Indoor or Outdoor Concrete Project? It Matters

indoor-and-outdoor-concrete-projects

If you have a big construction project coming up in the near future, the time to start thinking about your concrete services is now. You want to choose people who know about different types of concrete, how to properly formulate concrete for various needs, and someone who is willing to go the extra mile to deliver a high-quality product. The concrete experts at Knight’s Companies in Columbia, SC know that while there are many similarities between preparing concrete for indoor and outdoor use, there are also some critical differences.

Differences in Formulation

Whether the concrete will be placed inside or outside factors into how the concrete should be mixed to result in optimal performance. Indoor concrete won’t be exposed to any dramatic changes in temperature over its lifetime, so the formula doesn’t need to be made quite as strong or durable as outdoor concrete. The formula for indoor concrete does not require air entrainment but may have different strength requirements.

While the formula for outdoor concrete still uses more sand than cement, the ratios are shifted more in favor of the cement than with indoor concrete. The formulas for outdoor concrete will cost slightly more because of this, but the resulting strength and durability will last for years. Using more cement allows for stronger bonding, resulting in a concrete surface that is ideal for parking lots, patios, sidewalks, and garages.

Surface Finish

If you are going to add an overlay to your concrete, the process will be different depending on if your concrete is indoors or outdoors. For any sort of texture mix, indoor concrete will be prepared best by using a grinder to smooth out the surface. After this, you’ll need to vacuum off the dust residue to prepare for your texture overlay. For exterior surfaces, the wide-ranging temperature extremes can mean using a grinder will cause damage to your concrete surface. Instead, use an acid etch to create a surface that is more porous in preparation for the overlay. After the chemical etching is complete, you will need to neutralize the surface and get rid of all remaining acid before your overlay is placed.

When it comes to the texture of your surfaces if there is no added texture overlay, outdoor and indoor concrete will also vary. Indoor concrete is generally meant for foot traffic and should provide a smooth look. Indoor concrete is typically polished down to a nice sheen and finished to allow for good grip and a continued shine. Outdoor concrete is often rougher since it is often meant for creating grip for car traffic. To achieve this texture for outdoor concrete, a rough broom finish that leaves subtle ridges is best. This provides a good surface for car tires to maintain a solid grip and is good for outdoor foot traffic as well.

To get the right type of concrete to complete your next project, contact Knight’s Redi-Mix today!