Glossary

Concrete Properties

Indianapolis Concrete, Inc conforms to all BAGI and National Concrete Association standards. Concrete is produced by different suppliers throughout the state. We typically consider location, quality, and cost when determining which supplier to use. Concrete consists of natural materials which react to changes in the weather. Placing the same product one day may produce a different color product the next.

Cracking

Indianapolis Concrete, Inc takes all preventative measures to place control joints where necessary to control cracking while maintaining an attractive appearance. Cracks occur when concrete is at its weakest point, or at the control joints.

Curing

While curing, the color of the concrete may vary. For example, hydration rates may be sped up in areas that see more sun. This should lessen as the concrete continues to cure. The curing process takes 28 days for the final cure, no cars or equipment should drive on concrete at this time although foot traffic is allowable the next day if you are careful.

Expansion

This process allows exterior concrete to shift during freezing and thawing. Expansion is not normally caulked unless the customer specifies expansion to get concrete on it.

Exterior

Air entrainment is necessary for exterior concrete. Air bubbles are put in the concrete when it is batched to allow the concrete to freeze and thaw without breaking apart. Concrete with stone is used in exterior concrete because of the coarse stone and the uniformity of the rock. Exterior concrete by code also needs to have a texture and needs to have a slope for water runoff. That is no flat surface with a slick finish is allowable for exterior concrete. Also, exterior concrete is designed to move as the ground freezes and thaws. We allow this by incorporating an expansion joint, which allows different sections of concrete to move as an independent structure.

Expansion

This process allows exterior concrete to shift during freezing and thawing. Expansion is not normally caulked unless the customer specifies expansion to get concrete on it.

Frost Protection

Frost protection is the concept that concrete extends below the line that the ground might freeze. Marion County has a code of 3’ below finish grade. Any project with frost protection would not move and typically allows it to be a buildable foundation.

Interior

Interior concrete typically does not have air added because it does not go through the freeze/ thaw process. Without air, it finishes much smoother which we call a “hard finish”.

Reinforcement

Reinforcement is the use of products in order to decrease the likelihood of concrete cracking. Depending on the hardness of the concrete, we may also begin saw-cuts at this time. Saw-cuts relieve pressure in sections of concrete, encouraging cracking within the cuts rather than random areas of the concrete. If saw-cuts are done too soon, concrete around the cut may chip. If done too late, cracks may begin to form in undesired areas. Weather plays a huge role in the ability to saw-cut at the appropriate time. Industry-standard does not include reinforcement. Some options for re-enforcement include would be non-corrosive, synthetic fibers mixed throughout the concrete or re-mesh wire which looks like wire fencing placed in the middle of the concrete. Steel doweling can be used to limit the amount the concrete can heave or if settling is a concern.

Saw-Cuts

Typically, an extremely high-power concrete saw is used to place cuts for control joints or decorative needs. Even with saw-cuts needed there is always a chance that the concrete will crack. Also, this tool is extremely hard to control, the professionals at Indianapolis Concrete, Inc understand the importance of the quality of cuts but understand that they will not be perfect when complete. There are also limits in where a cut may be made for example the nature of the tool does not allow saw cuts for the last 6” up against a home.

Sealer

Concrete sealer protects the concrete by not allowing water to penetrate the surface and freeze and crack, giving the product a much longer life. Sealer also slows the curing process making a harder product, this may also cause discoloration. Sealer is needed on an annual basis and for care please reference the product information sheet. Typically, all projects are sealed unless the customer specifies otherwise, for reasons such as plan on overlaying the product or want the bright white look.