The purchase of a new home is filled with excitement. For some it is the excitement of a solid investment, for others it becomes a chance to unleash their imagination. Walls come alive with colour, rooms are filled with our personal furnishings, and the entire home is exactly the way we want it to look. But the way we want it to look is often easier said than done. Have you ever struggled to pick out that perfect colour for your walls, getting all set up to paint, only to find that there are a million different shades to choose from? This reminds me of that whole ?grey? area between black and white. Or what about rearranging the furniture in the family room? You spend hours straining countless muscles trying to grasp that magic concept to give your room a more functional or open appearance. Only later you realize that there is just too much furniture to make anything functional or even make it look remotely open. Sadly, you often end up going back to the original floor plan. I have seen this happen too many times. It is never easy to get the house you own exactly the way you want it. I have discovered that there is one thing in my home I can design to be practical, functional, and smart ? and that is concrete.
Concrete is so versatile there is no question of whether you can get it the way you want, but rather where you would like to put it. From the time of the Roman Empire concrete has played a vital role in history. Its primary purpose was to expand, by way of bridges, and to protect, by way of walls, the Roman Empire. Still to this day, two thousand years later, we marvel and study the existing achievements within concrete, which brings me to my first point – durability. The number one reason why anyone should build with concrete is durability. If concrete is installed and maintained correctly there is no reason why it would not last thousands of years. Concrete is primarily comprised of rock, which if you remember back to those grade six science classes, comes from the earth after being formed over billions of years. What better material to use when protecting your investment. Next is concrete?s sheer strength. In its most basic form concrete?s compression strength is 4,000 lbs per square inch and with today?s admixtures and coatings you can even reach strengths of up to 16,000 lbs per square inch. That?s like having a parking pad for a jumbo jet in your backyard. But what we like most about concrete?s strength is that it actually continues to get stronger as it ages. This refers to the concrete?s curing time. From the time of placing, your concrete will begin what finishers know as the curing process. Within a few days it will gain 75% of its strength, and after about 28 days it will be fully cured and reach its maximum strength; bring on those jumbo jets! What most people don?t know is that concrete will continue to get even harder over the years. The bond between the aggregates and the cement will gain strength, making it even more durable. And let us not forget about rebar, this is reinforcing steel rod set in the concrete to securely lock the concrete structure. Rebar will prevent cracking and heaving, further enhancing your concrete’s life span.
So let us take a moment to consider why you should build with concrete. First, most of us have purchased a home with existing concrete. Why cover this up with another material when you can simply jazz it up ? make sense? You have purchased a product that will out last any other material in your home and will continue to get stronger as it gets older. Concrete will actually save money. I definitely can not say the same about my wood deck or any coating product marketed to solve a quick fix. So far my wood deck has lasted 8 years, but has been sanded and painted twice, and looks worse as it ages. Out on the driveway my coating product has been chipping away in layers each day as I walk on it. Although they said it was a mixture of concrete, it was a thin layer without proper reinforcement which I spent way too much money on! After forking over thousands on a quick repair, I eventually realized it would have been more cost-efficient to have simply paid the price upfront to have an expert tear out the old and re-pour a fresh new slab. You may be skeptical of concrete, the upfront price can be quite intimidating. But why not invest in a solid product, rather than face the unwelcome tab down the road when your product begins to wear? Because of this factor, Creto Creations does not offer ?quick fix? remedies to your existing concrete besides tinting and/or restorative patching. We will not sell a product to our client that is not durable. Why else should you build with concrete? How about low maintenance?
Concrete is truly a low-maintenance product. In most cases it will only need to be treated once every two to three years. Although for decorative applications, Creto will recommend a yearly treatment to preserve your artwork. When I say treated I mean sealing. A sealant is a coating that absorbs into the concrete protecting it from any contaminants. Not only does it make your concrete more durable but it makes it stain resistant resulting in an easy to clean surface. For literally pennies per square foot per year, your concrete can maintain its resilience and never have to be replaced! But it does not stop there. There are now admixture compounds engineered to enhance specific properties in the cement matrix. New developments in admixtures have practically made concrete maintenance free. For instance, by adding titanium dioxide to cement, it can become self-cleaning, retain the same color for centuries, and will even clean the air by breaking down dangerous pollutants ? this I find so amazing!
Ok, so let?s recap. Concrete is durable, strong and a very inexpensive investment that is a breeze to maintain. By costing you less to maintain and has a lifetime durability, concrete means that money can remain in your pocket. Still not convinced? Ever seen what colour can do to concrete?
The Decorative Concrete Realm is only limited by your imagination. Concrete is a medium that can easily take on any shape, colour, or texture. Because concrete begins in a liquid state, it conforms to the shape of its container, resulting in limitless designs. This is nice when it comes to having something the way you want it. Yet another beautiful characteristic of concrete is its ability to be coloured. Concrete can be coloured in a number of different ways such as liquid or powdered integrals to colour hardeners that are broadcasted across the surface once the concrete has been set. Acid stains react with certain deposits within the concrete to chemically alter the compound of it, resulting in an amazing spectrum of colours. Concrete dyes work much in the same way as a wood stain. By absorbing into your concrete, dyes will leave you with a very distinctive and bold colouring. Lastly, is concretes? ability to be textured. Replicating the natural looks of stone, slate, even wood can create the look you want with the durability you need in the Canadian outdoors. There is no other product as capable, versatile, or beautiful but concrete, making it the ideal addition to any home.