Tips To Install Your Next Concrete Slab

Posted on: 28 May 2020

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Improving your property with concrete is a great way to make your yard and landscaping look more uniform and cared for, and it also boosts the use of your property to keep down dust and mud. But before you can add in concrete as a hardscaping to your yard, there are some tips you should consider. Here are some recommendations and tips to help your next concrete installation job go more successfully.

Prepare the Site

The area on your property where you want to install a concrete pad, whether for a driveway, parking pad, or a patio, needs to be properly prepared before you pour. And this process starts with the soil already present in your yard. Consider the quality of the soil to see if it is loamy and clay-filled or sandy and loose, as this will make a big difference in the durability of your concrete. 

Clay soil needs to be removed, and in its place you will need to add in sand or a layer of compressed angular gravel. This layer of sand or gravel will provide drainage for the foundation and prevent erosion or moisture saturation, which can lead to concrete cracking. Depending on the size of the slab, your gravel layer may need to be from six to eight inches in depth.

Calculate Your Concrete Needs

Once you have prepared the concrete site, you will need to determine how much concrete you will need for the project. It is important that you do the project in one combined concrete mixture to prevent inconsistencies between various separate concrete batches. For example, if you mix up your own small batches of concrete mix, one mixture might contain slightly more concrete mix than water or vice versa, resulting in the concrete not having its full strength.

If you are planning a large concrete job, it can be beneficial to order a ready mix concrete for the job. The ready mix concrete will be mixed according to the yardage for your concrete frames and will reduce the amount of concrete that is left over and needs to be disposed of. Your concrete professional can help you calculate your concrete order based on the dimensions of the slab and the thickness you desire the finished slab to be. 

Mix Up Your Own Concrete

If you choose to mix up your own concrete, just be sure you do so to get a thorough consistency without any dry chunks or too much water in the mixture. Dry concrete mixed in the bags can be mixed in your wheelbarrow with a shovel or rake or in a portable mixer right in your yard and at your work site. Work the concrete and water together until it is the consistency of runny oatmeal.