Commercial buildings go through far more wear and tear than the average residential property: and need to be built to last as long as possible. Whether you’re constructing a single call center or a large multi-business building, it’s vital that the right materials are used to ensure the building can handle anything.
These are the best concrete options for a commercial building and why they matter.
There are multiple kinds of concrete used in commercial construction that range from lightweight concrete to high-density reinforced concrete. Each concrete type has its own unique characteristics that are required for specific construction applications. Some construction companies save time on site by using precast concrete forms, which allow them to instantly set up portions of the site instead of having to wait for concrete to set.
Although some may assume they can get a better finish or a more classic look through brick pavers: you can do far more with concrete pavers. Not only are concrete pavers easier to cut and install, they’re also always perfectly uniform, less expensive than brick, and far more customizable.
Brick pavers are more likely to crack under heavy vehicle traffic or chip and sheer with time: which means they’ll look old and worn faster. Avoid this issue by using concrete pavers instead.
If you want to build a more sustainable commercial building that holds a safe and comfortable temperature longer: it’s a good idea to use insulated concrete forms (ICF). Not only does ICF seal well and stop air leakage through the walls, it can also help keep out insects, moisture, and noise pollution that can easily disrupt an office environment. ICF construction does require a few more steps as the styrofoam exterior must be covered with different finish options. However, If Insulation is a must for your project, using concrete that comes with insulation already in place makes everyone’s job easier.
If anything goes wrong during construction, or you need to fix something caused by a shift or change in the building: concrete is simple to patch and repair. Using materials like CPR-Concrete Patch and RepairⓇ, Pro-Bond Ultra or a hairline crack filler to perform maintenance can give the concrete longer life and help avoid costly demolition and replacement or larger fixes that would otherwise take far longer. Concrete is a fantastic material that’s simple to repair and fix, so it’s worth taking the time to do needed maintenance before neglected fixes become major repairs.
Suppose you want a building’s exterior to have a specific look but don’t want to brick an entire exterior, a vertical concrete overlay may be a better solution! With the adhesion technology in concrete overlays today that keep them from delaminating, you can create a building exterior that looks like it’s made of brick, stone, wood, or whatever other finish you want: but has the strength and future-fixability of concrete. A quality concrete overlay can leave any building with a gorgeous exterior without breaking the bank on materials.
Concrete walls are basically blank canvases throughout a building. By adding one of the many concrete coloring systems available or using concrete wall and floor stamps and applying decorative concrete overlays, you can add a myriad of beautiful designs into the interior and exterior surfaces of your building. On the exterior, vertical concrete overlays can be used in seating areas to give the appearance of natural stone, stack stone, or even wood planks.
On walkways, patios and decks you can add attractive splashes of color by using concrete stains or adding a thin stamped concrete overlay with the look of cobblestone or wood and finished with natural pigment coloring for a realistic and varied look. You can even use opaque waterproofing sealers and systems to coat rooftop decks and balconies to add a uniform color. Concrete overlays, colors and finishes can add attractive touches when used correctly; it’s just important that it’s sealed correctly and able to take on whatever you need it to.
If the building you’re constructing has a low slope or flat roof, it’s a good idea to use the best roofing materials and repair products for your climate. If your commercial roof is being constructed using styrofoam or lightweight insulated concrete (LWIC) layers for insulation, you’ll want to use Pro Bond Ultra Cover Board to go over and protect the insulation layer and give a 5,000+ psi stable base and foundation for the roofing membrane or materials to adhere to. These same roofs can also develop ponding and pooling areas over time and will need maintenance.
A product like Level Slope is used to fill these ponding areas and redirect the water to the drains, scuppers, or off the roof, and will add significant life to the roofing materials. Protecting the weaker styrofoam from water, hail and wind damage, and then maintaining the roofing material with maintenance products helps the roof last longer and lessens the chance of costly interior damage to the building below from water intrusion. These two products are a powerful set of tools every construction company should have in their arsenal.
Waterproofing concrete walls are one of the most important steps you can take in construction. Not only does this step allow you to protect the building from future wear and tear, but it also lowers the moisture that’s within the building and fights against possible issues like mold, mildew, rot, and anything else that may arise. Waterproofing is a vital step to protect property, keep it in good condition and make it last as long as possible.
Commercial buildings have to be strong and built to last, so there’s nothing more important than ensuring the right type of concrete is used for your project. Consider some of the concrete options mentioned in this post for your next commercial construction project.
Todd Gillman is the content director for the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.