In South Africa, concrete homes are preferred over houses with wooden frames, unlike in the United States where many people use wood for their residential homes. When homeowners are looking to purchase or construct a home, they must consider the advantages and disadvantages of their material of choice. Although, when it comes to concrete, there are more benefits than cons. Read this article to find out more about why concrete houses built with concrete mixers are incredibly sought after.
Ecofriendly and sustainable
The degrading effects of climate change have made it more critical to consider how we can be more sustainable and environmentally friendly in our practices and lifestyles. Home construction can have destructive effects on the surrounding environment if the architects and contractors do not make use of the best possible construction practices and materials. For example, the use of asbestos in home construction was effectively outlawed in South Africa in March 2008 because of its negative health impacts on humans and animals. Similarly, constructors and architects need to consider a house’s energy consumption when they are erecting a new building for residential purposes.
With worldwide energy crises and the particularly contested issue of power shortages and load shedding in South Africa, it is important to consider how we can reduce our energy consumption by maximising the performance of our houses. Concrete houses are better for the environment because they require fewer resources and less wood to erect, with the help of concrete mixers. They also require less energy to heat and cool during Winter and Summer because they have stabilised temperature control and better insulation than wooden houses. Concrete houses are also said to protect residents better from contaminants, mould and allergens, therefore allowing for cleaner air – which is an advantage for homeowners who hope to settle and nest safely in their home for a lifetime without the additional risk of air pollutants.
For many people, the threat of their house catching fire is a serious concern that can cause stress, paranoia and anxiety – especially since wildfires have been spreading more frequently in recent years due to rising temperatures. House fires can lead to the mass destruction of your home, and they can spark further fires in the surrounding area, causing explosions, ruin, and even fatalities. This poses a massive risk for the local people, property and natural environment. However, unlike wooden frame houses and plastered houses, concrete is not susceptible to fires.
Concrete cannot be set alight, nor can it burn and emit toxic fumes into the air. Houses made with concrete can withstand up to four hours of fire without allowing the flames to spread, creating an effective shield against the heat. Although a serious house fire may damage the concrete and weaken the steel reinforcements within it, it is comparatively far more resilient than a house that is made primarily from wood or plaster. The additional safety factor of a concrete house will definitely decrease the cost of your insurance premiums too.
Concrete houses, which are made with the help of power tools such as BS Power’s concrete mixers, are known for having better temperature control. In general, concrete has better insulation levels and energy-efficient heating systems where warm air is far less likely to leak out of a building. This is because concrete has a very high thermal mass and heat conductivity, so it stores temperatures easily. This is a sought-after quality for those who are looking to purchase or build houses that are energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, as this reduces the need to consistently pay high rates for heating and cooling.
This means that concrete homes have better insulation because they are able to absorb and retain heat. So, during the hot summer days, the concrete will absorb and trap the heat throughout the daytime, then radiate this heat at night. In the winter, the concrete’s heat absorption capabilities will provide extra insulation to keep you warm. Overall, concrete has a much higher thermal mass than wood, so it keeps temperatures fairly consistent throughout the year, regardless of the changing seasons.
Once the contractors have used the concrete mixers and poured the concrete into place, homeowners can prepare for a lifetime spent in their strong and sturdy new home. Concrete is highly regarded for its strength and long life span. In modern days, the substitution of Portland cement with fly ash and ground granulated blast-furnace slag has resulted in the consequent strengthening of the material. This gives concrete the ability to withstand corrosion, hurricanes, tornados and intense winds.
This strength is evident when you consider how concrete is used for important structures like bridges, skyscrapers, parking lots and more. Modern concrete has super-tensile load qualities and flexural strength that prevent bending. This quality is particularly important when constructing buildings in towns, cities or countries that are consistently faced with natural disasters. For example, if a house is built with wood near a fault line, like the one in San Francisco, it would be a massive risk.
Most concrete buildings have incredibly long life expectancies. For example, ancient Romans used concrete, stone and tuff to build the colosseum in 70 Anno Domini. Today, remnants of the colosseum remain largely intact even 1 952 years later. This is because concrete is less susceptible to weathering in the same way that wood is, and in many cases, concrete actually gains strength over time because the cement bonds with surrounding moisture to further solidify its bonds.
Wooden houses can quickly succumb to rot and mould because they are not water-resistant, and if a fire breaks out they will crumble to ash within moments. Contrastingly, concrete does not deteriorate easily, and it is highly resistant to freezing and thawing. When concrete is produced using concrete mixers, crystallisation occurs and leads to the formation of calcium silicate, which thickens and consequently blocks off any weak spaces in the mixture. This means that the concrete is not very porous, and is resultantly durable in the face of harsh weathering.
Increased Property Value
While concrete houses are often very expensive to build in comparison with houses that are made primarily from wood and plaster, it is worth noting that they bring extra value to the property. When a house is made from concrete, property valuations will likely increase by 3 and 5%, giving great resale value to homeowners. Investing in a concrete home will ultimately pay off after some years because the house will only increase in value.
More than their economic value, the energy efficiency of concrete houses is a massive means of saving money. Low utility costs due to high thermal mass and good temperature control make it easy for homeowners to save on their utility bills. Although the additional upfront costs of paying for concrete, concrete mixers and construction can be high, investing in concrete is a worthwhile move that will definitely pay off in the end. Concrete houses are an asset that will be a source of passive income for property owners.
Houses made from wooden frames and houses are generally very noisy, and sounds tend to echo and bounce between rooms. Concrete houses, however, have great noise control because the thick, non-porous walls filter out external sounds. The inherent mass and dampening qualities of concrete also make for great acoustic conditions, where there is impressive sound insulation. This is a large benefit of concrete, as it prevents homeowners from spending extra capital on sound insulation.
Noise travelling through a house can be a massive source of contention between co-habitants, so having natural noise insulation will prevent disruptions or disagreements from breaking out. The acoustics within concrete houses are not only beneficial for roommates but also, particularly, for musicians. Musicians who enjoy practising in their homes often opt for concrete houses because the sound control offers them better acoustics while protecting them from noise complaints from the neighbours.
Concrete is highly water-resistant, and is often used in the construction of houses and other structures that are placed near bodies of water because it is not porous. Concrete makes a great barrier against water and is therefore often used in the construction of bridges and dams, as it is resilient against water and even corrosion from sea salt. Concrete, similarly, is very resilient against floods.
With more floods occurring in coastal cities in and around South Africa, water resistance is seen as an important factor to consider when constructing or purchasing a house. Water-resistance means that concrete houses are less likely to collapse or deteriorate in the face of floods. This allows the concrete to maintain its structural integrity and dry out quickly, unlike houses made with wood, which tend to warp, rot and disintegrate quickly when faced with flooding.
Lower Insurance Costs
According to this study, which compared wooden and concrete houses, it was reported that the property insurance for a building decreases drastically when the property is constructed with concrete and concrete mixers. Similarly, construction companies and contractors will be subject to a smaller cost of builder’s risk insurance when working with concrete. The study noted the following information:
“For builder’s risk insurance, the study reports a minimum savings of 22%, up to a maximum 72%. For commercial property insurance, the study reports a minimum savings of 14%, up to a maximum of 65%.”
These decreased costs for builders’ risk and property insurance can be attributed to the substantially lower chances that a concrete house could be destroyed, as opposed to a wooden house. Wooden houses are far more vulnerable to fires, natural disasters, weather phenomena, gas explosions and vandalism. The use of concrete, however, is ideal to prevent disasters and hazards from causing damage to the structure.
While wood tends to weather and deteriorate quite quickly, concrete is made to last. Wooden houses require fairly frequent varnishing, oiling, staining and upgrades. Concrete, however, requires minimal maintenance work because it tends to stay looking fresh and new for years.
If the concrete has been mixed properly using concrete mixers, poured, applied and sealed professionally, then homeowners will not have to be concerned about wear and tear. It will only be necessary to repair cracks once in a while, although these will be few and far between. High durability makes it low maintenance, which in turn saves homeowners money on infrastructural maintenance and repair.
Invest In a Concrete House Today
If you’re interested in investing in a concrete house, then you’ll need the best possible tools available for the mixing, pouring, application and finishing of your structure. At BS Power, there is a wide range of concrete mixers available for the construction of these kinds of residential structures. Although, BS Power’s concrete mixers can not only be used for residential homes but also for commercial properties, urban developments, state infrastructure and more. These concrete mixers are affordable, high-quality machines that use advanced technology in order to make the construction process smoother and more manageable, for better results and perfect concrete structures.