Concrete Myths Debunked

Do you know the difference between concrete and cement, or even between concrete and asphalt? Unless you’ve arranged for a concrete paving project yourself, you probably don’t give a second thought to concrete. If you don’t know much about this remarkable material – which is used for everything from driveways to interstates to high-rise buildings – we’re here to enlighten you! There are some common misconceptions about concrete that can lead you to make the wrong decisions about your upcoming paving project. This article is meant to debunk those myths and set the record straight on this strong and versatile paving material:

  • Myth #1 – Concrete is the same as cement. Actually, cement is one of several ingredients in concrete, along with aggregates like gravel and sand, additives, water and adhesive. If someone tells you they have a “cement driveway” or that a sidewalk is “made of cement,” chances are they’re really talking about concrete. Concrete and asphalt are also two different paving materials. When it comes to roads and driveways, you can usually tell the difference by the color – asphalt is typically very dark or black in color, while concrete is either gray or another color.
  • Myth #2 – Concrete is leak-proof and nonporous. In fact, a paved concrete surface is porous. Although it may be hard to see it happen in real time, both liquids and vapors can pass through it. The reason you may not be able to see it happen is that it takes some time for water and/or gas to seep through.
  • Myth #3 – Concrete is grey. Actually, modern concrete comes in a large variety of colors. And thanks to cutting-edge installation techniques – such as stamping, for example – a concrete surface can be made to look like anything from pavers to wood, to name just two. If you immediately think of a flat, grey surface when you think of concrete, think again!
  • Myth #4 – Concrete requires absolutely no maintenance. Although there’s no doubt that concrete is incredibly strong and durable, it does need a certain amount of maintenance. The surface should be kept clean, minor repairs should be made as quickly as possible, and the surface should be seal coated on a regular basis to protect it from the elements.

If you’re trying to choose the right material for your upcoming paving project, talk to a contractor about concrete, and ask to see examples of the variety of different looks a professional installer can achieve using concrete. You may be pleasantly surprised by this durable, versatile, economical paving material.