We do a lot of work with concrete construction at Elston, so we’ve compiled 5 of our top concrete construction tips. These tips will make your construction easier and help prevent problems.
Properly prepare the ground first
Before you even pour the concrete, it is important to make sure the ground you’ll be pouring on is properly prepared. This is a concrete construction tip that often gets overlooked. Make sure that there is no vegetation in the ground you’ll be pouring on and that it is compact. You’ll also want to make sure that you have smoothed the ground and dug down a few inches. Most concrete slabs will sit a couple inches above the ground, and if you want to make it flush with other concrete, you’ll need to dig into the ground.
You can learn more about preparing the ground for concrete pouring here.
After you pour the concrete, you’ll want to make sure you properly seal it. If the water in the concrete mix evaporates before the concrete is fully cured, the concrete mix will weaken. And you don’t want weak concrete! In order to prevent this, seal the concrete. This will also help prevent cracks in the concrete as the temperature changes from warm to cold.
Invest in a cure and seal product and apply it per the manufacturer’s instructions to best protect your concrete.
If you don’t want to seal your concrete, make sure to spray the concrete with water daily until it has completely cured.
Use a volumetric mixer
This is one of our biggest concrete construction tips. We recommend using volumetric mixers when pouring concrete. These mixers, unlike traditional cement trucks, mix concrete on site. This will make your concrete stronger because it allows for the best ratio of concrete mix and water. Because you’re using fresh concrete, it will be more durable.
Using a volumetric mixer also helps save you money! When you mix on-site, you only have to worry about paying for the concrete you actually use.
Protect adjoining concrete
When pouring new concrete next to old concrete, it is important to protect the original concrete from the new. In order to do this, tape down the edges of nearby concrete, or put plastic sheeting across the concrete to protect it. The chute used to pour concrete often causes splashes, so make sure that anything nearby that you don’t want concrete on is covered and protected.
If you end up getting on concrete something that’s not supposed to, wait until it is completely dry to attempt removal.
Use rebar for added strength
Concrete on its own is a very strong material. But when using large amounts of concrete, it doesn’t hurt to add reinforcing rebar. In fact, using rebar can help keep your concrete strong by absorbing some of the tension stress. This means you don’t have to use as much concrete since it won’t need to be as thick to absorb all of the tension stress on its own.