Frequently Asked Questions About Concrete in Columbus Ohio

How Long Does Concrete Last?

This can be a loaded question. Your new concrete should last as a whole approximately 20-25 years. Your concrete is only new for 1 day, then it immediately begins to break down (that is the nature of concrete). Remember, it is a man made product consisting of a mix of cement, water aggregate and sand. The breakdown is minimal and extremely slow, but you will begin to see surface deterioration in tiny amounts as soon as within the first year. Concretes main function is structural, not appearance.

Now, concrete installation has been adjusted a lot over the years to ensure the longest aesthetic life, but is not perfect. Your concrete can remain in tact and function as a structure for 40-60 years, but ascetically may suffer. EXAMPLE: You still may be able to park your car on a driveway in 50 years, but the surface may have lots of cracks or exposed aggregate. The life depends on dozens, possibly hundreds of variables such as climate, extreme weather changes and use of concrete. For instance, a patio covered from weather with minimal use will last a lot longer than an open driveway with a car parked on it everyday for years. 

The best answer to this question is to make sure your concrete contractor uses the best mix possible and follows the best curing procedures to ensure the longest life possible for your concrete all while following maintenance and best use procedures. 

Can You Avoid Concrete Cracks?

The answer is NO. There is a lot of misconception on this topic. Concrete will 100% crack, no matter what. The common practice is to place “control joints” in the concrete the try and control and somewhat “hide” where the cracks will happen. Picture this, there is a perforation line in your check book or maybe a bill pay stub – this is so when you go to tear the paper, it tears in that perforated line straight, easy and true. This is why we put joints/cuts in concrete, so the shrinkage crack will follow this perforation and be somewhat hidden below surface. But, have you ever tried to tear and the paper may not follow that perforation perfectly? This is what can happen in concrete, there are no guarantees. 

Why does concrete crack? Picture a puddle of mud. When it dries to dirt, there are cracks or “voids” within the area now. Why? The water has evaporated. This means the area’s mass is the same but the volume of the material in the area is now smaller just like when a puddle dries. When the water leaves the concrete, it leaves “voids” of smaller volume now that appear as cracks. 

So again, you CANNOT avoid concrete cracking, but a good contractor not only places enough “control joints” within the concrete area to accommodate for volume changes, they also know exactly where to place the joints for the best avoidance in structural pressure. 

Is New Concrete Maintenance Free?

Although concrete has the minimal amount of maintenance compared to other pavements, such as asphalt, there is maintenance involved. Your contractor should be curing your concrete properly but after concrete is cured through, it will need sealed within the first 12 months. his will not change the appearance or even be noticeable quickly, but this is what will get you the 25-30 year life out of your concrete. Your contractor should recommend the best products and practices to use for concrete sealing. 

How Much Does Concrete Cost in Columbus Ohio?

Customers probably hate to hear this, but each concrete job has different costs. Its is hard to say exactly. Standard tear out and replace concrete should be in the $10-$12 per square foot range (with possible additional landscaping or finishing costs). Stamping concrete can range from $20-$30 per square foot. Again – dozens of variables will determine this pricing. See “how to get quotes” for more on costs. 

How To Get Concrete Quotes

It may seem like overkill, but we recommend getting 5 quotes for concrete from comparable or reputable concrete contractors. Here is why:

Not all contractors are created equal. You have the guy who maybe does it on the side or isn’t very good at running a business and will price way to low because they do not know their costs. This means they will not manage your project correctly either. Then, you have the extreme, the “Big Dog” in their mind anyway, who is going to price way to high because they may want only big projects or think they are too busy for your smaller residential job. They will 100% put your project on the backburner or even if completed timely, you just overpaid. This is why we recommend getting 5 quotes – to cancel out the lowest and highest. These are contractors you do not want to hire. 

This should now leave you with the standard “3” quotes that is acceptable for review and if they are comparable contractors in the residential market, their pricing should be within reason of each other. Now, go with your gut – the company you, as the consumer, are most comfortable with and you will be fine. 

Does Columbus Ohio Concrete Come With A Warranty?

Sed Concrete has too many variable (as discussed in previous answers above) to warranty for long period of time. BUT – should come with a standard warranty non the less. Most reputable contractors should warranty your concrete for 6-12 months. Here is why:

Concrete all over the country is designed and installed differently. Texas has no winters like Ohio – so why would the process and products be the same?  

Columbus Ohio has EXTREME weather changes, that is why it is hard to warranty concrete for long period of time. So be weary of a contractor offering 2+ year warranties, it is usually just a sales tactic. If your concrete is installed per Ohio standards, and makes it through the first 4 seasons of weather changes without major issues, that means your product/installation has been executed properly. 

Can I Use Social Media For Research or Ideas??

Absolutely! But be careful….

Know the context of what you are looking at. You may see a gorgeous patio on Pinterest and see notes on best practices to install it, BUT, maybe that patio was installed in Georgia with clay subbase, extreme humidity and no winter freezing temps.  

The key with internet research is to use as a guideline or jumping off point and review the options with your contractor as they may pertain to Ohio’s allowability. 

Is Salt Bad For Concrete in The Winter?

This is a stigma of concrete and an excuse many contractors use when there are concrete issues after winters. The answer is “YES” salt is bad for concrete, but not the salt itself but what is causes, which is rapid freeze and thaw. 

When you salt ice on concrete, it melts almost immediately, which makes the surface “softer” or “vulnerable” in a way. Assuming it is a freezing day, that melted ice will freeze again eventually. This shocks the concrete surface by causing rapid freeze/thaw cycles. 

So in short, salt or ice melts are not great for concrete – but sometimes unavoidable because your car may even bring it back unknowingly from the roads. Small use or areas of snow melts are not terrible but the best practice is to clean the concrete or remove any ice melts as soon as possible so they do not remain stagnant and cause freeze thaw cycles. 

Remember – it may not seem fair, but you can’t blame your contractor if you bring tons of road melt home under your car and it sits on your driveway.