At Rogue Valley Precast, we produce durable precast concrete forms all year round. When they leave our production facility, they’re bound for projects that dot the region of our rapidly growing communities.
With such a wide range of applications, precast concrete is the surefire way to construct systems that last through all kinds of weather. In fact, when installed correctly, they’re designed, engineered, and manufactured specifically to perform in even the wettest conditions.
This brings many people to a pertinent question: What is the watertightness of concrete? Hardened concrete is a porous material
Glad you asked!
A Brief Overview of the Watertightness of Concrete
As the National Precast Concrete Association puts it, “Watertightness is the ability of concrete to keep water out or in. In other words, the goal is to make concrete virtually impermeable. Precast concrete is used for many purposes — one of the most common is to hold or convey fluids. For structures to fulfill this purpose, they must be watertight.”
Sounds reasonable, yes? Funny thing is, concrete is manufactured to be impermeable despite the fact that it’s made with water!
Let’s return to the wise folks at the NPCA, who suggest that a “duo that has had a significant impact on modern history is cement and water. Combining the two creates a chemical reaction known as hydration, resulting in cementitious paste. Add in aggregates and we get concrete, the second most used material in the world, right after … you guessed it, water.”
For millennia, builders have sought ways to prevent water from slowly destroying concrete structures. The time-tested solution for modern manufacturers of precast concrete? The mix design process. Basically, that means calculating the perfect ratio of water content to cementitious materials — (water-cement ratio or w/c — when creating the watertight structures.
Experienced technicians know and understand how to figure out the moisture content in concrete recipes, modifying the ratio to create the perfect batch each and every time.
The result: precast concrete surfaces that are virtually impenetrable to water and watertight concrete structures that withstand moisture over many years of operational service.
Have a question about Rogue Valley Precast and the watertightness of concrete? Get in touch with us today. We’re happy to discuss ways to limit water ingress into construction joints and the overall structure of your building. Concrete, water, concrete mixes — it’s all in a day’s work at Rogue Valley Precast.