You may think that there is not much to laying concrete, but it is not as simple as it looks. There is a lot of preparation needed before a drop of concrete is poured. When you think of the whole process, it includes: a mix of design, quantity decisions, site preparation, acquiring tools, checking weather forecasts, placement and curing. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when pouring concrete:
- Misjudge the amount needed
A significant mistake that is often made is underestimating the thickness of the concrete that’s required. It matters whether the concrete is for decoration or display only, will be non-load bearing or load-bearing. For everything else, the dimensions are important, such as for floors, driveways, foundations and supports. The thickness required depends on the weight that it is needed to support. Concrete that’s too thin for the purpose will become cracked. Concrete dries quickly, leaving little time for mistakes or changes so always order more than you think you need. Do not rely on exact measurements or try to be economical.
- Believe that all concrete is the same
There are more concrete varieties than you first imagine and different uses require different mix designs. As well as having three basic types, there are also admixtures that provide different features to concrete, like extra strength and a wider range of applications. The elements added to the concrete also affect the curing time too.
- Not having the right tools
Once the concrete is poured, there is a small window of opportunity where it can be worked on before drying. Not having the correct tools to hand can ruin a project, which leads to poor quality laying, wasting money and effort. Preparation is essential as there won’t be time for a quick trip to the local DIY store or the testing of new tools you’ve never used before. Some of the tools required include a wheelbarrow, concrete trowel, screed board and sweep. A good idea is to let a professional take of it for you. For Concrete Cheltenham, visit a site like https://www.monstermixconcrete.co.uk/
- Lack of preparation
Rushing to pour concrete before the site is fully ready is another common mistake. Your site needs to be level, compacted and dried. The place may require the elimination of the top soil and roots before putting a thick layer of gravel on top to help compact the soil. Gravel is used to prevent the concrete from shifting and also help with the draining water. Useful additional drainage channels to prevent water under the concrete from causing the soil to swell and crack the concrete.
- Pouring concrete in the wrong weather conditions
Optimal time for pouring concrete is a warm and dry day. It is not always easy to wait for one of these in the UK! This is important because the temperature of the concrete during the first two days determines whether the full potential of the concrete’s strength is reached or not. If frozen, it weakens it greatly. Too hot and the water evaporates too quickly. Curing concrete means it must remain wet for a few days, so if it gets too hot, you may want to place sprinklers on it.