Ask the Experts at MPC!

We get questions every day, and feel it is important to share the answers with anyone who is interested! The questions below are all actual questions we've been asked, either by email or phone, along with professional answers from the team here at MPC.

Do You Have a Concrete Question?

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How thick should I pour my concrete patio slab?

The first thing you should do is check with your local building code officer. Your town or city may have their own standard thickness they require when you pour a concrete patio.

If they don't, then 4" thick is usually standard for a patio slab, how large or small it is doesn't really matter. The most important part is the sub-base. Make sure you have a good gravel base.

How much would it cost to redo/repair my driveway or patio?

That would depend on the size of your driveway and the extent of the necessary repairs.  First you should locate a reputable contractor, or two, in your area.  Check their references.  Ask them to give you a quote on what they think would be the best way to repair your driveway and the cost.  If there is a big disparity between quotes, look for a third contractor.  It’s important to have the right contractor for the job.

What concrete mix should I use for my side walk and driveway?

We suggest a 4500 air entrained concrete with fiber reinforcement for this application.

When ordering my concrete, my calculations predict I’ll need 2.15 cubic yards. Is it possible to get this exact amount?

No, our state of the art batching equipment will batch at quarter yard increments. When ordering , we suggest you order 10% more than required to allow for waste and or uneven sub-grades, then round up to the nearest quarter yard.

Why does concrete crack?

Concrete, like all other materials, will slightly change in volume when it dries out. In typical concrete this change amounts to about 500 millionths. Translated into dimensions-this is about 1/16 of an inch in 10 feet. The reason that contractors put joints in concrete pavements and floors is to allow the concrete to crack in a neat, straight line at the joint when the volume of the concrete changes due to shrinkage.

What can I do to prevent cracking?

Concrete shrinks during the hydration process and has a tendency to crack. This is called shrinkage cracking. The least expensive product for reducing plastic shrinkage cracking is stealth fibers. Millions of tiny fibers are added at the time of batching. These fibers reduce plastic shrinkage cracking and improve durability, among other things.

Do I really need to seal my concrete?

Yes, in order to protect the “new” concrete from exposure to harsh winter elements, sealing is essential to prolonging the life of your newly placed concrete.

I recently had a stamped sidewalk installed at my home. It was done the end of October and has not been sealed due to cold weather setting in. Will it be ok to wait until spring to seal it?

There's always a chance of some freeze/thaw damage to unprotected or unsealed stamped concrete. If a proper concrete mix was used, like 4500 psi with fiber, you should be ok.

Don't use any de-icing material on the concrete this winter. If need be, just use some sand to keep it from being slippery.

If you get 2 or 3 days of weather with temperatures around 55 degrees and no rain, I would get the concrete sealed. The concrete should be completely dry for 24 hours before you seal it and 24 hours after you seal it.

How long am I allowed to keep the truck?

Due to the perishable nature of our product and to insure a quality mix, we allow 10 minutes per yard to off-load the concrete.

What do I do with the leftover concrete?

We require a small area (often a wheelbarrow) to simply rinse our chutes off for safe travel. We will handle the remaining leftover concrete at our recycling facility.

What is Pervious Concrete?

Pervious concrete is a special type of concrete with a high porosity used for concrete flatwork applications that allows water from precipitation and other sources to pass directly through, thereby reducing the runoff from a site and allowing groundwater recharge.

Are concrete and cement the same thing?

No, cement is one ingredient found in concrete.  Concrete is made up of four main ingredients.  Cement, water, sand and stone.  Cement is a material that when mixed with water produces a paste, that when hardened, bonds concrete together.