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Precast Concrete - What To Know

Nobody needs to tell an architect or construction worker that building a large structure is a complex project. Going from initial planning to opening day may require months or even years of intensive labor from a large team of workers. Each of the many tasks in the process requires a great deal of consideration, and likely some negotiation and bureaucracy, before it can be completed.

This includes the foundation of the project — or, more literally, the foundation of the structure. If you want to cast the concrete on the site itself, you need to work out the time and labor logistics on the fly. Any plans you do make may change without warning depending on unpredictable factors like inclement weather.

Luckily, there is another method of creating a concrete foundation that may be easier to plan and less intensive. Here is everything you need to know about precast concrete.

The Problems with Standard Concrete

Before we can really describe precast concrete, we should elaborate a little more about standard concrete because the comparison is instructive. The more traditional method of working with concrete is pouring it directly onto the land where the final structure will be located. In either case, excavation is necessary, and the final product should be a stable building if done right.

The problem with standard concrete is that it needs to harden while exposed to the elements. Cold weather, in a strange irony of nature, can delay its hardening. Rougher weather conditions, including any kind of precipitation, may cause worse problems yet. Temperature, humidity, and other variables could have a significant impact on the final product’s strength and effectiveness.

Construction project managers can certainly hold off on pouring the concrete and save it for another day. However, they can only put it off for so long before they have to rethink their timetable. Moreover, each delay requires renegotiation with laborers, landholders, bureaucrats, and any other parties involved in the project. Compensation can be expensive, and budgets can balloon. The best-laid plans may fall to ruin all because of quirks in the winds.

Standard concrete certainly has its advantages. Unfortunately, it may not always be the best way to approach a construction project because too much of its effectiveness depends on uncontrollable factors. No creation can ever truly be perfect, but we should still do what we can to minimize risk and build something close to the ideal.

What Makes Precast Concrete Better?

That is where precast concrete enters the picture. Instead of pouring the concrete on the construction site, this type of product gets molded into shape somewhere offsite. Once it hardens into the desired form, the team can then order the product to be moved to the site. Admittedly, transportation can be costly, especially for something so heavy. You should take this expense into consideration if you are interested.

With that said, the extra cost may be worth it for all the benefits that the precasting process confers onto the concrete product. Standard concrete needs to be molded and tested on-site, and various conditions and complications may cause imperfections in the final product. Precast concrete is molded within a factory setting, which means that wind and rain and low temperatures do not present a problem.

This one difference results in a much stronger product with much higher quality. Precast concrete can more easily meet all requirements, from strength and weight to shape and even finishes. The same mold can be used to create multiple identical parts of the structure, and unique parts can easily take shape with unique molds. Fewer materials are wasted, which means less money is wasted.

In short, precast concrete is far less vulnerable, far more controllable, and much more versatile. Instead of worrying about whether you can even start the process or need to delay it, you can get it done quickly and efficiently. It is no wonder why precast concrete is overtaking standard concrete as the preferred product for American construction projects.

The Need for Precast Concrete Sealer

We cannot forget what we said earlier: nothing is perfect. Construction project leaders need to be prepared for all possibilities, even when they think their prior decisions already cover every major issue.

In the case of precast concrete, products may be protected from the elements as they take shape and harden, but they must eventually leave the factory. Once each part joins the rest of the structure, it may face challenges from chemicals, grime, and the accumulation of water within its minute openings. Without the proper care, concrete can grow dirty and weak over time. Even if that takes a long time, the problems will still emerge at some point.

If you want new buildings to retain their integrity, you need to use a precast concrete sealer. Some products of this type only really cover the surface, which is good for keeping it clean and free of grime. They may also serve to deflect water, keeping any drops from entering any cracks and potentially weakening the concrete or encouraging fungal growth.

Of course, if any water has already made its way inside, then a surface-level sealer may not do much to root out that issue. Thankfully, you can find other products that literally go deeper. Penetrating concrete sealers like StableCrete can get inside the concrete itself and force any moisture inside to evaporate and escape. It can then harden, becoming one with the concrete and reinforcing its stability. The results are a substantial improvement in longevity and a cleaner appearance in general.

Seal Your Precast Concrete with StableCrete

Every contractor, architect, and builder working with precast concrete needs a sealer that can protect the structure and all its parts. Conselcor can help all these types of people and more with our signature product, StableCrete Concrete Sealer. Our B2B business offers it in one-gallon and five-gallon containers, ensuring that you always have plenty for your projects. Get in touch with us today and find out how you and your precast concrete parts can benefit from StableCrete.

Concrete Waterproofing and Sealer