Salzano Custom Concrete
PSI is the measurement of the strength of concrete.
PSI is an acronym that stands for Pounds per Square Inch.
It is important to know the PSI rating of your concrete. This is something you can discuss with your contractor to be sure you are getting the appropriate concrete mix.
The actual strength of a particular concrete mix is determined by many things most notably by the ratio of Portland cement in the mix ... This is the ingredient that makes the concrete hard and strong.
Similar to horse power n your car you want to be sure you have enough but no sense paying for more than you really need.
Concrete mixes or "recipes" can have PSI ratings that range from 500 to over 10,000. The PSI range most common for residential concrete work is 2,000 to 5,000. PSI ratings below 2000 and over 5000 are really reserved for specialty work.
So within the range of 2000 to 5000 is most common for residential work.
Let's tighten up this range of a little bit more. It is recommended that for most all residential walkway driveway or patio projects the practical minimum is 3000 PSI and max 4000 PSI.
Concrete is customarily ordered in increments of 500 PSI. So that leaves us with concrete with a PSI rating of 3000, 3500 or 4000.
So let's now throw in our recommendations to never use 3000 psi for residential concrete work.
So now we are really down to a choice of 2 concrete mixes one at 3500 and one at 4000 PSI.
Some contractors routinely use 3500 for all projects. Some other contractors may routinely used 4000 for all projects.
Another rule of thumb used by contractors is to use 3500 walkways and patios and to use 4000 for driveways, carports or other areas carrying vehicle loads. This is a very reasonable approach one that we use regularly.
Some customers want us to use the stronger mix at 4000 thinking that will prevent cracks. Concrete with stronger strength rating yes is stronger and yes is more resilient but certainly is not a guarantee against cracking.
In summary try to stay with either 3500 or 4000 strength concrete for most of your residential concrete project. As always remember to discuss these details with your contractor so there are no surprises.
Note: There are of course cases where 3000 or lower PSI rating is appropriate and also cases where 4500 or stronger PSI is needed. The notes in this posting cover most general presidential concrete project.
Hope this has been helpful.
Salzano Custom Concrete