Learn Why Quality Really Does Matter
Why Quality Matters in Concrete & Screed
Due to the current economic climate of our country we often overlook the most serious part of our building projects the foundations and structure many people think concrete is just a standard mix and what ever the cheapest quote you obtain is the best, it is not possible that the concrete industry where raw cement powder has nearly doubled in cost’s since 2020 and aggregate cost have risen by a 3rd to be supplying at rates not seen for 5 years there has to be a catch.
This is now coming back to bite the uk market slowly such as the Raac air entrained concrete found in many government schools and hospitals, who foots the bill for the repairs not the suppliers or contractors who originally done the works but you and i the tax payer.
Such is the case when doing your home extensions or driveways unsuspecting builders and homeowners are unknowingly paying a fraction cheaper some times £5-£15 less per m3 of concrete being duped by the numerous suppliers on the competitive market putting in 100 o/o recycled materials into the concrete used into your building project.
There is no harm in using recycled materials just so long they do not exceed the industry standard of 30 o/o per m3 of concrete.
The issues do not come to light straight away but over the years as the ground movement of expansion and contraction with the extreme weather patterns of heavy flooding ground swelling and extreme dry periods where the ground contract’s leaves the concrete exposed to damage.
Our advice having been in the concrete industry over 30 years and a manufacturer for 18 years is to source a reputable supplier because if your concrete quote is considerably lower than the other suppliers there is a good chance it will be recycled materials being used in the mix unless they can justify it be being a major national or international company who produce all their own materials.
One example we have is a car recycling business we supply for near a decade, before we started supplying them they we’re digging out the concrete base where they crush the cars with heavy machinery every 10-12 months due to their machinery destroying the concrete base, since we started supplying them they are getting a life span of 30/36 months plus minimum on the same base.
Of course they did argue why are you £15-£20.00 per m3 dearer than the previous supplier we gave the facts such as correct concrete specifications and increase in the cement we put in as opposed to their previous supplier for where they had become used to removing and replacing every 12 months and thought it was the norm it took a while but they eventually understood.
We are also seeing screeding floor layers stating they have a strict budget on price and need the cheapest we outright refuse to be dragged into the cheapest rate competition and are asked to supply a C20 screed we have never heard of that mix for screed as it does not exist what they are actually being sold is screed with 200 kg per m3 which far below industry 5:1 mix of 290kg cement per m3 or 4:1 mix 330kg cement per m3 as we are higher in costs we loose the job.
The same Screeders are now stating they should have just paid the extra and have us deliver the screed as they have to remove and replace the floor as it cracks and crumbles due to low cement content.
We can only advise as a supplier do your homework and be diligent when buying concrete or screed.