Concrete provides such functional design elements to many projects. Watching a contractor who knows how to correctly pour concrete makes it look easy. DIYers who want to add a patio to their backyard might be thinking that mixing and pouring some concrete will create a perfect start to summer fun.
Before you fire up the grill and invite friends to enjoy your new patio, continue reading for some of the things you should not do when pouring concrete.
Not Considering Tool Selection and Use
To correctly pour concrete, you need some specialized tools. Most local hardware and home improvement stores have the tools that you will need available for sale. It is important that you have the right tools for the job.
After purchasing tools to ensure that you correctly pour, level, and finish the concrete, you should learn the proper techniques to use the tools. Some home improvement stores offer classes, or you can watch videos online that will show you how to use the tools so that you have the finishes you want on your concrete.
Improper Preparation of Installation Area
Before you mix or pour your concrete, you need to prepare the area. Without providing for drainage, your concrete may not correctly form. You can also end up with concrete that cracks if you do not grade and add the right base of material before pouring the concrete. Leveling and compacting the soil should be completed before adding crushed stone or gravel.
Inadequate Creation of Frames
Concrete should not be poured without a frame. Wet concrete needs to be poured into an area where the soil has been prepared and then has been framed with concrete forms. The size, shape and depth of the finished space will be determined by the placement of your concrete forms. Be sure that the concrete is fully set and hardened before removing the forms.
If you are in an area that freezes during the winter, you should explore using rebar or wire mesh for additional reinforcement.
Not Planning for Weather Conditions
Weather is not only a consideration for the use of rebar, but it should also be factored into when you are pouring concrete. Too hot, too wet, or too cold can all cause problems with how the concrete cures and hardens. Check the forecast before making plans to pour concrete.
Incorrect Mixing of the Concrete
You need the right consistency of wet concrete for the best results. While concrete that is very wet is easier to handle, concrete that has been mixed with too much water can have issues cracking or shrinking after it dries. However, concrete with not enough water in the mixture cannot be spread correctly. A balance of materials is essential.
Not Fully Understanding the Job
Contacting a professional concrete contractor is one way to ensure that you will have beautiful and functional concrete. Stop by your local concrete contractor’s office for advice before embarking on your DIY project. You may find that after you purchase all the tools and materials, your local professional concrete contractor provides a better investment of your time and money.