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How to Beat Concrete Cancer

Hello, my name is Tony and this is my concrete installation and maintenance blog. I am not a professional concrete contractor but I am very passionate about DIY. My dad was a contractor and when I was growing up he taught me all kinds of neat tips and tricks. Once time, he took me out into the yard and made me inspect the concrete wall. The concrete was crumbling away, exposing the metal bars beneath. My father explained that this was concrete cancer and then demonstrated how to repair the damage. I hope you find my blog useful and entertaining.

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How to Beat Concrete Cancer

Precast Concrete Construction: Three Crucial Tips for Building with Slabs

by Eileen Jordan

Precast concrete is one of the most useful materials to consider using when building or renovating your house. This construction product is manufactured in an offsite environment as opposed to poured concrete, which is made and used immediately within the development area. Precast concrete slabs and blocks are resilient and stable because they are molded and cured in optimally controlled conditions. Also, the material can be used in various construction features, including floors, walls, and partitions. If you decide to use precast concrete slabs, here are some simple tips to help you achieve the best project results.

Choose insulating slabs for walls

When purchasing precast concrete slabs for wall and partition applications, you should choose insulating panels as opposed to solid core alternatives. Insulating plates are prepared using a mold with a hollow core. Therefore, the final product is lighter compared to non-hollow variants, making the building components easier to install during construction. As implied, the slabs also have insulating properties which can significantly improve the energy efficiency of your house. The hollow space in the panels will trap air, which has thermal insulating properties, and consequently, there will be minimal heat loss and gain. Also, you can achieve acoustic attenuation by using insulating slabs for wall and partition construction.

Prepare the concrete slabs for flooring

Proper ground preparation is essential if you are planning on laying precast concrete slabs for flooring purposes. Your flooring will experience premature failure and accelerated damage if the underlying surface is poorly prepared. The ground must be cleared, and the site leveled to prevent the seepage of water underneath the floor slabs. You should also discuss your waterproofing options with your contractor.

Water damage is a common cause of concrete deterioration. After the slab is installed, you must also ensure that the precast surface is prepared before laying the flooring material. Some flooring systems such as carpeting can be applied directly to the concrete. However, if you are planning on installing ceramic tiles, hardwood or laminate floors, you should consider having a floating floor or applying a supporting underlayment for optimal results.

Select a surface treatment option

Finally, if you are planning on leaving the precast concrete slabs exposed after installation, you should think about using surface treatments to increase visual appeal. You can choose simple options such as surface paint, cement rendering and grooving. More sophisticated treatments include etching, polishing, oxide coloring and grit-lasting. You should consult your precast concrete contractor on the right match for your home design and the environment.

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