While cement and concrete are often used to describe the same things, like a driveway or a sidewalk, each word carries a different meaning. Disseminating cement vs. concrete may seem confusing without prior knowledge, but the difference between concrete and cement is quite simple:
- Cement is an ingredient in the mix that creates concrete.
- Concrete is the final product of a mixture of cement, water, and aggregate.
Our goal is to make sure you have a clear understanding of what each term means and what differentiates them. Read on to learn more about the differences when looking at cement vs. concrete.
What is Cement?
Cement is not a surface, but rather an ingredient in the mix that creates a surface. Cement is part of a mixture that creates concrete. It makes up roughly 15% of the mixture used to create concrete, combined with water and other aggregates. In this mixture, cement’s utility is to bind the aggregate together like a paste to form concrete.
Portland cement is the type of cement most commonly used for commercial and residential purposes. Portland cement is also a key ingredient in grout, mortar, and stucco. Cement is one of the most widely-used materials in the world.
What is Concrete?
Concrete is the final product of the mixture of cement, water, and aggregate. Installation of the concrete mixture is time-sensitive, as the mixture binds very quickly to form concrete, which is why you often see trucks transporting concrete still mixing it.
For example, when Portland cement is mixed with water and laid down to form a driveway, it only takes a few hours to set. Once the driveway sets, it will take a few weeks to fully harden. Concrete is one of the most common surfaces for driveways and sidewalks as well as for the construction of homes and commercial buildings. Concrete is designed to withstand exposure to the elements and strengthen over time.
Maintaining Concrete Surfaces
While extremely durable, there is still a risk that structural damage can occur if concrete is not properly maintained. The best way to make sure your concrete remains structurally sound is to apply a penetrating sealer that strengthens it from within. Additionally, hiring a professional to clean your concrete regularly is the best way to make sure that surface contaminants are kept at bay.
At Perfect Power Wash, we have spent the past twenty years helping customers clean and protect their concrete surfaces. For more information, read about our concrete wash and seal process.