. (3 Echoes Written content Studio)

Concrete Fundamentals

What is concrete, and how is it made?

Jim: Concrete is a combination of four points: sand, cement, gravel and h2o. These are place alongside one another in specified proportions, dependent on what the challenge needs. This is completed at the completely ready-combine plant so the property owner does not worry about receiving the suitable amounts. 

It is normally named cement, which is incorrect. Cement is only element of concrete. 

Steel rebar
Metal rebar offers the best energy for concrete slabs. (BulentGrp, Getty Illustrations or photos)

Rebar vs. Fiber Mesh

Which would you use for a concrete slab: steel reinforcement wire or mesh?

Jim: At my home, or if I’m recommending to a mate, I would use #3 bars at 18 inches on the middle. 

Wire mesh ends up remaining stepped on by the placing crew, and dug into the sand, so it is not in the concrete also usually. When they check concrete, they’ll frequently see the mesh is on the bottom, so it did no fantastic.

Fiber mesh has some ending issues and will not supply the energy of steel bars. 

Worker using a level to even out a freshly poured concrete slab
Hire a professional to do the career correct when laying a concrete slab for a property. (therry, Getty Visuals)

Tips on Concrete Slabs

Jim: Concrete can be endlessly — a 40-, 50- or 60-year or more merchandise, so it is one greatest to be completed suitable. That is why so quite a few men and women seek the services of a contractor to pour a concrete slab. It’s just not one thing you want to toy with. You can uncover a contractor in close proximity to you by looking on The Concrete Network’s web-site.

It’s not a bad notion to have an growth joint or a joint map built of the pour to share with the contractor and make certain the man or woman reducing the concrete will make these cuts.

Cuts can go less than partitions and off of edges to make the career a good deal cleaner. 

Workers pouring water on concrete to manually mix it
Too much water can weaken the concrete blend, so usually abide by the recommended ratio. (therry, Getty Illustrations or photos)

Water Written content

Is it significant to limit the quantity of h2o additional to the concrete on the position? It looks to weaken the blend. 

Jim: Yes, it does. What happens is the h2o rises to the leading and when the concrete is finished, the top rated layer is heading to be weakened and there will be all types of difficulties.

Just about every blend has a drinking water-to-cement ratio, and that need to be stored to minimum amount quantities of h2o extra on the career, if any.

Close up view of a cracked concrete slab
Area cracks like these can be repaired with an overlay topping. (kshushsh, Getty Photographs)

Floor Problems

What would you advise for surface area problems, like salt hurt or gouges? Specifically with the obstacle of acquiring a patch that blends in.

Jim: I’ll give you the notorious solution: It is dependent.

1st of all, how noticeable is the region? A great deal of time, the patch will search a good deal worse than what it was making an attempt to get rid of. 

If the concrete is heaving, that’s a full diverse ball video game. Any patch is most likely not going to keep, it is heading to come loose as the concrete proceeds to heave.

If it’s an significant spot, you may possibly need to have to tear out and change the concrete, which is a worst-situation circumstance. 

Also, you can sand or grind the floor a little bit and do an overlay topping, and it provides you a new floor to do the job with, as prolonged as the concrete is not heaving.

Stained concrete floor
(InCommunicado, Getty Visuals Signature)

Stained Concrete

We employed to see acid-stained slabs all the time inside residences. Do you nonetheless see this as a sturdy development?

Jim: It’s still popular, and which is not just my opinion. We get a large amount of targeted visitors on The Concrete Network about staining concrete, so that’s form of a voting equipment.

There are two means to obtain it. 

Some people today like the appear of tile. So, say a home owner pulls up a tile floor and they can see the define of the tile from exactly where the glue was. You can prep the surface area, stain it, and you can even now see the outline of the tile for an industrial look.

If they don’t like that look, they could possibly do a micro-topping. This is planning the surface, placing on a topping and then staining that new surface area, which presents a model new glance.

One particular thing to look at is the sound requirement with the concrete. It can be louder in the place, so occasionally individuals will incorporate on sounds buffer carpet on the ceiling and partitions. 

Concrete slab for garbage cans.
With a little exploration, any individual can pour their own slab for a trash can. (3 Echoes Material Studio)

Little Concrete Assignments

What’s your information for an individual thinking of a tiny concrete project? 

Jim: If you have a really modest project and you’re up for it, there is no explanation you just can’t do a rubbish can pad, A/C pad or a smaller stoop in the backyard.

Just get a number of bags of concrete from The Residence Depot and combine it up and pour it. With a very little little bit of power, some light research on The Concrete Community, and seeing a few movies, your project should really arrive out good. 

I want to emphasize: With smaller projects like these, a concrete contractor would probably not react to you anyway, so Do-it-yourself is the way to go. 

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