Even Concrete Calculators Can’t Measure the True Value of Concrete
by TRP Ready Mix on August 21, 2016
When I think of concrete or cement, I think of mi abuelo (my grandfather). He was a great artist and used cement to make lovely, unique sculptures, as well as striking functional pieces like tables, planters and lawn ornaments. He was from Spain, surviving Franco’s rule and trying to support his large family of nine, including my father. For one of his many day jobs, he was a concrete contractor (although it probably wasn’t called that then) but he could not deny his artistic nature. He channeled the knowledge of his labour and turned something functional into something beautiful.
He immigrated to Canada and my father met my mother and here I am. I remember as a little girl, I used to sneak into his workshop in the basement. To me, it was a wonderful and mysterious place. A room full of half-finished art and cool-looking tools. A room seemed so huge, I thought I might walk through it and never reach the other end. I even liked the smell of the dust which always seemed to hang in the air. As a child, it seemed magical and today, even though I’m all grown up, I still feel a little bit of that magic whenever seeing concrete conjures up memories of my grandfather.
I realize the very large majority of people do not see concrete through these eyes. In fact they probably don’t think about concrete at all even though it’s all around us all the time. Concrete contractors use it to make the sidewalks we walk on every day, the driveways where we park our cars, the foundation of our homes; and so much more. We take it for granted.4
Like artists, concrete contractors must perfect their craft. It takes skills and knowledge to: know what type of concrete needs to be used for what job; how much is needed to ensure the end result will be strong, withstand the elements and the test of time; and how to mix and pour it properly. If concrete contractors get it wrong, the potential consequences could be devastating: houses and buildings could crumble, bridges could collapse, cars could get swallowed up by sink holes, etc. It’s a very important job and it must be done right.
One of the most important tools of the trade is a simple concrete calculator. Well, simple from the user’s point of view. You just plug in information about the size of the area that needs to be covered and the concrete calculator will estimate how much concrete you will need. The equations behind the concrete calculator are probably not that simple but thankfully, we don’t need to understand what’s behind the numbers to use it. There are many websites that provide concrete calculators for anyone to use for DIY projects. And for those bigger projects on which we all rely every day without thinking about it, the task falls to expert concrete contractors who are the best men and women for the job.