Pouring concrete is not only one of the most important tasks in construction but also a precarious one. Improperly mixed design or improper pouring technics can compromise your concrete work’s strength, integrity, and durability. It can also create a hazard for construction workers involved in the project. So, how do you avoid such problems? By being mindful of the common pitfalls of concrete pouring.
So, you must hire a professional concrete company that knows what they are doing for your project.
Here are the top 7 mistakes that concrete contractors warn you to avoid when pouring concrete:
1 - Improperly Bached Concrete
The correct concrete-to-water ratio is critical for the strength of your concrete slab. If it’s too dry, it will not consolidate properly. If it's too wet, it will not finish properly or meet its intended strength. Get the ratio right, which, for most projects, is about 0.5. However, it can vary from one project type to another.
2 - Not Using Fibers
Concrete is a brittle material and lacks tensile strength. That’s why cracks appear in concrete structures over time. Concrete companies use rebar, wire mesh, and artificial fibers small and large to prevent concrete from cracking. The fibers allow concrete to harden around them and form a stronger bond that lasts decades without cracking. Most DIYers are unaware of this, so their projects often suffer from cracks.
3 - Neglecting Impact on Existing Structures
Construction projects are messy. They leave debris everywhere. That’s why professional contractors who clean up after themselves win good reviews from their customers. But, sometimes, the damage is more than just dirt and debris. It can be deeper. Scratches, marks, and even cracks appear on existing surfaces, wherever you set up pumps, hoses, and other concrete pumping equipment.
Proper precautions, like Pumper Caddy, can protect surfaces from easily avoidable damages that are only too common with concrete construction.
4 - Improperly Installed Forms
Forms give shape to poured concrete while it is wet. So, accuracy is key to creating perfectly-shaped concrete work.
Also, make that the forms can withstand the concrete you pour into them. Concrete is a heavy material that creates a lot of pressure. The taller your forms, the more concrete they hold; therefore, they must be stronger.
5 - Pouring Too Thin
You’d be surprised how many people make this obvious mistake. The concrete slab you create is only as strong as it is thick. So, it must be sufficiently thick to withstand the loads it should bear routinely. As a rule of thumb, never pour concrete thinner than four inches.
6 - Waiting Too Long To Level
Concrete hardens quickly. If you wait too long, you will find it challenging to level the concrete. Fortunately, knowing when it’s time to level is easy. When the water has disappeared from the surface of the poured concrete, it’s time to level it.
7 - Using Old Cement
A common mistake by DIYers, using old cement is a surefire way to ruin your project. Using Portland cement older than a year can compromise the strength of your concrete work. As you know, concrete hardens when it comes in contact with water. So, the longer it is stored, the higher its chances of absorbing moisture or coming in contact with water. You can look for signs of damage in lumps. If the cement is lumpy – new or old – don’t use it. Period.
Avoid these common mistakes when pouring concrete and enjoy a strong, durable concrete project.