Common Uses for Concrete

Home Improvement

Uses for  is one of the most durable and versatile building materials around. It can be found in some of the world’s most unique structures and on just about every residential and commercial property in the United States. To see just how versatile this substance is, read on to find out about a few of the most common uses for concrete.

Foundation Systems

From slab-on-grade foundations to full walk-out basements and beyond, concrete forms the backbone of just about every residential and commercial foundation system. Many local building codes even require that contractors use concrete in their foundations, and there’s a reason for that preference. 

Concrete doesn’t rot when it comes into contact with water, nor is it susceptible to fire. It’s also strong enough to withstand even the worst storms, including hurricanes and tornadoes. Visit to find out about the different types of foundation systems that use concrete.

Driveways and Patios

Uses for Concrete isn’t just for constructing durable structures. It’s also used extensively in the paving industry. Just about every neighborhood has at least a handful of properties that feature concrete driveways and patios, though it can be harder than people would expect to recognize these structures given that concrete can be stamped and colored to give it a unique appearance.

There are a few reasons to choose concrete over asphalt for residential paving and patios. It’s more durable and longer-lasting than asphalt and is strong enough to withstand the weight of even heavy vehicles. Plus, while concrete can be stamped and colored to complement a home’s exterior, it’s next to impossible to customize asphalt.

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Parking Lots

Just like residential driveways, commercial parking lots can be constructed out of either concrete or asphalt. Concrete looks better, though, and it’s a more environmentally friendly option, which can be a huge benefit for businesses that are looking to attract new customers by going green. Plus, it’s easier to provide adequate lighting for a concrete parking lot, which means businesses don’t have to worry as much about motorist and pedestrian safety.

Hardscaping Features

These days, property owners don’t want giant, sprawling lawns. Instead, they construct complex landscapes that feature a mix of trees, shrubs, flowers, and hardscaping features, many of which can be constructed using concrete. Concrete is the perfect material for constructing retaining walls, wing wall footings, stairs, column pads, footings for pergolas and gazebos, and more.

Streets and Sidewalks

The majority of city sidewalks are made of concrete. Municipal authorities choose this material over asphalt, brick, or cobblestones because it creates a flat surface that requires very little maintenance. If properly laid, a concrete sidewalk can last for decades.

Most people don’t realize this, but a majority of the US Interstate Highway System is made out of concrete, as are all of its bridges. Again, the reasoning here is simple. Concrete can hold heavier weights and withstand the test of time better than asphalt, and it offers better reflectivity.

The Bottom Line

Concrete is one of the most popular building materials in the world for a reason. It’s durable, weather-resistant, and able to withstand substantial wear and tear without the need for constant maintenance. Property owners and municipal decision-makers just need to make sure they find concrete contractors who can perform the installation correctly to take full advantage of all this material’s unique benefits.

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