Home Renovation Happenings
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Home Renovation Happenings

There is a lot to think about when you’re renovating a home. You need to make many decisions, starting with what contractor to use and how much money you want to spend. It helps if you have a clear vision for how you want your home to look when you’re done. If you’re not sure what it is that you want yet, take some time to look through my blog. I’ll discuss everything from home additions to flooring materials to appliances and fixtures. These articles will help you get a sense of the possibilities for your home renovation, and help you narrow down your options. Eventually, you’ll decide on the renovations that are right for you.

Home Renovation Happenings

A Firm Foundation: What Would The World Be Like Without Aggregates?

Pamela Gonzales

An aggregate is any substance that is formed from a combination of smaller parts. However, the term is usually used to describe mined materials like gravel, sand, and crushed rocks, as well as recycled combinations of a rocky nature, such as asphalt. In general, the world doesn't really understand just how much construction aggregates do and what life would be life without them. The next time you open the door to your house or drive down the highway, you can give some of the credit to the aggregate materials that literally hold you up.

Your House Would Have Cost More To Build

Aggregates like sand and gravel are added to cement for two reasons:

  1. They provide extra strength. The presence of these solid materials reduces the chances of concrete crumbling. It also helps to reduce the amount of porous material that is exposed to salts and other damaging surfactants. Cement has a much higher resistance to weight and impact when combined with solids that reinforce its internal structure. The addition of aggregates to cement is how concrete is made.
  2. They make a more expensive product go much further. Cement is much more expensive that cheap crushed rocks. In fact, concrete be made with as little as 10% cement, while aggregate composition can be as as high as 75%, making up the bulk of the product. Without aggregates, concrete would not exist, and the world would be without proper foundations for buildings, strong overpasses over highways, concrete sidewalks, or even concrete countertops.

Roads And Railways Would Still Be Primitive

Almost every paved road in the world is supported by a generous layer of road crush. This aggregate material is usually a mix of gravel and sand. Because the gravel provides stability, and the sand allows the material to be firmly packed, roads last much longer and can survive the seasonal expansion and contraction, because the road crush base is slightly more flexible than the road it supports. Road crush also gives brittle asphalt additional strength, and allows it to support the weight of so many cars. 

Similarly, without gravel, railroads would not be able to support the weight of modern trains. Railroad ties and tracks are laid in a generous amount of gravel, which stabilizes them and prevents them from sinking into the ground over time. Without aggregates, railways accidents would happen a lot more often, and tracks would need to be replaced constantly. Perhaps, people would have decided that transport by train is actually more trouble than it was worth.

Without good roads and rails, would the world still enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables when they aren't in season? Would mail still be delivered within days of being sent? Would online shopping even be possible? Aggregates give the world so much more than anyone currently realizes.  

There Would Be Water Damage Everywhere

Aggregate materials are special because they provide the combined strength of many parts, making them ideal for forming construction foundations, like those mentioned above. However, with that strength comes flexibility, because the separate parts allow water to pass through the material without harming it. For this reason, aggregates are widely used for creating effective drainage for:

  • Houses: Your concrete foundation actually is cushioned in a bed of gravel, just to keep the heavy material from settling further down into the Earth's crust over time. Also, the gravel helps to drain water away from the walls of the basement, preventing mold growth and structural damage caused by pooling or constantly flowing water.
  • Landscaping: Retaining walls only retain as long as erosion doesn't wash the soil out from behind the structure. Aggregate materials like crushed rocks and fine sand are used to prevent this from happening. Soil behind retaining walls is reinforced with rocks to increase the soil's drainage, allowing the water to move the through the structure without causing any major changes. 

Aggregates are used constantly in new landscaping and construction, and they have an infinite amount of worth to humanity. They really do give you a surface to stand on. For more information, contact a company like Robinson Concrete Inc.