Depending on your skills, general handiness and willingness to conduct a throughout research prior to the big project, your decision to pour a concrete slab on your own might end up being either a great way to save money and improve your backyard at a lower cost or a terrible time, money and material wasting mistake.
Concrete sidewalks, patios, playgrounds, driveways and other areas require proper pouring technique and curing conditions in order to last for a long time without cracking and crumbling. Follow these expert guidelines and avoid these major mistakes to achieve better results and learn basic rules of working with concrete solutions.
Concrete pouring dos and don’ts
- The type of the solution required for the job depending on the surface the concrete is going to be poured over, the estimated load it will be subject to during the active use and the conditions under which the solution will be placed. Thus, choose the mixture applicable to your project and consult with the shop assistant or a professional concrete contractor to choose the most suitable kind of concrete (high-strength, high-performance, stamped, self-consolidating, vacuum concrete, shotcrete, etc.) and calculate the amount of the dry mix required for the job.
- Powerful mixing tools, high-quality leveling, compacting and smoothing supplies, as well as protective gear for the workers are the must-haves for concrete placement.
- A well-drained subgrade installed as a base for any concrete slab will provide improved load-bearing features of the concrete surface, as well as increase its durability and weather resistance. Gravel base is essential for a crack-free concrete work unless the soil the concrete will be placed on already provides enough drainage (it has to be quite sandy for that matter).
- The quality of formwork is crucial for successful concrete pouring. Damaged, bent, dented or flimsy formwork that lacks proper stability and sturdy supports will ruin the final result and deteriorate the quality and durability of the slab.
- As fresh and damp concrete mixture pushes onto the sides of formwork, make sure to brace it prior to pouring to keep the sides straight and even.
- Doing a small test slab before pouring over a large area is always a great way to check the consistency of the mixture concrete grinding machine hire and test its performance in the given conditions.
- Try your best to use the concrete within 15-20 minutes after you mixed the dry solution with the water to avoid ugly cracks and lower quality of the job. However, it’s always nice to apply a finishing coat at a single go after the main layer was placed to achieve a smooth and even surface.
- As you need to act fast not to waste a ton of concrete mixture, check the quality of your preparation work, make sure that the forms are installed properly, check if they’re level and if their edges are sturdy enough to bear the load or wet concrete and start preparing the mixture only when everything is 110% ready for pouring.