First and foremost, it is critical to understand that a concrete pour is different and depends on what the intended use for the concrete slab will be. On a residential property, the foot traffic is minimal, and therefore, the concrete mix need not be industrial grade and the sub-reinforcement doesn’t have to have layers upon layers of rebar. Manufacturers do a decent job of giving you information about their products and their intended use. But, nothing beats doing a little more in-depth research and looking up reviews for that product.
Another important step to consider when pouring concrete is ensuring that the targeted soil upon where the concrete is to be poured must be compact and well-drained. If neither of these conditions is met you run the risk of the concrete floor cracking, flexing, dis-leveling and overall giving you a subpar concrete slab.
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Step-by-step Process of Preparing the floor for a pour
- Determine the height of the concrete slab and add one to two inches on top for subfloor requirements.
- Make sure you have calculated for the appropriate concrete mix, know the correct subfloor requirements, understand the water to cement ratio and have accounted for the density of the foot traffic that is to use this floor. Nothing better than consulting with a seasoned concrete expert that can walk you through the steps or do the job themselves.
- Smooth out the target floor with a rake and other tools. Fill holes where needed and smooth out. Start tamping the ground with either a hand tamper or a mechanical one. Your job size will determine what tamper is best to use. Tamp until the floor is nice and compact. You should barely be able to see footprints when you walk on the surface.
- Add 1.5 to 2 inches of gravel and repeat the process of tamping.
- Install control joints and reinforcement material as needed based on scope of work
- Pour the slab. It is important to know how much manpower you’ll need before the job is started to ensure you can adequately time each process and the concrete, itself, does not dry out on you and leave you with a concrete mess.
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