Precast concrete refers to concrete walls, floors, fences, and other pieces that are made in a factory or production facility and then shipped to a job site. They are then connected together and erected or set out as needed for the construction project. Precast concrete offers many advantages over other forms of building materials, but if you're considering using this type of material for your construction project, you may still have some questions about it overall. Note a few of those questions here and then discuss them with a building contractor as needed, so you know if this material is the right choice.
1. What maintenance is needed for precast concrete?
Typically precast concrete is treated with a color or is stamped when it's created, so you typically don't need to worry about painting it as the walls or floors are put into place or touching up that paint over time. Also, because it's made in a factory under controlled conditions, it may be stronger than concrete that is made onsite. When concrete is poured on site, the humidity in the air, dust, and other elements might settle into the mixture and may compromise its strength or integrity. Since precast concrete is made to exacting standards, it may be more durable and need less if any maintenance over time.
2. Can precast concrete be made with recycled materials?
Very often, precast concrete can include recycled materials in their mix, and in some cases, it may be easier to do this since the mixture is made in a factory or production facility. This allows those who are mixing the concrete to ensure that recycled materials contain an exact, specified amount of sand, gravel, ash, slag, and the like. This keeps those raw materials out of landfills and makes precast concrete a more eco-friendly choice, and one that is still very durable and made to exacting specifications even when recycled materials are used.
3. Does precast concrete always look like concrete?
One reason that many people shy away from using precast concrete is that they hear the word "concrete" and immediately think of a dull, drab, grey material. However, concrete and especially precast concrete can be stamped, painted, stained, or otherwise fabricated to look like almost any other material, including brick, stone, and the like. Choosing precast concrete (from at outlet such as Cope Industries) actually gives you more control over the appearance of a building wall, fence, and so on, since the finish can be made to the same exacting standards as the mixture and construction of the material itself, versus a finish that is made onsite and which might be compromised by direct sunlight, humidity, and the like.