Concrete installation can be a tedious task since every concrete pour is unique. When pouring concrete, many factors are taken into consideration. It can be the size, shape or form, design and finish, and whatever intricacy a certain project calls for. This easy five-way guide will provide insights on how to properly and successfully install concrete.
Related: Why Choose Concrete
Prepping the Area
One of the factors to be considered with the success of such a project lies with proper preparation. The site must be prepped before concrete can be poured to avoid heaving. Heaving causes the middle of the slab to appear higher than its edges due to the surface being pushed up by the expanding soil beneath.
To do so, start by having a clean and smooth subgrade. The subgrade is the compacted native soil and it is recommended to clean the area of all grass, rocks, trees, shrubs, and old concrete with hand tools on minor jobs, revealing bare dirt. The procedure can be sped up by using earth-moving equipment, especially for a large project.
On top of the subgrade is the subbase. This is the layer intended to be filled in with gravel to add stability to the subgrade. The base is now ready upon ensuring both subgrade and subbase are leveled, compacted, and stable.
Once the base is prepared, it is now time to set the forms. This can be done by using wood forms with either metal or wood stakes. The forms are aligned with the edge of the entire intended area for concrete. For easy removal of the forms, use screws or special nails in securing them to the stakes. Make sure that the forms are in good condition, sloped or graded properly for drainage, and have clean corners where they meet each other or other structures.
It is now time to pour the concrete after the final forms are in place. If such a project is using bagged concrete, it is highly recommended to follow the package instructions carefully. The stability and strength of the concrete are critical to this mixing process. On small projects, a wheelbarrow and shovel can be used in laying tiny slabs, however, larger projects call for using a concrete mixer to speed up the process.
Before pouring the concrete mix, it is ideal to wet the base first. Once the base is damp, pour the concrete mix. Let the concrete settle until the surface water evaporates. Then, using a concrete hand float, smooth and compact the surface of the slab. To avoid air pockets and create a uniform surface, smooth and move the concrete as it is poured.
Concrete finishing is a technique for making a smooth, long-lasting surface out of concrete. Timing is vital while completing concrete and it is recommended to pay strict attention to the often leads to the slab being weak, fragile, and damaged.
First, screed the top of the concrete with a broad metal or wood plank. Screeding aids in concrete compaction and consolidation, as well as the smoothing and leveling process. Then, using a float, compact the concrete even more and even out any high or low spots, and create a smooth surface. Large bull floats are better for working large areas, while small hand-held floats are best for edges and precise work. Work control joints and edges into the concrete with appropriate hand tools at the same time.
No additional finishing may be required if the concrete will be given a rough brush finish. A steel trowel finish is required if the concrete will be smooth toweled or stamped. Allow the concrete to set for a few minutes until it begins to harden up. Use a steel trowel to achieve a smooth, hard, and consistent finish once the concrete is firm. Steel troweling can be done with tools on long poles known as “fresnos” or “funny trowels,” or by “skating” around the surface on kneeboards, troweling small areas at a time.
The final finish on the concrete can be applied once all of the troweling (float or steel) has been completed. The “broom finish” is the most basic sort of finish and a particular broom is used to create a rough-textured surface on the concrete in such cases.
After finishing, the process called curing allows the concrete to dry and achieve its full strength. It is advisable to wait for 48 hours for the concrete to cure. During this time, keep the slab wet by spraying it with water and covering it with plastic. After 28 days, the concrete’s full strength is usually achieved.
Concrete remains one of the affordable and durable materials for construction projects. If proper steps are taken starting placing up to curing, this guarantees a concrete that may last a lifetime. The key to lasting concrete lies not only in having a better understanding of concrete alone but also in choosing the right man to do it. For all concrete pouring concerns or anything relating to concrete, Quality Concrete Bend Oregon is willing to help and provide the right solutions. You can call us at 541-283-0954. For lasting concrete, only trust Quality Concrete Bend Oregon.