Published Sunday 24th of November 2013 // Updated Thursday 4th of May 2017
Concrete is one of the most important creations in the history of human civilization, on par with language and writing. Created in 500 B.C., the material has since been used in almost all building projects across all continents and civilizations in fact, concrete is the most common man-made material on earth, with an average of almost three tons of material used annually for every human being. However, it is often just a background feature of our daily lives, providing structure and support to the buildings, roads, and bridges we rely on.
At its most basic level, it is a composite material created from a mixture of aggregate (crushed stone and sand), cement, and water. While many may think of concrete and cement as interchangeable terms, they are, in fact, different materials altogether cement is merely one of the ingredients used to make concrete. The aggregate of concrete, the crushed stone and sand, is typically created from limestone and granite, which greatly increases the strength of the concrete. The binding element is almost always cement, which chemically bonds with the aggregate to hold all of the disparate particles together.
In order to create concrete, the aggregate is mixed with the cement and the water, forming a semi-liquid substance that can be poured and shaped as required. Then, through a chemical process called hydration, the substance becomes rock-solid after a short period of time, resulting in the strong material that we all know as concrete. Hydration itself is a process during which crystals are created that bind and interlock together, giving concrete its noted and crucial strength.
Once concrete is created, there is little that can truly destroy it. It can hypothetically even last 50,000 years, according to the Materials, Science, and Engineering Program at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. One of the biggest threats to concrete, however, is freezing water. As concrete is composed of aggregate bound together by cement, there are a number of small holes within the material. While these holes do not decrease the concretes strength, they leave the material susceptible to such problems as water leakage. When water seeps into the concrete, it threatens to cause such problems as the growth of mildew and mold. While these growths are an inconvenience, bringing up various issues with health and gradual damage, they will not destroy the concrete themselves. However, in colder climates, this threat is exacerbated as that water can freeze, ruining the structural integrity of the concrete, causing it to crumble.
One of the best ways to protect your concrete, ensuring that the problems with mold, mildew, and the irreversible issue of freezing water do not harm your investment, is by using a Ghostshield Concrete Sealer. Concrete sealers come in a variety of different chemical strains, each designed specifically for the particular type of concrete material, climate, and situation. Without chemical reactions, concrete would not exist today. Therefore, when you think about sealing your concrete to protect it and lengthen its lifespan, you want to look for products that spark chemical reactions within the concrete. Many concrete sealer products have complicated chemical formulas associated with them, making them an inexpensive and smart investment to keep your driveways, basements, foundations, etc. free from damage.