The Staircase Experts

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Using Concrete for Stairs

concrete stairs

As a continuation to our previous post, “Why Wooden Stairs?” we’ll be covering concrete stairs in this post. Concrete is widely known for its durability and robustness, ability to be moulded into any shape or form, and the several mixtures available that can change the composition of the concrete. Because of these properties, it is unsurprising that concrete became one of the most used building materials throughout the world, but is it a suitable choice for your spiral staircase? Let’s find out.

Benefits

Concrete is very versatile

Concrete differs from other typical building materials because it is a fabricated material. This means that concrete structures can be moulded into almost any shape they want, provided that the structure is physically possible. Concrete also have several compositions and finishes to choose from, differing in performance, weight, and cost. No matter the purpose, concrete is a viable choice for many applications.

Concrete is tough

Concrete was designed from the start to be tough and durable, although concrete inherently has low tensile. To cover this weakness, steel (usually in the form of rebar) is commonly used together with concrete to reinforce and hold the concrete. Another good thing about concrete is its near immunity to degradation, either from exposure to sunlight or wind, water, or organisms like insects and mould.

Minor damage is easy to repair

If there are any external damage or minor cracks on the surface of the concrete, repairs are possible and quite easy. Owners can use a mixture similar to the area of concrete they want to repair, or for small patch jobs, they may use polymer fortified or premixed dry patching material.

Concrete is fire resistant

Because of the components and materials used, concrete is virtually non-combustible. This means that concrete is a great material because it is highly resistant to fire, and can in fact withstand up to four hours of extremely high temperatures. Concrete also does not emit toxic fumes, smoke, or particles whenever a fire occurs.

Disadvantages

Concrete shrinks as it matures

As concrete matures, it also shrinks, which can damage the overall structure by causing cracks. However, this is not a problem if the right mixture is used and proper curing practises were followed.

Environmental impact

The concrete industry has a negative impact on the environment. Specifically, the production of cement, which is a component in concrete, generates large amounts of carbon dioxide.

Physically unattractive

Many regard concrete as unappealing and lacking in personality, even when painted on or customised.

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This entry was posted on February 4, 2014 by in Guides and tagged , , , , , , .
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