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Concrete Pros and Cons

When it comes to building materials, concrete towers above all others. It is the most used building material, and it is almost impossible to find a construction where at least one part is not made with concrete. This is due to the many advantages of the material. In this article, we look at the pros and cons of the most used building material in the world.

Pros of Concrete

High Durability: A major reason for the widespread use of concrete is its durability. The material is highly durable and capable of withstanding pressures and forces that would destroy other building materials. With technological developments, stronger concrete materials such as ultra-high-performance concrete are being made to further strengthen what is already one of the world’s strongest materials. Wherever it is used, whether for bridges, flooring, or walls, the material can carry heavy loads and remain resilient to environmental conditions.

Lifespan: Concrete can last as much as a hundred years and even more in the harshest conditions. All it requires is that the right aggregates, reinforcement, and measurement are used based on the purpose. Its ability to withstand most physical and environmental pressure means it’s not prone to quick damage. So whatever you use concrete for, you can count on it to outlast any other material.

Maintenance: Concrete in any situation except for pools is low maintenance. Most times, all you have to do is clean it once a while and, in some cases, seal it once in a few years, and you’re good to go. 

Cost-effectiveness: Apart from the fact that it is affordable, The durability and low maintenance of the material means cost-efficient. You will not only save costs on the installation, which is usually lower than some building materials like wood, but you will also save costs because you won’t spend much on maintenance, and there is no need to replace the structure for a long time.

Design Options: Concrete stands out for its versatility in design options. While the original material is merely dull grey, it can be finished in so many ways that this dull grey doesn’t seem to matter much in the end. Of course, some people like the original color of concrete. But for those who don’t, there are so many design options to choose from and create the space you want.

Cons of Concrete

Hard: The strength of concrete is not always an advantage. This is most true when concrete is used for floors or swimming pools. In such instances, it can be very hard against the feet and not give the cushion that is sometimes needed.

Moisture: Concrete is naturally a porous material, which means water can penetrate it. There are instances where this is an advantage, and some concrete is specifically designed for that purpose. However, the opposite is the case most times. Keeping moisture out of your concrete will usually require sealants and finishers. You have to seal it often to prevent moisture, causing mold growth and even damage its structural integrity.

Cracks: Concrete may crack under heavy load, especially if the right reinforcements are not used, or the load is heavier. Repairing such cracks might be difficult, especially when it is structural.

Conclusion

Concrete as a building material has come to stay and is a favorite of masonry workers everywhere. While it has many other disadvantages, its relative advantage compared with other materials makes it a great choice.

Concrete Patio v Wood Patio

Today, homeowners seek new ways to maximize their living space and expand beyond their homes’ comfort. They want to make a mark on the immediate surroundings and create an outdoor living space. One of the ways to achieve this is through a patio. A patio is an outdoor space on ground level (unlike a deck), which can serve multiple purposes. It can be a great place to hang out and enjoy the cool evening breeze in the summer or for the place to set up a grill outside.

There are different types of patios available depending on the homes and other factors such as size, purpose, materials, etc. Having a patio that perfectly fits your home is essential and can influence the material you will use. That said, there are many materials for building patios such as stone, tile, concrete, brick, wood, etc. Here, we look at concrete and wood patios, comparing the two to determine which one is best for your home.

Wood Patio

Design: wood offers you a lot of possibilities in design. Naturally, it looks pleasant. When used for the patio, you are free to implement whichever style feels most right to you. The fact that you also have to finish the wood to keep its integrity gives you the option of choosing any decorative pattern or color, which can be changed once every few years when you refinish the patio.

Home value: wooden patios may be expensive, but they definitely add to the value of your home. It is one of the best investments you can make in your property as it provides a return on investment as high as 75% when you decide to sell the home.

Cost: building a patio with wood will cost you much. There are surely different grades of wood, and the higher the quality, the costlier it would be. Wood will usually cost you between $15 to $45 per square foot.

Durability: wood might give you a lot of artistic design options, but it is not durable. It is an organic material, after all. The porosity of the wood allows water to enter into it, and before you know it, it might collapse. Wood patio ranks high in the list of failed renovation projects and could be dangerous if not properly maintained.

Maintenance: wood requires a lot of maintenance fo you to enjoy it. It requires regular cleaning every year, and you have to reseal every few years yo prevent water damage and mold growth from spoiling your investment. You may also need to replace aging boards and inspect the wooden posts often.

Concrete patio

Design: concrete may have a dull gray natural color, but it is open to design in various ways. Add to the fact that the material is ductile and can be shaped in any way you want. You have concrete with different decorative designs to pick from. The grade of your property matters a lot when designing a patio. You must ensure it is flat as slopes will affect the building of the patio.

Cost: concrete patios is very affordable. The average price of concrete, both poured concrete and pavers, is between $4 to $12 per square foot. Adding installation cost and the decorative designs may increase the price, but it would still be much more affordable than wood.

Durability: Concrete is a very durable material and will last very long. For poured concrete, they could crack over time due to the expansion and contraction of the soil. But with concrete pavers, it is less likely to happen as there are seams between the slabs already.

Maintenance: Poured concrete may require Little maintenance with sealing after some years, but concrete pavers rarely need such. So you are all good.

Conclusion

Although concrete appears the best choice, wood is not without its benefits and may be combined with concrete to create a spectacular composite patio.