Clearing Up Some Misconceptions About Precast Concrete

Precast concrete is concrete that is poured into forms or moulds, allowed to cure, and then shipped to a construction site, where it is tilted up and put into place. This is versus concrete poured and cured onsite. There are many advantages to using precast concrete for any construction project, but some builders are prone to misconceptions about the material and its production. Note a few of those here and then you can determine if you should offer precast concrete to your construction customers.

1. Precast concrete is somehow lower quality

You might assume that, because precast concrete needs to be shipped or trucked to a construction site, it's somehow thinner, more lightweight, or of poorer quality than concrete you pour onsite. You might also hesitate to have someone else overlook the pouring of concrete, wanting to ensure the quality yourself.

However, having concrete poured and set in a controlled environment in a factory, versus an open construction site, can mean no risk of excess dust and debris getting into the mix. Curing is also done under a controlled setting, so precast concrete is sure to be completely set before used in construction. You can also specify the mixture of the concrete and curing time as well, which also ensures the concrete you get will be of highest quality.

Precast concrete can also be made with rebar or steel frames, which also increases its overall strength and durability. This, too, can be done according to your specifications, as the framing may include galvanized steel, epoxy coatings, or other options that reduce the risk of corrosion.

2. The cost of trucking and crane rental make precast concrete more expensive

It is true that precast concrete needs to be delivered to your site and you usually need a crane to lift the panels into position. However, note that it can be just as costly to have concrete mixers available and consistently running throughout your construction project, and you will also typically need to rent concrete pumps for larger projects and even cranes to lift the pumps into position.

There is also the cost of construction waste when pouring concrete onsite, as you may have leftover concrete or rebar, or concrete that hardens too soon and which cannot be used. You may also require more manpower on a construction site where you manually mix and pour concrete, another factor that often makes precast concrete much more affordable overall.