Nowadays concrete is used for a lot of DIY construction projects, from making driveways to artistic sculptures. Honestly, it isn’t hard to see why it’s such a popular building material. Not only is it extremely strong, it’s also resistant to fire and weather, and eco-friendly as well.
One of the most important and hard-to-master steps of concrete work is pouring. If you don’t do it properly, you’ll end up with a slab that’s misshapen and has a rough-textured surface.
Hence, we’ve compiled some excellent tips to help ensure that you avoid serious mistakes while pouring for your next DIY concrete project.
Prepare the Sub-Base Properly
The sub-base refers to the surface on which the concrete mixture will rest and harden. Typically, hard material such as road base or open-grade stone is used as sub-base. However, you might be able to use soil as well, provided that it’s extremely sturdy and well-compacted.
Regardless of which material is used to fill the sub-base, you must first clear it off any other material that may disrupt the pouring process. This includes stuff like rocks, plants, and grass. Only raw earth must be left in the base before you fill it.
Build a Sturdy Form
A form is basically a container or a border which is used to confine the concrete slab into the desired shape. Typically, the form is built out of wood, with nails to secure the shape together. There are two important things to keep in mind when building a form:
- You must make sure that the corners are perfect right angles. Otherwise, the slab will be misshapen and the entire project may fall apart.
- Make sure the form has a tiny one-inch slope every ten feet. Otherwise, water might collect in the middle of the slab and ruin its aesthetic.
If you don’t want to go through all the trouble of building a form, then the best thing to do is get in touch with a trusted local contractor like SS Prime Form Concrete Formwork.
Use the Right Amount Of Water When Mixing
Concrete is a mixture of three things: cement, sand and gravel in a ratio of 1:2:4 respectively. Water is used as the mixing medium and you have to be careful with the amount you use. Typically, you have to use as little as possible. If you use too much water, the concrete will become more malleable but at the same time the resulting slab will be weak.
Spread the Concrete As You Pour It
If you can afford it, we highly recommend that you hire a truck to pour the concrete into the form. Not only does this make pouring easier but you’ll also have an easier time with the finishing process.
If you can’t hire a truck, then you’ll have to do the pouring manually using a wheelbarrow. In this case, it’s important that you enlist one or more people to spread out the concrete as you pour it. This can be done by using shovels or special concrete rakes.
These four tips address all of the major steps that lead up to the pouring of the concrete. If you adhere to them, you’ll end up with a flawless slab for your construction project.