Homeowner FAQs

1. How much concrete do I need?

You will need to measure the length and the width if pouring a pad. A concrete volume calculator will help you determine an approximate quantity needed before you call and place an order.

2. What is the difference between cement and concrete?

Cement is the dry gray powder that is used in the mix to make concrete. It is used to bind the sand and stone together.

3. Can I mix concrete by hand?

Small amounts of concrete can be mixed by hand using a mortar box. The mix is commonly referred to as 3,2,1. Three shovels of stone, two shovels of sand and 1 shovel of cement. The mix for one cubic yard consists of (6) 94# sacks of Portland cement, 1740# stone, 1350# sand and approximately 25 gals of water.

4. What does slump mean?

A slump is measured by filling a 12” tall flat topped cone with concrete, then pulling the cone off and allowing the concrete to “slump” down. The amount of water in the mix will determine how stiff the mix is and how the concrete flows.

5. How thick should the concrete be?

Usual thickness is 4” for sidewalks and driveways, but if heavy traffic or machinery is expected the thickness will need to be increased.

6. How much base do I need?

A level gravel or stone base up to 2” is recommended.

7. Do I need control joints?

All concrete will crack, so putting a joint in will help to control this. A 4” thick slab should have a joint every 10 to 12 feet.

8. What does curing concrete mean?

Freshly laid concrete will start to dry out immediately. Heat, high winds, and cold temperatures will affect the drying time. Covering the concrete with plastic will help to keep the moisture in. Protection from extreme weather conditions is recommended.

9. Do I need a concrete sealer?

Yes. A quality sealer applied when concrete is new and has been cured and then yearly is necessary to protect the surface which may be damaged by weather, deicers, etc.

Call or stop by to inquire or pick up a quality sealer at one of our locations.

10. How do I clean my concrete driveway?

For grease stains, use cat litter to soak up the stain, apply liberally, using your shoes to grind it into the stain. Sweep up, then saturate with a cola beverage working in with a stiff brush. Burma When cola is done fizzing, rinse with clean water. Finally, mix one cup of powdered laundry soap with one cup of liquid chlorine bleach in a gallon of very hot water. Wash stain and rinse again. Dishwasher detergent and boiling water is another way to clean.

For rust stains, use a heavy duty cleaner containing tri-sodium phosphate available at hardware stores. Rub the spot until stain is removed and rinse. Other products that you can try are navel jelly which can be found in paint stores. Apply and leave on stain for one half to one hour and then rinse with clean water.

11. How do I find a reputable concrete finisher?

A finisher should be accredited by the American Concrete Institute. The finisher should guarantee his work and be able to furnish references. It is the law in Pennsylvania for contractors to register with the commonwealth.

You may find qualified contractors through the attorney general’s website; from there click on the Home Improvement Consumer Information tab. Here you can search for a registered concrete finisher within your town and zip code.

12. Why is my concrete cracking?

Concrete will shrink when dry and sometimes cracks for a variety of reasons. To prevent major cracks, use control joints and cure properly. Before repairing cracks, try to determine why the concrete cracked. There are many epoxy based products on the market to repair cracks.

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