Concrete is an ideal building material because of its properties including versatility, strength, economy and low installation and upkeep costs. Concrete offers almost endless options for patterns, shapes and textures plus is available in a wide variety of colors as decorative concrete. It can also be finished smooth or brushed to produce skid resistance surfaces making it the most versatile building element.
Concrete strength depends on the ratio of water and cement in the paste that binds aggregates together. A sign of concrete strength shows in the durability that holds up to heavy traffic. A common measurement of concrete strength comes from compression testing expressed as pounds per square inch or psi. The psi measurement plus appropriate use of rebar in construction produces the strongest concrete.
The cost of installing and maintaining concrete varies according to project specifications, but in almost all situations, concrete offers the most economical solution. This is because concrete offers a long-term service life especially in exterior uses such as parking lots and driveways. Concrete does not need maintenance typical of other materials such as asphalt, and it produces a smoother riding surface since it does not break down due to heat, freezing, water and sunlight.