Concrete can add great value to any landscape
Even if you don’t live in the so-called concrete jungle of the city, concrete is everywhere. It’s in our home foundations, our driveways, our sidewalks, our bridges and pretty much everywhere in between. So why would anyone want to use it in exterior design? Aren’t we drowning in concrete? Isn’t it a boring building material anyway?
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Not so fast. There are many benefits of this product, and this under-appreciated mixture of cement, aggregate and water is perfect for just about any outdoor project, whether it’s meant to be functional or purely for decoration.
Let’s explore some of the main benefits:
Concrete Can Be Any Color
Concrete is naturally grey, but it can be transformed into virtually any color imaginable during the mixing process.
“Ready mix concrete” refers to product prepared in large batches at special mixing plants. Houston ready mix have powders on hand for all kinds of color combinations, from earthy tones to bright blues.
Because the powder is mixed directly with the concrete, it becomes a permanent part of the mixture itself. It won’t flake or wash off!
Concrete Is Easy to Maintain
One of the most well-known benefits of concrete is its easy maintenance. It is easy to clean and lasts a long time. High-quality ready mixes that are poured and cured correctly in order to avoid uneven drying and cracking will have a particularly long lifespan. The only thing that is recommended to keep it in tip-top shape is to periodically seal it and to nip any cracks in the bud.
Concrete Mimics Other Materials
Of all the benefits of this product, this is the best-kept secret: This product mimics the appearance of other materials. There is a small window of time in which the it is still wet and can be molded into any shape. Adding an overlay or a stamp to the top of the mixture allows you to create virtually any pattern. Brick, stone and tile are the three common materials that concrete stamps and overlays can mimic.
They not only create the general outline of a brick or tile shape, for example, but also create depth on the surface of the concrete in order to give the appearance of a true brick or tile, with all its little bumps and ridges. A special colorant is then added over top of the concrete in order to add shadows and highlights, which really brings out the depth. It would take a true expert to tell the difference.
Concrete Is Affordable
And last but not least, it is an option that is relatively easy on your pocketbook. Considering all the other benefits of concrete, this material is truly a smart investment. Why buy expensive bricks when you can buy concrete for a cheaper price and still get the same sophisticated look of bricks?
Whether your next outdoor project is to renovate your driveway, add a patio, build a fish pond or simply install some stepping stones, concrete can get the job done to your complete satisfaction.
By: Cathy Habas