STEP 1: SITE PREPARATION & PLANNING
- Sub grade must be well compacted and free of standing water
- Forms must be secure and capable of withstanding load pressure of fresh concrete
- Arrange enough help to place and finish concrete. Start with a minimum of two (2) people for a 2 cubic yard pour. Add one (1) person for each additional cubic yard of concrete. If you are using wheelbarrows to move the concrete from the truck to the forms, add an additional person.
- Assign specific responsibilities to helpers before concrete arrives (I.e. who screeds, bull floats, washes tools, etc.)
- Provide acceptable access for delivery:
- Pathway must be of stable soil (support of up to 80,000 pounds)
- Pathway must be at least ten (10) feet wide and fourteen (14) feet high
- Avoid bringing trucks over curbs, sidewalks, or driveways.
- The discharge chutes can reach approximately twelve (12) feet
- Order concrete strength (PSI) appropriate for what is to be used for. ALL EXTERIOR CONCRETE FLATWORK NEEDS TO BE AT LEAST 4000 psi.
- Determine what type of control joints will be used to control cracking; hand tooled or saw cut TIPS:
- Concrete used for residential applications should be at least four (4) inches thick
- Placement of control joints should be determined in the planning step not after concrete placement.
- Control joints should be placed no more than 24-36 times the thickness of the slab (e.g. 4” thick slab, spacing no greater than 8’ to 12’) ACTUAL SPACING MAY BE SHORTER DEPENDING ON SLAB WIDTH!
- Sections should be square but the length never more than 1 ½ times the width (e.g. 4’ wide slab should have a joint no further than 6’ spacing)
- The joint depth should be at least ¼ the thickness of the concrete (e.g. 4” thick slab, joint 1” deep)
- Avoid creating triangles or odd shaped panels when placing joint.
STEP 2: PLACEMENT
- Concrete must be discharged as close to final position as possible (eliminate “dragging” concrete long distances. DO NOT USE A GARDEN RAKE TO PULL OR PLACE CONCRETE)
- Place concrete at a 4” to 5” slump. AVOID ADDING EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF WATER. THIS WILL ONLY DAMAGE THE QUALITY OF THE CONCRETE!
- Concrete must be discharged in a timely manner upon arriving to the job site. If you are using wheelbarrows to move the concrete from the truck to the forms, make sure you have enough help to finish the project in a timely manner.
- During the placement process, follow these easy steps:
- Strike off or “screed” the concrete to the proper elevation or form height with a wood or magnesium straight edge
- Immediately after striking off and before bleed water appears, the concrete must be bull floated and the edges formed with an edger.
- After bull floating, no finishing practices must take place until bleed water has completely evaporated.
- Concrete will be glossy when bleed water is present and will dull when it evaporates.
STEP 3: FINISHING
Finishing is the process of texturing the concrete. If you are using hand-tooled control joints, these must be completed prior to final texturing. If you are saw cutting joints they should be done after final texturing but within 24 hours of placement. The following textures may be applied:
- A broom or brush finish is recommended for exterior applications that require maximum skid resistance such as; sidewalks and driveways. To achieve a broom finish; simply push or pull the concrete broom across the concrete when it reaches the desired consistency; timing is a judgment call based on desired depth of broom texture. NEVER FINISH EXTERIOR CONCRETE WITH A STEEL TROWEL!
- A hard trowel finish is recommended for interior applications that require a non-porous surface such as basement floors and garage floors. To achieve a hard trowel finish the concrete must be finished with a power trowel.
- For decorative or architectural finishes we recommend that you hire a qualified concrete contractor that specializes in decorative concrete.
STEP 4: CURING
Curing is the most important step in concrete placement, yet is typically the most neglected. To ensure that concrete reaches its maximum designed strength and durability, it must be properly cured. This process must begin as soon as the concrete will accept the process without damage to the surface. There are two methods for curing concrete:
- Wet Curing is the process of keeping the concrete surface saturated. A garden sprinkler is typically used for this type of curing. Continuous wet curing for 7 days is the preferable method. Do Not allow the concrete to dry out during this time period. If you are not able to wet cure then consider a curing compound.
- Curing Compound is a chemical that seals in the moisture. They are typically applied with a sprayer but can also be rolled on with a paint roller. Check with our supply division as to the appropriate material to use.
HOW TO PLACE AN ORDER
Just in case you are wondering what information Construction Service will need to provide you with your concrete we’ve provided a list of needed information. For 60 years we have been providing concrete to homeowners and start up contractors so we have vast experience in helping those new to concrete. Our experienced staff can help you with any questions you may have about your project. Give Construction Service a call in your respective area (See location map) and supply us with the information listed.
- Your name
- Date of Delivery
- Time of Delivery
- Delivery Address or Intersection
- Phone Number
- Payment Method (credit card – MasterCard or Visa)
- In Service Use (driveway, sidewalk, patio, etc)
- Quantity in Cubic Yards (check out our concrete calculator)
- Mix Description (Strength requirement, preferred aggregate size, fibers?)