Concrete 2018-03-30T15:25:07+00:00

Please try our new concrete calculator.

This new concrete calculator is very much a work in progress and we hope to be adding many features to it in the near future.

Concrete Calculator

Ready Mix Concrete

Since 1990 we have been serving the concrete needs of the valley and beyond.  From Wasilla to Palmer, from Eagle River to Talkeetna and north to Eureka, we can deliver concrete to your job.

From a small sidewalk for the do-it-yourselfer to the largest commercial jobs, Valley Block & Concrete’s commitment to customer service and quality has helped establish us as a leader in our industry. We look forward to the opportunity to earn your business.

Talking to you about your concrete project is the most important thing we do.  Please call us at 907-376-4784 so we can help you.  We look forward to answering your questions and earning your business.

Frequently Asked Questions About Concrete

How Much is a Yard of Concrete 2018-03-29T10:47:59+00:00

This is a much more complicated question than you might think.

Would you believe that there are many types of concrete?  It is important that you choose the correct type of concrete for your particular application.  We would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you about your needs and help you make sure you are using the correct type of concrete.

Concrete price can also be affected by the size of your job.  There can be what is called a short load charge for any jobs that are less than 4 cubic yards.  This is a small additional charge to cover the cost of delivering small loads.  The cost for us to deliver a 10 yard load is not much different from the cost for us to deliver a 2 yard load. Please understand that we value and appreciate jobs of all sizes.  We deliver many many 1 yard loads for our customers smaller projects.

The third factor that can affect concrete prices is the location of your job.  We do not charge a trip charge within the Palmer and Wasilla areas.  Locations outside of that area or in very difficult to reach locations may have an additional trip charge.  With a simple phone call we can discuss this with you.

The last thing that I can think of that could affect your concrete price would be unloading time.  We have built in 6 minutes per yard of unloading time into our concrete prices.  If it take you longer than that to unload there is a charge of $2 per minute of additional truck time.  Please understand if you take more time this does not mean you are doing a bad job.  Some jobs are just more tricky than others.

Types of Concrete 2018-03-29T12:58:31+00:00

There are many types of concrete and it is important that you use the correct type (mix design) for your job.

What are you pouring?

This will be the first question we will ask you when you call.  We are not being nosy, we just need to know so that we can help you choose the right kind of concrete for your project.

Strength is one of the most important things. 

For concrete, strength is measured primarily in PSI (pounds per square inch).  This is the  compressive strength of the concrete, in other words the amount of downward pressure the concrete can support when placed on a non moving substrate. This can be important for walls, footings, and slabs depending on the needs of your project.

Freeze Thaw Protection.

Another important consideration is whether or not your concrete is going to be exposed to freeze thaw conditions after final placement.

In order to make concrete more durable in a location where it will be routinely exposed to freeze thaw conditions an air-void system must be created in the concrete to allow water, which expands about nine times in volume when it freezes to come out of the concrete without causing the “top to pop off”.

We protect “outside” concrete by increasing the air content of the concrete and ensuring that the air is aligned to allow water to escape.

Concrete has some naturally occurring air in it as a percentage of its total volume.  This air, called entrapped air occurs naturally in the production of concrete.  It is composed of random air “bubbles” and is usually between 1-3% of the concretes volume.

We need to introduce additional air into the concrete and ensure that this air “bubbles” line up in capillaries that allow a path for the water to escape as it freezes.  This air is introduced through the addition of a chemical called an air entraining admixture and is called entrained air.  When using an air entraining admixture for protection in freeze thaw conditions we shoot for a air volume of 4-7 percent.

Size of Aggregates.

Concrete in its simplest form is composed of sand, rock, cement and water.  Slabs footings and walls typically use 3/4 rock.  Grout to fill the cells in concrete block some topping mixes and concrete going into Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) usually use 3/8 rock.

We will be happy to discuss with you what you will need for your application.

Colored Concrete 2018-03-29T12:44:25+00:00

Can We Supply Colored Concrete?

We can add a color to the concrete when we make it for you.  This is called an integral color.  There are many colors to choose from mostly “earthy” tones, some tans, browns, reds etc.  We have color charts and samples at our office and we recommend coming in an seeing us to pick out a color.

When choosing an integral color it is important to understand that concrete colors unlike paint colors will not be exactly like the sample.

In paint colors, the manufacturer of the paint controls every ingredient of the process in every location. Because of this they can supply formulas that will make the paint very closely match the sample colors.

In concrete we are adding a dye to the concrete that is made from materials that vary from plant to plant.  There are many things that will make every concrete companies color a bit different. These are things that  the dye manufacturer cannot know when they make up there samples.

The color of our rocks and sand and the color of our cement powder will  be different than another companies in another area depending on were their aggregates and cement come from.  This can even change over time as new rock is mined or new shipments of cement are brought into the plant.

So when picking out a concrete color pay close attention to the “shade” of the color and the strength of the color.  This can help you make sure that the red you pick out is not to orange or not to pink for instance.

Can Concrete Freeze 2018-03-29T12:56:04+00:00

Can Concrete Freeze?

The answer to that is yes, of course it can, but it should not until it is cured. Once it is cured freezing temperatures should not hurt it.

New concrete should be kept from freezing long enough to allow it to gain enough strength for the cement bonds to be stronger than the expansive force of the water freezing.  If new concrete is allowed to freeze before this point, it will never recover and will eventually fail.

How long should it be protected from freezing? 

Tests show that once concrete reaches a compressive strength of about 500 psi, it will have the ability to withstand the expansive forces of the freezing water. The amount of time that it takes for this to occur depend on a number of factors including but not limited to; the temperature outside, the temperature of the ground, the temperature of the concrete, the mix design of the concrete including any chemicals added and how “wet” it was poured.

We will help guide you through this process if you are planning to pour concrete when freezing temperatures are expected.  We pour concrete all winter long but special precautions need to be taken.

  • Never pour on frozen ground.
  • Always cover and heat your concrete if it is going to freeze within a few days of placing it.
  • Pour your concrete as “stiff” as possible to minimize the amount of water in it.
  • Use the appropriate concrete mix design to help it gain strength as quickly as practical and possible.

Please bear with us, as we work on this page to help make it the most useful resource possible to help you plan for your concrete projects.

We always love to talk to you, so please give us a call at 907-376-4784 or email us at info@vbcak.com if we can assist you in any way.

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