Concrete is a versatile substance, used for everything from patio slabs and driveways, to floors and countertops, to roads and raised flower troughs. In some parts of the world, concrete is used for building steel-reinforced concrete walls. However you are considering using concrete in your home or commercial property, there's likely a lot you don't know about this popular building material.
8 Facts about Concrete
1. Concrete is a mixture of several components. Although concrete can occur naturally, most modern concrete is made by mixing cement, gravel and sand, and water.
2. Concrete resists mold and mildew. Unlike many other building materials, such as wood, concrete does not absorb water and is therefore naturally resistant to mold and mildew. Concrete is also unattractive to wood-eating insects, such as termites.
3. Concrete is recyclable. Concrete can be broken down and reused over and over again, making it a very "green" building product.
4. Concrete has a long and storied history. Concrete has been used as a building material for centuries. The first recorded mention of this material is from ancient Egypt. It was even used as fill in the construction of the pyramids. The ancient Romans also used concrete, and the Pantheon in Rome still has the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome.
5. The world uses a lot of concrete. Approximately five billion cubic yards of concrete are produced around the globe each year.
6. Thomas Edison experimented with concrete. Edison held 49 separate U.S. patents relating to concrete. He experimented with concrete, pre-fabricated homes, concrete furniture and even concrete pianos. He gave up because he couldn't make enough of these products to make the price attractive for a mass market.
7. Concrete was used for listening devices in WWII. The British constructed large concrete dishes equipped with microphones along the southern coast of England during World War II to attempt to listen for incoming planes.
8. The first concrete road was in Michigan. The Wayne County (Michigan ) Road Commission built the first concrete road in 1909 along part of Woodward Avenue, in what is now part of northwest Detroit. Before this, roads were made of bricks or cobblestones.
If you're considering using concrete in your home or business, you're not alone. This, the most commonly-used building material in the world, can trace its roots back to ancient Egypt and Rome. You're certainly in good company. For more information about concrete, talk to local concrete suppliers.