As we rounded out another year, happy clients, successful projects, trials and tribulations included, I thought it wise to share wisdom about the product.
Here at Mattingly Concrete, we strive to be the honest, clean hat wearing contractor. Included in that task is educating our customers about the pretty, as well as the ugly, facts of concrete construction.
Concrete is often more affordable than most options when it comes to a patio or backyard setting. Being poured in place, it does not always require the level of labor involved with setting pavers or natural stone and also usually costs less on the material front. Concrete is great at dissipating heat, shedding most water, and offers an easy to maintain surface when compared with other materials.
Concrete in a driveway setting is usually comparable in cost with blacktop or asphalt until you get to large areas the size of parking lots where asphalt becomes less costly up front. Although, concrete is still often chosen for the purpose of less maintenance over the long haul.
Concrete is imperfect. It is almost exclusively placed by hand and has about 4 hours of workability to make look as pretty as possible. This requires a great level of skill to even achieve a normal finished product. Concrete when cured is a very brittle structure. This means it has no elasticity to it at all. When the ground in Indiana freezes or thaws and moves, concrete is susceptible to random cracks developing, even at a young age. Concrete can also crack as the moisture evaporates from a newly placed slab as it begins to shrink. These are unavoidable properties that can never be completely controlled.
Concrete can also chip or “spall” due to winter freeze and thaw cycles, particularly on driveways where vehicles can track in road salts and other contaminants. This is another unavoidable and sometimes unsightly characteristic of concrete.
Mattingly Concrete offers a one year warranty against these items if defined as severe within that year from install. The simple fact is, there are so many factors that can affect the longevity of the concrete surface from shade, sun, and moisture exposure to heavy usage and deep underground issues most contractors wouldnt be privvy of without extensive engineering being involved.
With this being said, concrete is still the most popular driveway option among homeowners and business owners alike. Although the concrete may crack, chip, or spall, it will not affect the usability of the structure for many many years. Often times much longer than asphalt, pavers, or gravel.
Sealing your concrete every fall can be the best line of defense against moisture penetrating the surface of your concrete casing cracks and spalls. This is highly recommended to protect your investment.
Hopefully this blog post has brought out healthy conversation prior to making a decision on your project. We have faith in any case, Mattingly Concrete is the right contractor for the job. Mattingly Concrete offers a customer service level that is hard to beat among contractors in the area. We appreciate our customers so much.
Mattingly Concrete Inc.