South Florida architecture incorporates poured concrete. Simple applications include sidewalks and driveways. More complex jobs including walls, ceilings and steel reinforced columns. Concrete is an amazing material. It has a tenacious bond with steel. Concrete is made using the 123 formula. One part Portland Cement, two part sand and three parts gravel. Then its all mixed with water.
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CONCRETE ADD MIXTURES
In some cases we use fibers to replace the steel. Additives change the properties of concrete. They can speed up or slow down the cure time.
Most communities is South Florida have sidewalks. They are 36" wide and in the front yard swale. The sidewalk does not belong to the home owner but he is responsible for its upkeep. That is keeping it clean. Over time sidewalks can experience some damage. Usually in the form of cracks. Sometime tree roots push them up. This kind of damage is easily repaired.
Concrete driveways offer several benefits over asphalt driveways. This is particularly true in Southern Florida. The lighter color material stays cooler in intense sunlight. It looks better against lighter-colored homes and businesses. Concrete is more resistant to the weather and the formation of potholes.
Concrete driveways perform better than paver stones. Pavers are laid over concrete perform much better. Paver stones on sand will always sink and require periodic adjusting. The worst thing about pavers is the non stop irritating weed growth. If you plan on getting a paver deck, make sure your ready to buy plenty of Roundup to keep the weeds at bay.
Concrete patios are superior to paver stones. Pavers move over time; they also tend to grow weeds in the cracks. It can be annoying to spray round-up every couple of weeks. Aesthetics can be an issue with broom swept concrete. Its not necessarily attractive and tend to collect dirt. Applying a knock-down texture and stain fixes that. Check out our webpage on concrete textures for more ideas here.
When adding new concrete patios to a house the new slab must be 4” below the finished floor height within the home. This is to prevent water from flowing back into the house. They are also supposed to be 4” above grade and sloped to a grade of 10% , allowing water to flow off of them. The building department is a little lest strict on the second condition depending on site conditions.
Concrete patios are generally 4” thick and contain welded steel wire mesh. Concrete fibers can be added to the mix as a substitute for the wire. If the new pad is not carrying the load of a wall 4” of concrete is good. If your adding a roof and creating a lanai, the column holding the roof will need additional footings to carry the weight. A footing is simple a block of concrete about 2’ x 2’ x 12” and resides below the 4” slab.
Concrete slabs that will have walls constructed on them need a footer to hold the weight. A footer is a continuous trench with re-enforcing steel at the perimeter of the deck. Today's footers are bigger and usually 24” x 18” with three #5 steel bars.
We can take an old concrete driveway, repair it, texture is and make it look like new again
The Florida Building Code requires compliance with the American Disabilities Act or ADA. ramp specifications must be followed strictly. Handicap ramps must be at least 36" wide. They must be of firm surface. And the slope can be no greater than 1" in 12".