Welcome to Rainier Asphalt & Concrete!

(800) 592-0311 info@ranierasphalt.com

Concrete FAQs

How do asphalt and concrete differ?

Asphalt is a pavement that consists of aggregates, fines and a binder of liquid asphalt.  The material is applied hot and is cured once it cools. Concrete is a pavement structure consisting of cement, aggregates, water and chemical admixtures. The material is applied cold and is cured once the water evaporates out. Generally, concrete is more expensive to install, but it also will have a longer lifespan.

Can it be too hot or too cold to place concrete?

Temperature extremes make it difficult to properly cure concrete. On hot days, too much water is lost by evaporation from newly placed concrete. If the temperature drops too close to freezing, hydration slows to nearly a standstill. Under these conditions, concrete ceases to gain strength and other desirable properties.

What does it mean to “cure” concrete?

Curing is one of the most important steps in concrete construction, because proper curing greatly increases strength and durability. Concrete hardens as a result of hydration: the chemical reaction between cement and water. However, hydration occurs only if water is available and if the temperature stays within a suitable range.

How long does it take for concrete to cure?

Generally, concrete is cured enough for walkability within one day and for driveability within 3 days.  Depending on thickness, it can take weeks, months or years to be fully “cured” from a technical perspective.

Will you remove and dispose of my old damaged concrete?


What are the various “finishes” that can be applied to concrete?

Broom finish, smooth (trowel) finish, exposed aggregate finish, stamped finish, etched finish.

How thick should concrete be?

For residential or sidewalk applications, pours should be a minimum of 4 inches.  For commercial or weight-bearing applications, it should be a minimum of 6 inches.

What makes for an appropriate sub-base for concrete?

For most medium- or light-duty commercial applications, a sub-base of 5/8 minus crushed rock properly compacted is appropriate.  The greater the weight-bearing capacity required at the surface, the larger the sub-base aggregate should be.

How much does a concrete job cost?

The factors that affect the cost of a job are: (1) preparation time and removal of existing concrete, (2) total job size (larger job, smaller unit prices), (3) thickness, (4) detail work required and (5) the finish type. The costs of various finishes are in increasing order: Broom finish, smooth (trowel), exposed aggregate, stamped, and etched.

What factors contribute to concrete decay?

The most common factors contributing to concrete decay are sub-base or sub-grade erosion, roots, vehicle traffic (in particular heavy or high-volume traffic) and moisture penetration.

What are the different types of concrete mix?

These are the most common type of mix we use in our jobs: extruded curb, exposed aggregate, ¾ minus and 7/8 minus. Mixtures with a larger number have a larger aggregate and consequently a larger weight-bearing capacity.

Who supplies your material?

Our primary material suppliers are Cemex, Cadman, Miles Sand & Gravel and Stoneway.