What is the difference between cement and concrete?

Although the terms cement and concrete are used interchangeably, cement is actually an ingredient of concrete. Concrete is a mixture of paste and aggregates.  The aggregates are sand and gravel or crushed stone; the paste is water and portland cement (portland is the generic term for the type of cement used in virtually all concrete work.) Cement consists of 10% to 15% of the concrete mix by volume. Through a chemical reaction called hydration, the paste hardens and gains strength to form the rock-like mass known as concrete. Interested in more details, visit the Portland Cement Association website.

Is all the concrete the same? 

No, there are a variety of mixes. A mix includes aggregate, cement, and additives. There are eight types of portland cement to meet different physical and chemical requirements for specific applications. A type 5 bag mix has less cement than a type 7 bag mix. To protect your investment, we only use the highest quality mix, based on your design, to ensure durability and long-lasting beauty.

Do I need a permit?

If required, we will secure the necessary permits for your project.

How thick do you pour concrete for residential projects?

At Glen Galis Concrete, we recommend 5” thickness for driveways and 4” thickness for patios, walkways, and pool decks. 

What PSI concrete do you use on residential driveways?

We use a minimum of 4,000PSI (pounds per square inch) for outside residential surfaces and 4,500PSI for residential driveways.  We also generally incorporate steel reinforcement with fiber for additional strength. 4,000PSI concrete is strong enough to carry a compressive stress of 4,000PSI at 28 days and can withstand the freeze-thaw cycle of harsh midwestern winters. 

How long does it take 5” of concrete to cure?

Concrete will harden soon after pouring, but it’s susceptible to damage from weight during the first four weeks. Wait at least 24 hours before walking on it and don’t drive a vehicle on your new driveway/parking area for at least seven days.  The concrete hardening process continues for years, meaning that concrete gets stronger as it gets older.

How will concrete and materials be transported when a truck or machinery cannot access a project area? 

We use wheelbarrows or motorized buggies (the size of a riding mower) that generally fit through a standard fence gate. To reduce damage to your lawn and landscaping, we create a plywood track to drive on. 

Will you backfill when finished?

Yes, we backfill the project area when the forming material is removed. Sometimes we use the removed material; if not, we use black dirt. We guarantee minimal (if any) disruption to your existing surroundings.

Will concrete crack?

All concrete has the potential to crack. At Glen Galis Concrete, we go above and beyond accepted industry standards, which dictate methods and guidelines to greatly minimize or control cracking, see “Why does concrete crack?” below. 

Why does concrete crack?

Concrete, like other materials, shrinks in volume as it dries. Control joints are used to control anticipated cracking.  Typically, concrete contracts approximately 1/16” for every 10.’ Quality contractors use control joints to allow the concrete to crack in a neat, straight line at the joint.

Can chips or cracks be repaired?

Yes. However, concrete surfaces are not repairable with concrete. Depending on the size and number of cracks, our fully trained team can recommend and apply a concrete repair mix to meet your project’s specific requirements. 

Is concrete slippery?
At Glen Galis Concrete, we broom finish all exterior flatwork by pulling a broom over freshly placed concrete. Brooming creates a textured and slip-resistant surface.

Is it okay to apply salt to concrete?

We strongly discourage using salt to melt ice on any concrete surface. The best product to reduce ice slipperiness is sand. Concrete is a porous material that absorbs water. In cold weather, the snow or ice is solid and does not penetrate the concrete. When salt mixes with snow or ice it’s turned into saltwater and is absorbed by the concrete. At Glen Galis Concrete, we apply a proprietary blend of siloxanes to prevent water and salt penetration, but this reduces not eliminates the issue. If you must use salt, we recommend sodium chloride (rock or table salt).  To reduce absorption, we recommend applying the salt and removing the slush (and excess salt) as soon as possible to minimize freeze/thaw issues that can lead to discolored, cracked, or crumbling concrete.

Does concrete require maintenance?

Concrete is exceptionally durable on its own. Upon completing your installation, we apply a pure acrylic copolymer curing and sealing compound that provides a tough protective film that should last for years.  However, there are some things you can do to ensure your surface stays strong and maintains its natural beauty. We suggest you avoid applying deicing chemicals during the winter, don’t use harsh acids to remove stains, regularly clean your concrete (power washers work great), and consider applying a sealant to protect it from the elements every 5-10 years. 

How do you remove stains from concrete?

We apply a sealing compound to reduce staining.  If required, stains can be removed from concrete using the following methods:

  • Wet treatments – involve applying water and/or specific chemicals according to the nature of the stain. 
  • Chemical treatments – dissolve the staining by using chemicals that can be blotted from the concrete’s surface or bleach the stain so it will not show. 
  • Dry or mechanical methods – sandblasting, flame cleaning and shot blasting, grinding, scabbing, planning, and scouring. Be careful using steel-wire brushes because they can leave metal particles on the surface that later rust and stain the concrete. 

What is your warranty?

Glen Galis Concrete warrants the structural integrity of the work, the material used, and their workmanship from any substantial defects for one year from the date of installation.  The warranty excludes: hairline cracks, slight surface imperfections, frost or freeze damage, salt damage, and color variance.