Concrete2019-02-26T16:59:16-08:00

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

Concrete Color Selector

Download our color selection brochure.

Concrete Color Selector

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.

Whether you are a homeowner with a small project or you are undertaking a large commercial job, 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 does concrete cost?2019-02-13T15:20:12-08:00

How much does concrete cost.  This is by far the most asked question we get each day. The answer is a bit more complicated 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.  See our concrete calculators to help you determine how much concrete your project will take.

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 Concrete2019-02-13T15:56:49-08:00

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?

The first question we will ask you is what are you pouring?  We are not trying to be nosy. In order to help you choose the right kind of concrete for your project a few simple questions need to be answered.

Strength is one of the most important things. 

Concrete’s strength is measured primarily in PSI (pounds per square inch).  This is the  compressive strength of the concrete.  The amount of downward pressure the concrete can support when placed on a non moving substrate.  The strength of concrete you need is determined by its use.

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

How to Protect Exterior Concrete in Cold Climates.

We protect “outside” concrete by increasing the air content of the concrete. We also must ensure that the air-void system is aligned to allow water to easily escape.

There are two types of air that can be found in concrete; entrapped and entrained Air.

Concrete always has some naturally occurring (entrapped) air in it.  Entrapped air is measured as a percentage of the concrete’s total volume.  Entrapped air is composed of random air “bubbles” and is usually between 1-3% of the concretes volume.

We need to introduce some additional entrained air into the concrete and ensure that the entrained air’s “voids” line up into continuous capillaries. These capillaries provide a path for the water to escape as it freezes.

Entrained air is introduced through the addition of an air entraining admixture.  When using an air entraining admixture for protection in freeze thaw conditions we shoot for a total air volume of 4-7 percent. (Including naturally occurring entrapped air and chemically introduced entrained air).

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 Concrete2019-02-13T16:21:16-08:00

Can We Supply Colored Concrete?

We can make colored concrete for you by adding a dye while making it.  This is called an integral color.  There are many colors of colored concrete to choose. Most of the colors will be “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 colored concrete unlike paint will not be exactly like the sample.

With 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 color of the paint match the sample colors.

In colored concrete we are adding a dye to the base (gray) concrete.  Concrete is made from materials that have unique tints and vary from plant to plant.  There are many things that will make each companies base concrete shade a bit different. Things such as the color of our rocks and sand and the color of our cement powder will  be different than another companies in another area.

These are things that the dye manufacturer cannot know when they make up there samples. 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 too orange or not too pink for tastes.

Can Concrete Freeze2019-02-13T16:26:15-08:00

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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