Published on 8/27/2017
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Here's Ten "Don't Do's" when it comes to pouring and finishing concrete
Inadequate concrete finishing can lead to surface imperfections
Cover Photo Don Mason/GettyImages
There are plenty of things you shouldn't do when pouring and finishing your concrete slab.
Photo Source ; Thinkstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Here's ten that top of the list of "Don't do's" when it comes to pouring and finishing concrete :
1. Don't forget to prepare and wet down your sub base. Providing moisture to your sub base ensures the fresh concrete can set appropriately without the water being sucked into an otherwise hot and dry sub base
2. Don't forget to let the batch plant know how far apart you need the mixer trucks. You may end up with an excessive waiting time bill or at worse long gaps and potential cold joints if you forget this phone call. Remember to space your trucks according to your capabilities on the day. And ensure when talking you order the right concrete for your specifications. If in doubt order higher strength concrete, it must be fit for purpose.
3. Don't add too much water on site. Yes concrete requires water to hydrate, though too much water reduces the strength of your concrete and can lead to weak points, cracking and surface imperfections
4. Don't forget to vibrate your concrete. Vibrating concrete brings the entrapped air bubbles to the surface where they escape. Your concrete then moves around easily and doesn't shrink as much when hardening
Concrete Vibrator. Annalien Swanepoel / Getty Images
5. Don't get on your concrete too early. Give your concrete some time, as the bleed water and air need to evaporate from the surface before you bring the second float out. Sealing your concrete prematurely traps rising bleed water and air beneath the top surface creating weak or soft zones directly beneath the slab’s surface. Mixing bleed water into the surface or trapping bleed water and air directly beneath the surface typically results in premature surface wear and scaling
6. Don't overwork your concrete. It's a fine line we know but excessive trowelling and overworking of your surface when finishing can lead to surface imperfections such as scaling. At worst overworking the surface can significantly reduce or even destroy the air-entrainment along the surface of the slab and result in premature surface wear
7. Don't forget to keep your concrete slab's surface protected. Keep your surface moist and protected through the application of water and aliphatic alcohol, particularly during hot and windy conditions and in times of low relative humidity. When surface moisture evaporates faster than it can be replaced by rising bleed water, concrete shrinkage at the surface exceeds the shrinkage of the underlying concrete resulting in surface tears or cracks. Plastic shrinkage cracking, crusting and mortar flaking can all appear when you forget to keep your concrete surface protected
Concrete needs to be cured. Photo Don Mason/GettyImages
8. Don't forget to cut your concrete within 24 hours. Concrete cracks where it wants to crack when hardened. It's important to cut your concrete earlier rather than later, and place your concrete joints where you want to place them. Otherwise your concrete may crack unintentionally in all those unwanted places
9. Don't forget to think about sealing your concrete. Concrete is exposed to all the elements, including hot and cold weather, wind, rain and traffic. Sealing not only protects the concrete surface from these elements, it can in fact make your concrete look good too
10. Don't take on more than you can handle. Its great to get it all over and done with in the same day, but remember not to bite off more than you can chew. Concrete is an unforgiving material and when you take on too much and as a result get on your concrete too late, the concrete may have become too stiff, resulting in poorly textured concrete
Photo Source ; Jonathan Simcoe on Unsplash
Rather than do it all yourself you might like to ask more questions. Here at concrete broker you can choose from our list of experienced concreter's by placing concreter in the search bar of our homepage. Professional concreters pour and finish concrete slabs everyday and are knowledgeable, helpful and understanding of all your concreting requirements. We have concrete cutters, plants and sealer providers available as well for you to search. Remember, if you can't find what it is you are looking for, simply email us. We're only too happy to assist.
Related Articles :
Beware the Cold Joint: https://www.concretebroker.com.au/Blog/View/163
Did you know there's a dozen things to consider before organising a concrete pour? : https://www.concretebroker.com.au/Blog/View/20
Why did my concrete crack? : https://www.concretebroker.com.au/Blog/View/161
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Tags: aliphatic alcohol batch plant cold joint concrete cracking concrete cutter concrete finish concrete finishing concrete pour concrete sealing concreter curing concrete DIY finishing concrete pouring concrete vibration
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