The Concrete Truth…
Concrete is usually a job for the professionals and if you don’t think you’ve got the skills for it, you will definitely want to give Fix My House a call. We can refresh, repair, or remodel whatever concrete work you need done! However, if you are thinking you’ll be able to handle it yourself, then check out our tips on how to properly
Tip 1: Remove Vegetation
The first thing you will want to do when planning to lay concrete is remove any vegetation in the way of your new slab. Grass, soft soils, and rocks all need to come up and out so everything is level. It is best to lay concrete on undisturbed firm soil.
Tip 2: Build Forms
Setting forms is a crucial part of laying concrete the right way. You will want to set them so that the concrete slab surface slopes a minimum of ¼ inch per foot. This will provide adequate drainage.
Tip 3: Scratch Template
Typically a piece of 2-by-4 or 2-by-6 lumber is equal to the specified slab thickness with stakes attached to the top surface at each end or a string line across the top. These will ensure that your slab is a proper thickness.
Tip 4: Specify Cement Content
You will want to specify a minimum cementitious material content in relation to the maximum aggregate size. This will ensure the finishability of the fresh concrete and durability of the hardened concrete.
Tip 5: Control Water Additions
You should not use high-slump concrete. You will want to control water additions at the concrete truck. A good slump for most flatwork placed by hand is about five inches. For slabs struck off with mechanical equipment it’s about two to four inches. Even high slump caused by admixtures can be detrimental as the paste content of the upper portion of the slab can be greater than the lower portion which leads to increased warping.
Tip 6: Striking
Now you will want to strike off the surface while keeping a small amount of it in front of the straightedge so you can fill in low spots. This will prevent dips in the finished surface.
Tip 7: Bullfloat
Before the concrete begins to bleed, you should bullfloat the surface. Do not perform any finishing operation while bleed water is present on the surface. Do not dust dry it on the surface to soak up bleed water.
Tip 8: Groover
Use a groover to make contraction joints in the fresh concrete. The groove depth should be exactly ¼ of the slab thickness. One option is to saw the joints using an early-cut saw. Early jointing will help prevent cracks.
Tip 9: Steel Trowel
Concrete that contains more than 3 percent entrained air should not be steel troweled. Hard troweling of air-entrained concrete could cause surface deterioration.
Tip 10: Curing
You should always begin curing the concrete immediately after completion.
If your answer is yes, then get to work on your brand new slab. If your answer is no, well it’s time to contact the concrete experts. Fix My House is here for you! Just give us a call or visit our Contact page and we will take care of your needs.