What is the difference between concrete and cement?

Concrete and cement are words which are used interchangeably. Cement is actually a component of concrete. Concrete is a mix of sand and gravel combined with a water and cement paste. As the paste hardens, the sand and gravel are bonded. Concrete continues to harden for years after it is poured, getting stronger as it ages.

As strong as concrete can be, it is still a natural product and affected by things that are out of our control. Concrete can and will crack, sometimes years after it’s poured. Different sun exposures while drying can cause significant colour differences. Rain, wind and salt all affect concrete. A pressure washer can do ten years of weather damage in one session of cleaning. It is important to care for concrete properly to keep it looking great and extend its life.

How to care for concrete? And why is sealing concrete important?

 Concrete is a durable, long lasting product.  Proper maintenance and cleaning will help extend its life and keep it looking great.  

Annual sealing will keep your patio looking fresh and is important for textured concrete.  Sealing a concrete patio can be compared to waxing your car, or wearing sunscreen. Without annual sealing, concrete will wear down and can lose the stamped texture and colour.  Sealing also reduces the chance of freeze thaw damage. Freeze thaw damage can cause cracks or surface flaking.  It is caused by water penetrating the surface of the concrete and expanding as it freezes. A sealer keeps water from sinking into the patio.

Concrete can be cleaned with warm soapy water and a nylon brush. Dishwashing liquid works well. Diluted bleach or a degreaser can be to use on concrete for heavy soiled areas. An eco-friendly option is using equal parts vinegar and water, or baking soda and water. Pressure washing concrete- especially stamped concrete- will age the concrete quickly.

Why is my concrete cracking?

  Concrete is one of the most long lasting and economical building materials.  In the right application and when properly placed, it will last a very long time. However, nothing good lasts forever and concrete is no exception. It will crack- it is just a matter of when. Take a look at the sidewalk, the driveway, the floor in a store where the concrete is not covered with tile- it has cracks!

Cracks are caused by a number of reasons.  The weather while the concrete is hardening, shrinkage, overload, and corrosion. There are ways to help avoid certain types of cracks. Have you ever noticed that sidewalks have cut lines every few feet? These lines are more than just decorative, they can help to control where the cracks will appear. These cut lines can be straight or stylized to fit your design.  Visit our gallery for examples of how we can work cut lines into a design.

What does Valley Creative Concrete offer?

Whether it’s a driveway that needs replacing or a full backyard transformation, Valley Creative Concrete specializes in design and full project management from start to finish.

Every aspect is taken into consideration and discussed with the customer so there are no surprises and the outcome is a professional quality product.

Custom Residential and Commercial Concrete Services:

  • Complete design and build
  • Concrete cutting and removal
  • Concrete pumping
  • Placing and finishing
  • Drainage design and construction
  • Basements
  • Patios
  • Driveways
  • Swimming pools and pool decks
  • Coloured and textured decorative concrete
  • Concrete sealing
  • Grading
  • Heated slabs
  • Patio covers
  • Retaining walls
  • Foundations

We offer landscape services such as:

  • Mini excavator
  • Bobcat
  • Small haul
  • Snow removal
  • Gravel supply
  • and more!  Give us a call  (250) 218-3650