Concrete Facts in Staten Island, NY

Here at Mezzacappa Concrete Contractors we provide quality work to our customers. We also like to provide you with information about concrete so that you know what you are paying for. Please read thru the concrete facts and let us know if you have any questions. Call us at 718-984-0074 or email us at shanemezza@yahoo.com we are here to answer your questions.
Concrete is composed of three basic materials: gravel, sand and cement. It is measured in strength called pounds per square inch (PSI) and it comes in many different strengths. Here are some examples:
  • 2000 PSI: primarily for footings and foundations
  • 2500 PSI: primarily for footings and foundations
  • 3000 PSI: used for doing flatwork (Patio, Slab, Driveways)
  • 3200 PSI: used for doing flatwork (Patio, Slab, Driveways)
  • 3500 PSI: best mix for doing flatwork
  • 4000 PSI: commercial grade that is used in road and commercial structures
All flatwork jobs must have a proper base of gravel to ensure that water drains beneath the concrete. It must also contain expansion joints which allow for the expansion and contraction of the concrete during the winter and summer months. Expansion joints can be made of these materials: felt, pressure treated lumber or PVC (polyvinyl chloride) pipe placed no more than 10 to 15 feet apart.

For freshly poured concrete to reach its maximum strength or cure it must be sprayed with water for the first two weeks up to 3 times a day. This method slows down the drying time by cooling the surface and soak in to the concrete. Vehicles should not cross the concrete for up to 7 days. People may walk on it after 48 hours.

Absolutely no chemicals, calcium chloride, rock salt, or acid should be applied over the concrete. This produces a condition called scaling which looks like patches of loose sand and cement covering the surface of the concrete.

For any further questions regarding the concrete and the care of your new concrete please call us at 718-984-0074.
 

Paver Facts


There are three different types of materials that pavers come in: brick, concrete and natural stone. Paving brick is made up of clay which is strong and resistant to stains. Pavers made of concrete, which are manufactured, display a wide variety of colors that are resistant to sun and fading. Natural stone pavers are the most expensive, but are more resistant to the most extreme weather conditions.

Pavers are part of a flexible pavement system. This means that loads can be distributed through the base by point-to-point contact and interlock between the aggregates. They can withstand minor movements in the base without cracking, which is an advantage over other forms of pavement.

Here in Staten Island we recommend installing a properly pitcher concrete base with drainage holes to maintain the structural integrity of the paver installment. This is due to our high water table clay base which is resistant to drainage and the severe freeze and thaw cycle. Pavers should never be installed without a sand joint. We use polymeric sand, which hardens once wet after the sand is swept into the joints.

Pavers are virtually maintenance free, but in order to enhance their appearance here are a few things you can do:
  • sweep and pressure wash the surface
  • seal the pavers to minimize staining and increase longevity
  • reseal concrete pavers every 2 years or so, especially in high traffic areas
Pavers can also be damaged by improper use of chemical deicers. Be extremely careful not to over-apply salt and remember to wash over pavers since the salt can continue to cause degradation even after the snow and ice has melt.

Eflorescence

Efflorescence is a white haze that may appear on the surface of pavers or brick sometime after installation. It forms as a result of a natural chemical reaction that occurs when the lime or water-soluble calcium oxide produced by the cement contained in the paver reacts with water. Since efflorescence brings out the salts that are ordinarily part of the paver, it is not structural, but rather an aesthetic concern and it is not a result of fading color. This occurrence may be random, happening in concentrated areas. If it does occur it can be removed with cleaners specifically made for concrete pavers. Careless or improper cleaning can result in damage and discoloration to the paver.

We encourage all customers to be proactive when choosing their paver by visiting the supplier we recommend. For driveway constructions a paver less than 100 square inches should be selected to avoid cracking by vehicle traffic. Call us at 718-984-0074 for more information on paver materials or check out our gallery for ideas for your next project.
 

Asphalt Facts


Asphalt is made out of a heated mix of gravel, rock chips, sand, and a binder called asphalt cement. Asphalt cement is made of thermoplastics that hardens in cooler temperatures and softens in the heat. This makes newly poured asphalt susceptible to damage, since it is still somewhat warm.

Asphalt provides a cost effective method of paving driveways, pathways and recreational pads. However, this affordable material requires maintenance and special care to ensure your asphalt driveway and other paved surfaces remain smooth and solid for years to come.

Tips for keeping your driveway, pathway and recreational pads intact:
  • Do not park vehicles on the driveway for at least 3-5 days
  • Do not remove basketball nets and other large or heavy sports equipment from the surface for at least 3-5 days.
  • When parking motorcycles and bicycles on the surface, as well as equipment with small wheels, do not use a block under kickstands and wheels to distribute the load across a broader surface.
  • Do not turn the steering wheel of your vehicle while in the park position on the asphalt.
  • Sealing the asphalt will provide a protective layer against the damage caused by water.
Sealing provides a thin oil-based coating to repel water away from surface cracks, preserving the integrity of the base. Some homeowners apply a sealer to create a darker look or liven up the surface. Sealing can be done as often as desired, but it will not guarantee a crack-free surface. If the asphalt surface has deteriorated with time, a thin layer of fresh asphalt is often the best method of maintenance. As long as the top layer is compatible with the original mixture, this limited application will reinstate the strength and create and attractive finish. However, once water has eroded and washed away the base, the only viable option is to replace the asphalt.