We previously shared the benefits of building with concrete. Concrete is also the perfect material for outside use such as access ramps, sidewalks, curbs and gutters, even trash corrals. Concrete is extremely durable and long lasting. It requires little ongoing maintenance or repairs. It is a cost-effective building material to meet your needs.


Commercial properties are generally subject to high levels of foot and vehicular traffic. Overtime, this traffic begins the natural process of wear and tear. Additional factors that increase the speed of this wear include inclement weather, precipitation, freeze thaw cycles, and even sunlight. As a commercial property owner, it is vital to both the safety and aesthetics of your premises to properly maintain the concrete on your property. Construction professionals know how concrete building materials makes this task easier.


Curbs and Gutters:


Concrete curbs are generally classified as barrier curbs or mountable curbs. A barrier curb, or straight curb, is just that, it frames in the parking area to prevent vehicles from crossing.  A mountable curb, or roll curb, is made to allow the vehicle to cross over, for example, at the end of a drive. Either type are constructed in many different shapes, depending on regional preferences, purposes and construction costs. Often curbs are combined with an apron or gutter section. Concrete is the ideal material for curbs because it readily shapes to form the roll curb, the straight curb, and to allow for gutters and access ramps.




Sidewalks are essential to your property. They provide a safe surface for foot traffic and look great too. Well maintained sidewalks create an inviting environment for your visitors. On the other hand, poorly maintained walkways will discourage visitors and could even cause falls. Sidewalks are also beneficial for directing the flow of foot traffic. You can literally lead your visitors from their parking area right to your front door! Sidewalks also improve safety and property value as it will raise the community’s score for walkability.


Concrete is not only the perfect material for long lasting and functional sidewalks and walkways, it also offers endless design possibilities to add flare to your property. Embedding alternative materials such as stones or creating a pattern in your concrete with stamps or engraving offers interest and an artistic effect. Use walkways to frame water features on your property. Sidewalks that converge on one space creates a common seating area or courtyard. Adding shrubbery and landscaping along your walkways will improve your curb appeal. A winding walkway provides a break in the rigid strict straight lines of typical commercial properties and offers a twist that is visually interesting.


Federal Regulations 


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law in 1990 and updated with amendments in 2008. The ADA prohibits discrimination toward people with any kind of disabilities in facets of public life like schools, jobs, transportation, and any places open to the general public. This law guarantees that disabled persons have equal opportunities with the appropriate accommodations for transportation, employment, telecommunications, and government services.


Handicap Access Ramps:


Simply translated, this law requires that all business structures and parking lots must provide the accommodations needed to make it possible for those with disabilities to access your business. Among other the requirements set out by the ADA, your business must have designated parking spaces, wheelchair ramps, and anything else that constitutes reasonable accommodation for disabled visitors.


As a business, the ADA means you will need access ramps. Ramps allow wheelchairs access to easily transition from pavement to sidewalk, to the building. These ramps must measure a specific width and must have a specific gradient. Appropriate curbing, sidewalls, and handrails are also required. The landing pad at the top of the ramp also has specific guidelines. These complex regulations make it important to work with contractors that know the laws and has experience following them.


The ADA does not specify that a ramp be concrete, but it is the best choice for building handicap accessible ramps. The ADA is clear that water may not collect on the ramp. Also that the ramp must be slip resistant and permanently affixed. Concrete will repel water and will allow water runoff.


If your property is an older building, it may have been without a ramp and may not technically require one by law. However, adding a ramp is in your best interest. It is the right thing to do, allows more customers to access your business. It is safer for everyone, not just those in wheelchairs, so they are good for business. Adding a concrete ramp to a structure is easier during initial construction, however, it is possible to add one if the layout of the property allows for it.


Concrete Pads / Trash Corrals:


Metal dumpsters and trash trucks exert a large amount of downward force on the pavement. Some materials will develop dents and dimples such as asphalt. Concrete on the other hand will hold up to this stress. This is especially true when the concrete is reinforced with mesh or metal rebar creating a concrete steel matrix. Concrete will hold much longer than any other materials under the weight of trash dumpsters and heavy trash trucks.


Permanent property dumpsters are typically 2, 4, 6 and 8 cubic yard to manage waste from restaurants, retail stores, schools and more. Dimensions for these bins range between 3-6 feet wide and 3-7 feet tall. You want to be sure your concrete slab extends 10-15 feet in front of your dumpster so that all 4 wheels of the heavy trash truck are on the pad and the weight is distributed evenly.


Concrete is also the best material to hold up to the wear from the trash trucks. Trash trucks are notoriously leaky due to the heavy strain on their hydraulic system however concrete is not adversely affected by oil. The hydraulic fluid or other oil leaking from the trash truck softens asphalt, but it will not soften a concrete slab.


Many businesses use corrals to enclose dumpsters. This will make trash areas less of an eyesore on your property and also prevents unauthorized people from using your dumpster. A wood fence is an option for a corral but building with concrete has many benefits.


Concrete has excellent properties for use inside and outside your property! At SCS Construction, we have the experience you need for all of your concrete needs!  We are happy to help you plan your next project! 317-272-0129


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