When it comes to building materials, the choice is virtually limitless. To ensure a sturdy home, you have to choose the right material according to your needs, preferences, and the climate. For building materials, two of the most popular choices are precast concrete and Styrofoam. Depending on your choice, both options have their own advantages and disadvantages. To help you determine which construction material is best for your home, continue with our basic guide:
This is a popular building material made from plain concrete or reinforced concrete. The concrete is molded into different shapes, according to the site where it will be used. For instance, it can be molded and integrated into paving slabs, beams, pillars and columns.
Precast concrete slabs are usually flat and made to support the rafters of a structure. The slabs are made from a combination of concrete sheets and various materials to form a solid unit. Precast concrete is durable and able to weather harsh climates. But they are also heavy and prone to cracking.
Advantages of Precast Concrete
Depending on the project, you’ll get better results when working with precast concrete than Styrofoam. Below are the advantages of precast concrete:
Affordable and Easy to Use
Some construction materials require wood to create a solid structure. Not precast concrete. There’s no need to use wood when molding conventional slabs. As such, you’ll save more on building costs. It helps that precast concrete is very easy to use and assemble.
The quality of precast concrete is consistent. You don’t have to worry about weak spots because the structure is made with the same materials.
When you don’t have to deal with concrete mixers, the work gets done in half the time. Precast concrete is easier to work with because it’s ready for installation. Workers don’t have to mold or mix the concrete themselves. They can install the materials quickly because they are already pre-built.
Also known as Expanded Polystyrene or EPS, Styrofoam is another popular construction material. Styrofoam was strictly used as an insulation material then. But it’s being applied in the construction and engineering industry now. In fact, Styrofoam is being used to build bridges, roads or overpasses!
Unlike precast concrete, Styrofoam is light, sturdy and durable. This material is used in construction as a way to meet specific standards. It can be used to fill block manufacturing, slabs, and surrounding pipes too. Because it’s light, Styrofoam is an excellent material as filler for slabs. Styrofoam-based construction products are typically sold in sheets, blocks or slabs.
Benefits of Styrofoam
Durable and Lightweight
Because it’s light and durable, EPS-based products reduce the weight of the structure.
Resistant to Molds, Mildew and Termites
Styrofoam does not break down as easily as other construction materials. The surface of the material is resistant to fungi. Unlike wood, Styrofoam is termite-resistant.
Styrofoam building materials are cheaper than wood, concrete and steel construction products.
Styrofoam works primarily as a thermal and acoustic insulator. Coating certain building materials with compressed Styrofoam will make them resistant to the harsh climate.
So which is better for your home?
Again, the best choice will depend on the project’s specific needs. For instance, if the structure requires pillars or columns, then the best choice is precast concrete.
On the other hand, if you require light, durable material that doubles as a thermal insulator, choose EPS-based products. Do note that Styrofoam works only as a filler or sealer in slabs. The core structural component of Styrofoam-based materials is still concrete.