Frequently Asked Questions
What area does Macchia Group work in?
Horsham and in the Wimmera region, including Stawell, Ararat, Murtoa, Halls Gap, Hamilton, Edenhope, Jeparit, Nhill, Natimuk, Goroke, Dimboola, Warracknabeal, Birchip, Ballarat, Kaniva, Rupanyup, St Arnaud and Dunkeld.
What is the difference between cement and concrete?
Although the terms cement and concrete often are used interchangeably, cement is actually an ingredient of concrete. Concrete is basically a mixture of aggregates and paste. The aggregates are sand and gravel or crushed stone; the paste is water and cement. Concrete gets stronger as it gets older. So, there is no such thing as a cement sidewalk, or a cement mixer; the proper terms are concrete sidewalk and concrete mixer.
What is Portland cement?
Portland cement is not a brand name, but rather the generic term for the type of cement used in virtually all concrete, just as stainless is a type of steel and sterling a type of silver.
Can decorative finishes be applied to concrete surfaces?
Yes. Colour pigments may be added to concrete, before or after it is poured. White cement rather than conventional grey may have chemical stains or colourful aggregates added to the surface. Textured finishes can vary from a smooth polish to the roughness of gravel. Geometric patterns can be scored, stamped, rolled, or inlaid into the concrete to resemble stone, brick or tile paving. Special techniques are also available to make concrete slip-resistant.
How is concrete polished?
It starts with coarse blades attached to a grinder that take away layers to produce the chosen stone content, such as salt and pepper (fines only), full stone or somewhere in between. Then all imperfections like fine lines are filled in. The polish process can then take place with finer blades to produce polished concrete. Chemicals and concrete protection systems can be added to change the chemical structure of the concrete to give hardness and stain protection, partial or full.
Is it important how the concrete is laid?
Yes, it is extremely important to the concrete polish job as poorly laid concrete will not give a good finish. Macchia Group has an advantage over other companies as it provides the full service. We discuss with the client the finish they would like then they lay the concrete, grind and polish it.
Is coated concrete or grind and seal the same?
No. Coatings are topical, they sit on the surface and cover the concrete. Polished concrete is about refining the surface. Coatings typically scratch over time. The finish of polished concrete is so super fine that marks don’t stick. Coatings are generally cheaper, require ongoing maintenance and are not long-lasting.
What are some advantages and disadvantages of conventional concrete slabs versus post tension slabs?
In short – strength, size and cost.
Post-tensioned concrete is stronger and more flexible than conventional steel-reinforced concrete. Post-tensioning helps reduce cracking from shrinkage as the concrete dries, and holds together any cracks that do form.
Conventional concrete slabs are limited in length and thickness. They require a specific level of thickness to maintain their strength. Post-tensioned concrete can be thinner and longer without risk to its strength or structural integrity, since the cables inside help stabilise it.
Post-tensioned concrete may be slightly more expensive than a conventional concrete slab for smaller jobs, due to the extra equipment needed, but it is a far superior product, especially in the reactive soils of the Wimmera region. Post-tensioning uses less reinforcing material, allowing it to cost less in large projects.