4 Reasons behind the Failure of Concrete and How to Avoid Such a Situation


Concrete is one of the most sought after human-made building material. It is a staple element for construction projects for its excessive strength and heat-proof elements. These are the factors that have helped it to gain immense popularity. Concrete, in general, is very durable, but still, it is not free from a few specific weaknesses. Unless some measures are taken, then there are chances that the concrete might fail to hold on to its sustainability.  Here is an attempt to explore the four most important reasons why concrete ought to fail and the ways to prevent such an occurrence as you are availing concrete in Orpington.


Four ways concrete might fail and how to eliminate the chances

Inappropriate raw materials resulting in low-quality concrete

There are many instances when the raw materials can be solely blamed for the failure of the concrete. If the selection of raw materials will be wrong, then the quality of the concrete will hamper to a great extent. The ratio of the raw materials should be determined carefully as the quality of mixed concrete mainly depends on it. If the ratio won’t be perfect, then the concrete will tend to break at a faster rate and won’t have the required strength. To avoid such a consequence, be sure about the type and proportion of the raw materials. It will help if you put in adequate research before deciding on getting concrete in Orpington.

Poor finishing during application leading to trapped air in the concrete

It is a common problem encountered while applying the concrete. Due to poor finishing, some amount of water and air bubbles tend to get trapped within the concrete particles. This can cause exponential damage to the concrete structure by reducing its strength and making it weaker. Adequate care must be used to keep the air content around 3% and to ensure that the concrete is not suffering a premature finishing. It is also essential to properly maintain the manufacturing conditions to prevent the air from getting trapped within.

Cracks in concrete due to the reaction between alkali and silica

There are cases when the aggregates contain silica and alkali. As they are exposed to humid condition, a sort of gel formation occurs, and then the concrete tends to crack. These result in crumbling of the concrete structure. To prevent this, one should be careful about not letting the silica content in the aggregate gets exposed to humid conditions.

Choosing the wrong type of concrete overloading concrete exceeding the point of failure

Concrete comes in different varieties, and each of them bears a different kind of strength. Based on that the type is chosen. For instance, if the structure needs to support considerable weight, then reinforced concrete needs to be used. Hence, if the wrong variety is determined by mistake or to cut the cost, then there are chances that structure will fail when heavy loads are exerted. To avoid such an instance, choose the right type and do not indulge in overloading the structure beyond the specified limit.  The best option to have the highest quality concrete would be choosing a reputed concrete supplier. Cobra Concrete is a trusted name in the specific domain. Count on them to have your structure made of concrete in Orpington strong and sturdy always.

Planning To Construct Concrete Buildings? Know The 7 Steps Involved


One of the construction materials which people have been using for years is concrete. Every concrete building is durable and requires minimal maintenance. Recently, construction workers have started using innovative concrete technologies which have made laying and pouring of concrete easy. If you are willing to use the conventional method of concrete construction, get in touch with an experienced supplier of concrete. A majority of them have years of industry presence and know the various ways you have to follow when preparing the construction site, build the framework, place reinforcement, mix, pour, finish and cure concrete.

construct concrete buildings Bexley

Follow The Steps Below And Construct Concrete Buildings In Bexley

•    Estimate The Materials You Need

It is necessary to mix the concrete ingredients in correct proportion if you want the material to be of high quality. The batching process will help in carrying out the right measurement of the concrete ingredients. Approach a renowned supplier of concrete in Bexley as the proportion and quantity of cement, water and aggregates are important.

•   Prepare The Site

A very vital aspect of pouring concrete is site preparation. It is the responsibility of the construction workers to ensure that concrete is poured on a compacted and well-drained soil. The subsurface should be properly prepared and it will help in minimising potential cracks.

•   Build The Formwork

The importance of formwork in construction can never be neglected as they are responsible for supporting structures. Moulds are also created inside which concrete is poured. Few materials generally used to build the framework are steel, wood and aluminium.

•   Place Reinforcement

You can protect a concrete structure from displacement by placing the reinforcement accurately and supporting it properly before placing the concrete. Construction workers place reinforcement after considering the number of bars, bends, positions and bar lengths. This step will assure that the steel is bonding well with the concrete.

•   Mix The Concrete

How you mix the concrete ingredients will impact the quality of the concrete, both in its hardened and fresh state. It is necessary to mix the material well. It should be informed in colour. You can achieve proper consistency if the material is designed the right way.

•   Pour The Concrete

It is necessary to pour the concrete within the initial set time if you don’t want to deteriorate the quality of the concrete structure. Two common methods through which concrete is poured are pumping and manual transportation. Sometimes, vibrators are used to compact the poured concrete.

•   Finish The Concrete

How you finish a concrete structure is very important as it renders the building a smooth finish. Hire experienced contractors as they know the right method screeds and trowels that should be used to level the surface after the concrete is poured.

These being said, it’s time to follow the steps below above and constructing concrete buildings will become easier.

Using Concrete In Cold Weather? Few Things You Should Avoid


Concrete is subjected to different curing conditions as the temperature fluctuates which makes the material gain sporadic strength. Contractors willing to protect fresh concrete have to take a bit of preparation before the climate changes. They should know the right equipment to be used at the job site like blankets and tarps. These help in preventing unsafe concrete development and avoid unnecessary delays.

concrete in cold weather

Working with concrete becomes a complicated task in Croydon as the outdoor temperature goes below 40 degrees F and the air temperature goes below 50 degrees F. Such being the situation, contractors should follow a few do’s and don’ts when using concrete. Negligence to do so can lead to structural problems and delay your project.

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Using Concrete In Cold Weather

  • Pouring The Material On Frozen Ground

Make sure you don’t pour concrete on to frozen ground even if you are in a hurry to complete your construction project. The effectiveness of the concrete curing conditions is largely dependent on how the concrete is poured and slabs are placed. It will take less time for the concrete near the surface to cure than the one close to the ground. The chances of the concrete cracking and structure disaster increases as the material can’t develop strength properly.

  • Sealing The Material When The Weather Is Cold

The primary objective of using concrete sealers is to make the material more resistant to external element and weather exposure. Construction workers using concrete in cold weather should use a sealer which has been specially designed for extreme weather conditions. Even if you are in a hurry, don’t seal concrete when the temperature is below 10oC.

  • Misjudging Daylight

The amount of daylight experienced by the people in Croydon becomes low during the colder months. Instead of running behind schedules, try to use your time wisely. If possible, pour and cure concrete during daytime as the temperature is warmer when there is an abundance of light.

  • Allowing The Material To Freeze

Concrete in Croydon can cure properly only if it is kept in warm temperatures (not exceeding 10oC). If the temperature is below -4oC, fresh concrete can freeze really quick. It is the responsibility of the contractor to keep fresh concrete warm until its compressive strength measurement becomes appropriate. A suitable concrete temperature and maturity meter like SmartRock can be used to do this task.

  • Using Cold Tools And Equipment

The temperature of the tools and equipment you are using to pour and cure concrete should also be as warm as the raw material. The composition and temperature can change if the tools you are using are too cold. This will have a negative impact on the strength of the concrete slab. Avoid the mistakes stated above when using concrete in cold weather and the concrete structure will be durable and beautiful.

Choose the Perfect Mixing For Your Construction Project

concrete mixing methods surrey

During the old times, when readymade products were still a far-fetched dream, the concrete mix was created with a manually done blend of cement, sand, lime and water. But times have changed, and pre-blended concrete mixes are readily available anytime. But the trick of mixing the right amount of water still lies with the builder.

concrete mixing methods

Understanding the three most important methods

Hand Mixing

The purpose of hand mixing is true to its moniker. It merely involves break the dry material blend into a big enough container, pour the adequate amount of water, and then mix by hand. A stirring tool or jiffy mixer can be used for the blending process. But it is not favoured for large-end constructions for apparent reasons. It is a slow and inconvenient process and is always in a risk of miscalculating the wet-to-dry proportion, resulting in a weaker concoction than expected.

Batch Mixing

Batch mixing is commonly seen in medium-scale constructions for blending of concrete in Surrey. The process is to make several batches of concrete mix in a day’s work by churning the dry blend and water together in a mechanised mixer basin. The amount of mix blended in one turn depends on the size of the mixer. Most commercial ones can make around 8-12 cubic feet of material at once. But it poses a limitation that is similar to hand mixing – the possibility of inadequate or excess amount of water. The measurement of water is done manually, and hence the possibility of a mismatch between two batches of the mix is very much there.

Continuous Mixing

This newer and cutting-edge option involves a mixer machine that takes care of everything, making the element of human error out of the equation. The builder or operator has to pour out the dry material into the hopper and switch on the necessary buttons. A dosing shaft automatically pushes the dry blend into the mixer and then adds pressurised water. The amount of water inflow can be adjusted from outside, which assures proportion accuracy in this method of mixing. It allows the mixture to be consistent, and once it is done, it can be transported to any location required.

Which one to choose?

The decision lies entirely on the nature of the construction. The factors that should determine your choice are:

  • Size of building: Batch mixers serves well for small to medium scale projects, while continuous mixtures are ideal for large scale projects.
  • Portability: Hand mixing is the most portable. Some batch and continuous mixers are qualified for transportation as well, though it requires logistics.
  • Power supply: Batch mixers can operate on a standard plug pin, but continuous mixers need at least a 23-Volt outlet to function. Cobra Concrete is a family-owned supplier of concrete solutions that are sustainable, cost-effective and energy-efficient. With an industry experience of over two decades, they are among the top companies that come to mind when you think of concrete solutions in Surrey.

4 Reasons Why Concrete Is The Most Preferred Building Material


Choosing the right building material for your construction project is indeed a daunting task with so many options available in the market. If you want to make a wise investment by choosing the right building material, consider its cost, safety, durability and sustainability. You should pay equal importance to all these factors.

Concrete Building Material

Though steel is durable and robust, they are a bit expensive and can increase the cost of your construction project drastically. Wood though being cheap, can make a structure unsafe and less durable. One of the building materials with high demand in the construction industry is concrete. It is energy-efficient, affordable, durable and safe. All these help builders complete a project quickly and without exceeding their budget.

Few Reasons Why Concrete Is The Ideal Building Material

  • Easy Maintenance

Concrete structures don’t require much maintenance and are given more preference than other building materials. The quality of wood and steel deteriorates over time and you have to maintain them to get optimal performance. Just make sure you repair the small cracks before it’s too late. Concrete structures require very little or no maintenance which help you save money in the long run.

  • Wind And Water Resistance

Though wood was widely used by construction workers earlier, they are not resistant to wind and water which had a negative impact on their durability. Concrete, on the other hand, is completely resistant to wind and water which makes it a safe building material. You don’t have to worry about the structure breaking during a storm or mould damages in the presence of excess water.

  • Durability

The durability offered by quality concrete in Orpington is one of the primary reasons behind its high demand. Every structure made using concrete is expected to last for years. The level of durability is unparalleled when compared with other building materials. They don’t decay, rot or rust which enhances their durability even further. You can make a concrete building and make it last for years without breaking the bank.

  • Fire Resistance

Concrete structures are considered to be fireproof as the material doesn’t absorb heat. A fire-proof building made using cement is given more preferences than wooden houses. The latter is quite vulnerable to fire damages. Concrete walls and floors act as a fire shield and keep flame outside the building. This helps in keeping the goods and furniture in your room protected. Since you now know why concrete is a more preferred option when compared with other building materials, it’s time you start looking for a reputed concrete supplier and reap all the benefits stated above.

Know How To Accelerate Concrete Drying Time With 6 Easy Tips


Though there are numerous concrete suppliers scattered all over Sutton, make sure you choose someone experienced as they know how much time a concrete mix needs to cure and dry. Negligence to dry it the proper way can lead to structural failures which can delay your construction project further. Accelerating the concrete drying time will not only boost your project’s efficiency but also ensure your safety.

concrete construction drying time

Few Tips To Accelerate The Concrete Drying Time

  • Choose The Right Weather

Sunnier days are considered to be the best time to dry concrete as the weather is warmer and dry and everything dries faster. If possible, try to wait till summer before starting with your construction project. Just make sure that the temperature is not too high as it can lead to rapid cement hydration and increase evaporation rate which can lead to cracks.

  • Add Calcium Chloride

A majority of the concrete suppliers in Sutton suggest their clients add calcium chloride when preparing the wet concrete mix as it helps in accelerating the cement hydration process. It will also take less time for concrete to solidify and you can pour it with ease.

  • Avoid Adding Excess Water

Construction workers should limit the amount of water they are using to prepare the concrete mix as it will take a long time for concrete to set if more water is added. Though you can minimise the drying time by adding less water, adding too little water will make the concrete mix extremely thick and inflexible. You can also add water-reducer if you want the mixture to have high fluidity.

  • Add Warm Water

If you want the concrete curing reaction to happen the right way, using the right amount of water is necessary. It is also advisable to use warm water when preparing the concrete mixture as it helps in speeding up the concrete drying process. The reaction occurs more quickly without affecting the efficiency of the structure. Extremely hot water should be avoided as it can damage the quality of your concrete in Sutton.

  • Avoid Hard Trowelling

How long will it take for the concrete mixture to dry is also dependent on the trowelling technique you are using. Avoid hard trowelling as it can lead to several issues by increasing pressure. High intensity trowelling will collapse the air pockets in the mixture and the moisture in it can’t evaporate easily. This will increase the drying time even further.

  • Use Heater

Construction workers undertaking a building project during winter can utilise artificial means to create heat. Two things widely used are heating mats and heaters. Set the temperature of the heater wisely as overheating the wet concrete mix is a strict no-no! These being said, it’s time you start following the tips stated above and invest in high-quality concrete if you want to accelerate the concrete drying time.

3 Common Myths About Concrete Construction


Durability and low maintenance are two prime reasons why the demand for concrete has enhanced drastically in the last few years. It is one of the most preferred building materials used by builders in Bexley. They make appealing building materials. They don’t rot, rust or burn and can absorb and retain heat efficiently.

Common Myths About Concrete

Though there are so many benefits of concrete construction, there are still a few builders who have not started looking for a reputed concrete supplier yet. This is primarily because there are still a few myths surrounding concrete construction. Correcting these are a must so that builders can make the most of the effective building material.

Undertaking A Concrete Construction Project?

  • “Slump Can Be Increased Only By Adding Water”

Though adding water while preparing concrete will help in increasing slump, the strength of the material will reduce drastically. The paste will dilute if you keep on increasing water. Excessive water will even reduce the material’s capacity to resist freeze-thaw cycles and lead to service-related problems. Water should be added to the material only if you want to increase its workability. Add water gradually so that the material can retain its specifications.

  • “Concrete Is Completely Impermeable”

Even if you approach the most reputed supplier of concrete in Bexley, you won’t be getting impermeable concrete. Even the densest material is porous. It is easy for water and other liquid to pass through the concrete which makes it porous. How long will it take for concrete to absorb liquid or vapour is dependent on its overall porosity. Some concrete varieties might take just a few minutes while others might take months. Builders willing to make the material less permeable can ask the supplier to suggest a suitable mix design. You can also consider surface treatments like membranes and sealers.

  • “Cement Content Specify A Concrete Mix”

If you are one of those people who think that concrete mix can be specified based on the number of cement bags you are purchasing, it’s about time you forget this myth. The performance requirements of the mix should also be considered. Understand the desired properties of the concrete you need for your construction project if you want to assess how much cement will be required to prepare high-quality concrete. It is advisable to avoid high cement content if you don’t want it to have an adverse impact on the shrinkage and workability of concrete.

Approach The Right Supplier

Since the common myths about concrete construction have been corrected, it’s time you start looking for a reputed supplier of concrete. Their experts should understand your concrete requirements before suggesting the right concrete variety. You will have more peace of mind if state-of-the-art machines are used during on-site operations. Their focus should always be on the reliability, efficiency, and usability of the material.

Pros And Cons Of Using Ready Mix Concrete


Quality concrete with the right consistency is crucial for any building you are looking to construct. Today, the concept of ready mix concrete has emerged as a solution for your construction hassles. If you are looking to source reliable concrete in Croydon for your building needs, you can place your faith in Cobra Concrete. We are a leading supplier of ready mix concrete.

Pros Cons Of Ready Mix Concrete

What is Ready Mix Concrete?

Instead of churning sand and stone chips in a cement mixer at your construction site, a ready mix concrete is produced in a dedicated factory space in a batching plant. It is produced according to your building specifications and then transported to your building site using transit mixers for further use. There are three major types of ready mix concrete:

  1. Transit mix concrete
  2. Shrink mix concrete
  3. Central mix concrete

Pros of Using Ready Mix Concrete

If you are looking for ready mix concrete in Croydon for your building project, you must consider the pros and cons of the material. Using ready mix concrete comes with a lot of advantages. Some of them are as follows:

  • Speedy construction: Since the concrete mixture is manufactured in a ready-to-use state, it considerably speeds up the construction process. You do not need to dedicate any time to mix raw materials and churn them to produce concrete. Instead, timely delivery of ready mix concrete from Cobra Concrete and your construction project will be underway in the blink of an eye.
  • Economical: Outsourcing of ready mix concrete cuts down the costs of your project significantly. You do not have to purchase any machinery or employ labour for the production of cement. Instead, you can dedicate your time, efforts and money solely on the construction details and let us deal with the hassle of producing quality concrete for your building needs.
  • Consistency: Producing batches of cement on-site often cause consistency issues due to a shortage of material or time. By purchasing ready mix concrete from Cobra Concrete, you can rest assured that you get reliable and consistent quality of cement. Thereby, you can get optimum results.

Cons of Using Ready Mix Concrete

  • Transportation: Ready-mix concrete has to be transported to the site of construction. This transit may take some time if the location of cement production and the building venue are located far apart. Further, this time lag can cause the ready mix to set before it can be used.  Efficient retarders may be added to the mix to delay setting to solve this problem.
  • Inventory: It is crucial to have a dedicated facility at your construction site to store the concrete from Croydon. Since you are likely to purchase ready mix concrete in bulk to provide for your entire project, you have to be judicious in storing the material properly. Ordering in batches can also be helpful in the case of long-term projects.

Cobra Concrete is the notable concrete supplier putting particular emphasis on producing and delivering quality ready mix concrete. They aim to provide the best results for your projects, and their biggest goal is to make customers happy with an exquisite range of products and services.

Working With Concrete? 5 Tips To Ensure Your Safety


The construction industry is indeed a bit hazardous, especially for construction workers. It is mandatory for them to acknowledge their own set of safety concerns. All the industry set standards and regulations should be put in place to ensure the safety of the professionals working on job sites. If you are working with concrete, not only should you approach renowned concrete suppliers in Surrey but also follow a few tips to ensure your safety.

concrete safety tips

Few Tips To Ensure Your Safety When Working With Concrete In Surrey

·   Keep Your Skin Protected

Concrete burns are one of the most common threats people in the construction industry have to face. The caustic and abrasive texture of concrete can lead to severe irritation and burn your skin. The danger of concrete burns is more if you are using fresh concrete. It is mandatory for construction workers to always keep their skin covered. Long sleeve shirts, protective eyewear, gloves and long pants are vital components of their uniform. Wash off your skin immediately if they come in contact with fresh concrete.

·   Use Safe Tools

The tools used by construction workers when working with concrete can also pose safety hazards. This is why they should know how to handle them safely, operate properly and store them appropriately. They should wear hard hats and use the latest tools using proper grips and techniques. The construction workers should also communicate with the machine operators regarding the clearance and movement of the machinery.

·   Stay Aware Of Silica

If you are willing to stay away from construction hazards, be aware of silica. Ensuring silica safety is a must when using concrete. Construction workers should avoid getting exposed to crystalline silica as it is considered to be a carcinogen. Crystalline silica can lead to severe lung diseases like lung cancer. OSHA has made medical surveillance of workers mandatory to ensure that they are not being exposed to more than 50 micrograms of silica dust per cubic meter of air.

·   Look Before You Step

New concrete can also lead to tripping hazards in a wide variety of ways. Misplaced tools, rebar and uneven ground can make construction workers trip and fall, thus injuring themselves. All walking paths should be clear. Workers should watch their steps while walking. The easiest way to keep their feet protected is by wearing rubber boots which helps in creating more traction.

·   Lift Safely

Workers have to often lift and move heavy objects on construction sites. They should move objects using safe lifting techniques. If they feel that some object is too heavy, they should be ready to work in teams and pairs. Workers should determine the right amount of fresh concrete to be loaded in the shovel so that they can lift it with confidence. Lifting injuries generally happen when they twist their back accidentally while lifting heavy objects.

Time to follow the tips stated above and ensuring your safety when working with concrete will become easier.

How To Use Ready Mix Concrete For Your Project During Winter?


Do you have a construction project coming up this winter season? But, with the cold weather outside making things more complicated, are you perplexed about what to do? Well, even though the cold season isn’t ideal for concrete, you can turn things in your favour. Are you wondering how? Well, all you need to do is approach the best suppliers of ready mix concrete in Croydon. Trust us; they can protect your concrete from the damage of cold weather.

How To Use Ready Mix Concrete

Pouring concrete in winter season is inevitable for contractors who have to work in colder climates. The material loses its durability, weather resistance and comprehensive strength if it freezes during the pouring and setting process. And, only the concrete suppliers and contactors protect the material from the damage of cold weather. This means that if your project requires pouring concrete during the winter months, you need to approach the experts.

The Winter Mix

As the weather gets colder, concrete suppliers will heat the material during the mixing process. The extra heat accounts for the expected drop in temperature during an average one-hour delivery in the winter season. This heat will prevent concrete from cracking, freezing and losing its comprehensive strength in the cold climate. Leading suppliers of ready mix concrete in Croydon also provide customers with the warmest possible on-site concrete.

Even the concrete mix matters to the overall project. Depending on the outside temperature and your project requirements, the suppliers will adjust the mix. This will help in pouring the concrete well and setting quickly in the winter weather.

Addition Of The Accelerators

Adding accelerators to the mix speeds up the concrete setting time as well as allow it to cure faster. Also, this prevents the concrete from freezing and experiencing any frost damage. Moreover, accelerators help in speeding up the finishing phase. The less time it takes for project completion, the better the quality of the finished product.

Water-Reducing Additives

Water-reducing additives create a higher-density paste of cement. This results in more weather-resistant and stronger qualities in the concrete.

Avoiding Fly Ash

Do you plan to expose the cement to de-icing chemicals once it cures? If so, you will want to reduce or avoid the amount of fly ash that’s added to the mix. This is because; fly ash can lead to scaling or peeling of the surface when exposed to de-icing chemicals.

Pouring Concrete In Cold Weather

Even though winter isn’t the ideal time to pour concrete, it’s possible to pour the concrete well enough. By taking just a few steps, concreting can result in a long-lasting, strong product in the cold season. To protect your poured material from damages, you need to remember certain rules. These include-

·         Never pour concrete on ice, snow or frozen ground

·         All protrusions and corners must be triple wrapped

·         In case the ground is frozen, thaw it for two days by using blankets and heat pipes

·         Cover the material until it cures completely So what are you still thinking of? Approach a reliable concrete supplier and get started with your construction project!