Concrete Tips & Points of Interest

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WHAT CONCRETE IS APPLICABLE TO MY JOB

There is a range of different types of concrete to chose from depending on your application and its proposed use. The friendly staff at Midway is always a great reference for assistance when looking at selecting what type of concrete you require for your fencing, driveways, foundations or slabs. The knowledge and expertise on hand is quite extensive from both a technical and practical viewpoint  and we are always more than willing to help.

Typical concrete strengths range from 20 MPa to 50 MPa for most applications; unless you have a specific requirement specified by your engineer. Lower strengths are available but are usually used in non-structural applications such as block filling or as a void filler. Concrete strengths are typically measured  in Megapascals (MPa). A Megapascal is a metric pressure unit and is equal to 1,000 000 force of newton per square meter, which is a pascal. 1 MPa is equal to 10 Bar.

 

HOW MUCH CONCRETE DO I NEED

For a guide please refer to our Volume Calculator at the bottom of this page. Pick the typical shape, enter the width, length and depth and this will provide you with an indicative amount. Please note the measurements are in millimetres and that the accuracy is determined by the consistency of the levels in the site preparation. Be advised that it is a lot more economical to have a little left over than have to purchase another load because you ran a bit short.

 

FINISH OPTIONS WHEN CHOOSING CONCRETE

Concrete does not have to be just a drab grey solid anymore, the selections and options are quite extensive depending on the performance criteria you are looking for; some of the considerations are –

Exposed Concrete:  Exposed Concrete mixes are designed so that when you remove the finished concrete paste from the surface, either by sandblasting or high pressure water washing before the concrete has finally cured, you are left with the aggregates and pebbles of the mix exposed to the surface.  To get a consistent wash most contractors will use an approved retarder and wash the concrete the next day. An experienced contractor can wash the same day but weather conditions need to be right and consistent.

Coloured Concrete:  You can add character and charm to your concrete by adding colour. One method is to use Colour Hardeners, these are bull-floated into the top surface of the concrete. Another is to use colour oxides, this would generally give a more consistent colour finish as it is added to the wet mix and is proportionate to the amount of cement in the mix. Our website shows the extensive range of colours we keep in stock but we would always suggest you come in to our showroom to speak to our friendly staff to help decide what’s best for your application.

Stamped Concrete:  This is where a rubber or steel plate or mat is applied on the the finished concrete to leave the selected impression. Note that a Release Agent shall be required to assist the stripping of the stamps; Release Agents are available form Midway.

Stencil Concrete:  There is a broad range of patterns available ranging from paver, tile, cobblestone and bush paver looks. A stencil is applied to the concrete in the pattern selected and a colour hardener is then applied over the top before the stencil is removed. This leaves a finish that is low maintenance and strong as a result of the colour hardener application.

Concrete Finishes:  There are a number of methods you can utilise to finish your plain concrete or coloured surface. The most common are by floating the surface and then troweling it to leave a smooth finish or you can achieve a non-slip surface with a cove or stipple finish or broom finish.

 

CHOOSING THE RIGHT CONCRETER / CONTRACTOR

Concrete is a long time down so it is important to choose a quality Tradesperson. There are unscrupulous so called tradespersons out there so be careful, please take a look at previous work and ask for Referees. Firstly, the quote should be formatted to show a Scope of Works, list the Reinforcement being used and the strength of the concrete allowed for. It should also detail the type of concrete and the finish as well as the saw cuts allowed for and if they are supplying and applying a Sealer. Finally it should also state the m2 that have been allowed for. Secondly, do not give monies up front, if they require a deposit ensure it is only a small percentage and only once they have started on the job. A quality tradesperson will have no problems with this provided payment is settled at the completion of the job; be sure to get a receipt once paid.

Remember quality is paid for and concrete is for life, cheaper is generally not better. Midway are happy to provide a list of quality trades people; either refer our Experienced Contractor page on our website or ask at your local Midway Showroom.

 

PUMPING CONCRETE

It is important that when you are pumping your concrete that you advise Midway of the fact so we can tailor the mix to suit the application. It is also important to select your Pump Contractor carefully as there are a number of operators with old machinery that are inadequate for the work at hand – please refer our Experienced Contractor page for quality operators.