FAQ

American Owned - Montana Owned - Locally Owned

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know how much concrete to order?
  • Measure the length and the width of the area you are interested in pouring and then call our dispatch center and they can provide you with the cubic yards required for the job.

  • Or you can click here (concrete calculator)

What strength of concrete do I need?
  • We recommend referencing city ordinances, job permits and/or checking with your contractor for strength requirements.

Why does concrete crack?
  • The wet concrete will have a loss volume as the concrete sets and continues to harden. This is called shrinkage. That sets up tensile stresses which causes cracks in concrete. Cracking can be controlled but almost never eliminated.

  • Cracking can be controlled by jointing the concrete. Joint placement is determined by the thickness of the concrete.

Will my concrete be stronger if I use fiber mesh?
  • No. Fiber mesh only keeps cracks from opening up once a crack has occurred, it does not make the concrete stronger.

  • Fiber mesh is meant to reduce or absorb micro cracking that takes place when concrete begins to set. If the micro-cracking is reduced or eliminated in the first few hours after placement, cracking may never take place.

What kind of reinforcement should I use?
  • In most cases fiber mesh is an excellent solution but it does depend on the job. Rebar or wire is also recommended depending on the use.

What does it mean to cure concrete?
  • Curing is one of the most important steps in quality concrete construction and one of the most neglected. Effective curing is essential for surface durability. Fresh concrete MUST be kept warm and moist until the mixing water combines chemically with the cement (called hydration). Without proper curing the strength of the concrete can be reduced in half.

Why should I cure concrete?
  • It is important to cure concrete to retain as much moisture as possible in the concrete for the first three to seven days. Curing also helps to maintain concrete temperatures between 50 and 90 degrees which help the concrete gain maximum strength. Curing compound is usually applied to the concrete as soon as it’s hard enough to walk on without making marks on the surface.

Can concrete be made in colors?
  • Absolutely!! The possibilities are almost endless. Donaldson Bros. has a state of the art liquid color machine that’s sure to have a color you will like. Call us for pricing.

How do you find a good contractor?
  • Don’t pick a contractor based entirely on cost. In concrete work, as in any business, you get what you pay for. Cost is definitely a consideration but not the only factor. To obtain the names of qualified contractors talk to our dispatcher or other builders you may know. Then ask for some references and take a look at the completed jobs. If you like what you see then you can feel easier about asking for bids from them.