Installing concrete is a laborious task – one often best left to the experts. Unfortunately, concrete can easily crack when subjected to tension, which is why it is important to create a reinforced foundation for stability. For maximum strength and durability, the following tips should be followed when pouring concrete.
Properly Excavate the Earth
Although “digging a hole” sounds simple, excavating earth properly in preparation for a solid concrete foundation is much more tedious. Since no two patches of earth are the same, levels of moisture and soil stability must be considered when planning your pour. An experienced contractor will be able to assess whether further measures need to be taken before installing concrete to prevent water damage and a sagging or cracked foundation.
Reinforce with Steel
Whether you are driving across it, placing a structure atop it or subjecting the concrete to fluctuating weather, outside tension can cause weaknesses and cracks in your concrete foundation. To lengthen the life of your concrete, it is key to use concrete reinforcing steel to help hold it together. The steel needs to be close to the middle of the slab and the concrete must completely surround the steel or else you will be wasting your time and money.
When to Pour
Surprisingly, the best time to pour concrete is on a cloudy, damp day at a mid-range temperature. Extremes are bad for concrete – it is best to avoid too windy, too hot, too cold, too wet or too dry weather. A professional contractor can often work around these conditions, if necessary, but may suggest waiting to start a project when the weather improves.
Apply a Curing Compound
The final finish when pouring concrete is the most important one! A curing compound needs to be added to prevent water from evaporating from the slab. If the concrete becomes “dehydrated,” the crystals that grow to help the concrete become stiff can stop growing prematurely, causing the concrete to be weaker and less reliable for the years of use ahead.
Consider Hiring a Professional
Ultimately, many choose to hire a contractor to perform the difficult task of properly pouring concrete. Selecting a professional with knowledge, expertise and experience can take the headache out of such a daunting project. R.G. Smith Company has installed concrete foundations on a wide array of construction projects all throughout Ohio that have stood up to extreme conditions and weight pressures. To discuss your project or to get a quote, call us today at 330-456-3415!