Let Our Concrete Contractors Answer Your Questions
To Learn More, Contact Wayne Paving & Gravel Today
We have been serving Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania for over 30 years. Throughout our time supplying the area with concrete, we have come across countless questions. Chances are if you aren’t in expert in the field, things can be a little confusing. Without the right help, your project can seem helpless. Thankfully, we’re here to assist you. Take a look below at some of the most common questions we get. If a question you have isn’t answered, contact us today to see if we can help!
Q: WHAT IS CONCRETE?
A: Concrete is a mixture of materials comprised of Portland cement, well graded sand and gravel, chemical admixtures and water. The chemical admixtures provide the ability to enhance the mixture properties. Concrete is one of the oldest building products known to man because of its strength, resilience, and versatility.
Q: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CEMENT AND CONCRETE?
A: Cement is an ingredient in concrete. When cement is mixed with water, a chemical reaction takes place. This reaction causes the mixture to harden. You could say that the cement is the glue that binds the sand and gravel into a solid mass. There are different grades of cement. We typically run a I/II low alkali cement.
Q: HOW IS CONCRETE SOLD?
A: Concrete is sold by the cubic yard. A cubic yard measures 3’ x 3’ x 3’. A cubic yard is 27 cubic feet. There are different grades of concrete depending on the mix. See “strength” below.
Q: HOW FAR WILL THE CONCRETE TRUCKS CHUTE REACH?
A: Concrete trucks chute can reach 16’ feet from the rear of the mixing unit. We cannot add more chutes than the specified quantities for trucks.
Q: WHAT IF THE CHUTE WON’T REACH?
A: We have truck mounted conveyor units available that will reach upwards of 39’ feet if needed.
Q: HOW HEAVY IS A FULLY LOADED CONCRETE TRUCK?
A: A concrete truck with 10 cubic yards will weigh upwards of 66,000 lbs. or 33 ton.
Q: WHO IS RESPONSIBLE IF THE TRUCK GETS STUCK ON MY PROPERTY?
A: The customer is responsible to provide suitable access if the concrete truck is to be directed to leave the highway. A signature will be required on the delivery slip waiver section. In the event that the concrete truck becomes stuck on your property, all towing and recovery charges are the responsibility of the customer.
Q: WHAT STRENGTH CONCRETE SHOULD I ORDER?
A: Most municipalities have minimum strength standards for various types of concrete construction. It is recommended that the customer consult the local building department for the minimum required. Our staff can then assist you with proper selection of the concrete mix.
Q: HOW IS THE STRENGTH OF CONCRETE CONTROLLED?
A: Concrete mixtures are engineered and tested prior to being used in production. Mixtures have a pre-determined water / cement ratio. The amount of cement and water will produce a medium consistency. This measure of the concrete’s consistency is referred to as slump. A slump of 4” to 5” is considered more than workable. The addition of more water to the mix increases the slump and decreases the strength. More water will also create more shrinkage and cracking. If a more fluid mixture is needed, please let us know at the time of order. Chemical admixtures are available that will provide a very fluid, wet mixture without any reduction in the concrete strength. PLEASE NOTE: Never put water onto the concrete surface during any stage of the placement and finishing process. This will cause premature failures of the concrete surface.
Q: HOW MUCH TIME DO I HAVE TO UNLOAD THE CONCRETE TRUCK?
A: Free unloading time of 7.5 minutes per yard is allotted. Additional unloading time charges will apply.
Q: WHAT DOES CURING MEAN AND HOW IMPORTANT IS IT?
A: Proper curing of your concrete slab is extremely important. The process of curing will keep the concrete from losing its moisture and drying out. The cement in a concrete mix needs the mix water to properly hydrate or react. Lack of or improper curing can result in a loss of up to 50% of the concrete’s performance. Curing is simply protecting the concrete from loss of moisture due to the elements. The best method of curing is to have the concrete totally immersed in water after finishing. In most cases this is not practical. Proper curing can be accomplished by simply spraying a curing compound on the fresh concrete surface. The curing compound forms a protective film over the surface to eliminate any moisture loss. Just let us know at the time of ordering and we can bring a pail of curing compound along with your load of concrete at an additional charge. PLEASE NOTE: Intermittent wetting and drying of a fresh concrete surface is not a method of curing. This can cause problems that will reduce the service life and performance of your concrete slab.
Q: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CURING AND SEALING?
A: As stated above, the process of curing is to retain the fresh concrete’s moisture. The process of sealing is to prevent moisture, salts and other materials from penetrating into the concrete. Most products today are dual-purpose cure and seal. The same cure and seal product can be used on the fresh concrete to retain moisture and can also be used on existing concrete to minimize moisture from entering the concrete. The cure and seal products have a higher solids content which gives you the gloss type finish that is more desirable on stamped concrete. Sealers are also available which contain matching pigments to the palette of concrete colors.
Q: WHY DOES CONCRETE CRACK AND WHAT CAN I DO TO MINIMIZE CRACKING?
A: All concrete has the potential to crack. Concrete is in its largest volume as it is discharged from the concrete truck. As the concrete mix hardens and it dries internally, it will shrink. A 100’ long section of concrete will shrink as much as 5/8”. Shrinkage causes a tremendous amount of stress that will be relieved via a crack. Control joints are put in the slab to force it to crack in a controlled manner. The crack will form down in the control joint and not just randomly across the slab. Control joints can be tooled into the fresh concrete during the finishing process or saw cut into the surface. Saw cutting should begin when you can cut the surface without causing any raveling at the cut. This process can be as early as 4 hours after placement. Depending on temperature, waiting until the next day to saw cut may be too late. Keep your cuts as square as possible. A good rule of thumb is to not exceed 10’ x 10’ with the joint pattern. Use expansion joints where the fresh concrete will be placed against any existing structures. This will keep the fresh concrete from bonding to any existing materials and restraining it from being free to shrink. We stock expansion joint and can deliver per your request at an additional charge.
Q: SHOULD I USE FIBERS IN MY CONCRETE SLAB?
A: Fiber reinforced concrete is a proven and very popular product in concrete over the past 25 years. The fiber is added to the concrete during the mixing process. Fibers provide additional benefits that you can’t achieve with the use of wire mesh. The cost per square foot of concrete for fiber in the mix is about the same as wire mesh. The fiber reinforcement is throughout the concrete mix. Wayne Paving & Gravel uses Buckeye Ultra Fiber due to its superior performance. The Buckeye Fiber embeds into the paste of the mix so you don’t see any fibers sticking up from the surface. This feature allows fiber to be used in colored and stamped concrete. The use of fiber will help to minimize cracking.
Q: CAN I USE DE-ICERS ON MY CONCRETE?
A: The use of any de-icer during the first year of service can cause distress at the concrete surface. During this period, use sand for slip resistance and traction. After that critical first year, de-icers can be used judiciously. Be aware, de-icers can also reach your concrete surface from vehicles carrying them in from public roads. Be aware that some de-icing products contain ammonium sulfate or ammonium nitrate. These will attack and cause premature failure of your concrete surface. Most common fertilizers also contain ammonium sulfate and or ammonium nitrate. When fertilizing your lawn and or garden areas, make sure to keep the material away from the concrete.
Q: WHAT IS STAMPED CONCRETE?
A: Stamped concrete, often referred to as decorative concrete, is a process that creates a realistic surface mimicking a wide variety of materials and colors. Stamping can create surfaces that look like natural stone, slate, brick, wood planking and cobblestone to name just a few. The surface pattern is created using mats that are pressed into the fresh concrete. A wide variety of patterns are available for rent when purchasing concrete from us for your stamped concrete project. Also available are a wide variety of colors that can be mixed into the concrete during the mixing process. The integrally mixed colors are accented to create an antiqued look through the use of colored release agents. The release agents are broadcast onto the surface just prior to stamping. The following day, excess release agent is washed off the surface to create the antiquing look. The release agents are very fine and powdery. Make sure you cover any structures or plants in the immediate area to avoid discolor or contamination.
Q: CAN I RENT THE TOOLS I NEED FOR MY CONCRETE JOB?
A: Yes, you can. Wayne Paving & Gravel has a rental division that has all the tools and equipment needed for preparation and placing of concrete. We’re your one stop shop when it comes to concrete construction.
Q: MY CONCRETE SLAB SURFACE HAS A HAZE AFTER IT WAS CURED AND SEALED?
A: Curing and sealing compounds are very sensitive to moisture and temperature. If any moisture is present at the surface when these materials are applied, water vapors become trapped and a haze will appear on the surface. The hazing can also form if the material is put on too heavy. The process is very similar to painting a wall in which 2 light coats will perform better than 1 heavy coat. A quick test for surface moisture is to place a sheet of paper on the concrete surface. If the corners curl up, the surface still has moisture present. It is also best to apply these materials when the slab surface is cool. Spraying these compounds on a hot surface in direct sunlight can cause bubbles to form due to the compound drying too fast and trapping vapors.
Q: HOW CAN I PLACE AN ORDER FOR DELIVERY?
A: The order process at Wayne Paving & Gravel is handled by experienced customer representatives in our Central Dispatch / Customer Service Center. Concrete should be ordered at least 24 hours in advance to avoid scheduling conflicts. We can assist in the calculation of concrete required or you can use the concrete calculator found on this website. In addition to the customer name and delivery location, information about the placement will also be helpful with proper selection of the mix formula and mix properties, the intended use of the concrete (driveway, patio, basement slab, etc.) and type of finish. (broom, hand trowel, power trowel, etc.)
PLEASE NOTE: Never use a steel trowel or power trowel machine on exterior concrete. This will have a detrimental effect on the surface properties and could cause a premature failure. The placement method (chute, wheelbarrow, pump, etc.) will also help us with proper mix selection and properties.
Q: WHO CAN I TALK TO IF I HAVE QUESTIONS AND NEED ASSISTANCE?
A: We are here to assist you in any way we can with your concrete project. Wayne Paving & Gravel staff is knowledgeable and experienced in all aspects of concrete products and concrete construction.
Have Questions About Asphalt Sealing? Our Paving Contractors Can Help
Q: HOW SOON CAN YOU WALK OR DRIVE ON YOUR NEW DRIVEWAY?
A: You may walk on your new driveway immediately, but we recommend keeping vehicles off your new driveway for at least 3 full days.
Q: WHY ARE PUDDLES FORMING IN MY DRIVEWAY?
A: It is impossible to avoid all puddles when laying a new asphalt driveway. Some small ones are inevitable depending on the natural slope and drainage of the area in which you build the new driveway.
Q: WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP MY NEW DRIVEWAY DURING THE FIRST YEAR OF CURING IN HOT TEMPERATURES?
A: New asphalt takes up to a year to fully cure, and during that year, your blacktop will soften and harden with the changing temperatures. During hot temperature days, you can help your driveway to harden by watering it down. Do not be alarmed if soap-suds appear, as that is a natural reaction between the diesel fuel found in blacktop and high chlorine water in some cities.
Q: WHY ARE MARKS APPEARING ON MY DRIVEWAY FROM MY VEHICLE?
A: During the first 6-12 months while your driveway is curing, we recommend you do not park in the same spot, or make tight turns while in park, which could cause scuff marks. Blacktop can become scarred by fast movements with the vehicle, as well as continuous pressure in the same location.
Q: WHAT SHOULD I AVOID WITH MY NEW BLACKTOP DRIVEWAY?
A: Please avoid using jack stands or car ramps unless used with a piece of plywood to distribute weight, excessive weight from large vehicles or campers can depress new blacktop. Keep large trucks off your new driveway (concrete trucks, oil trucks, etc.) It is also recommended that you avoid driving on the edges of your new asphalt driveway, as they are the weakest part of your driveway, and could crack and crumble over time. To help keep your edges from crumbling you can build up the sides with topsoil for support.
Q: WHY DOES MY DRIVEWAY LOOK SMOOTHER IN SOME AREAS?
A: The makeup of blacktop cause surface areas to differ in texture. Blacktop has different sizes of stone, sand, liquid asphalt, and other ingredients, which contribute to this effect. This can also differ by how the asphalt was placed, whether raked by hand or spread by a machine.
Q: WHAT HAPPENS IF MY VEHICLE LEAKS FLUIDS ONTO THE NEW ASPHALT?
A: Fluids such as gasoline, oil, anti-freeze, power steering and transmission fluids and other leaks can dilute the liquid asphalt in your driveway. Please contact us ASAP in the event of a fuel or oil spill on your new driveway. There are some solutions that can be added to neutralize the damaging reactions. If it causes any holes, those holes should be filled with cold patch.
Q: WHAT CAN I DO TO FIX CRACKS?
A: Hairline cracks will develop during the winter due to the contraction and expansion of the ground. These cracks should be filled with crack filler, which can be purchased from a local building supply store, or from Wayne Paving & Gravel.
Q: WHEN SHOULD I SEAL MY DRIVEWAY?
A: Sealing your new driveway too soon, can cause damage. The best time to seal your new driveway is 3-12 months after it was paved, and every 2-3 years after. Sealing can help to prevent damage by harmful chemicals, as well as prevent problems such as deterioration and upheaval due to frost and freezing.