4′ Level, 2′ Level
Concrete Spreader Rake
50′ Measuring Tape
Hammer & Nails
6 mil Plastic
3/4″ Clean Gravel
Vibratory Plate Compactor
Jointer & Edger
2″x4″ or 2″x6″ Wood Boards
Layout and Preparations:
Prior to beginning “Call 811 Before You Dig,” to locate any underground utilities that may interfere with your project and make appropriate provisions.
Layout your project using grade stakes and string line. During excavation it is recommend to overdig the area. The overdig gives you room to work with your form setup and continued support of your base beyond the edge of your slab. The overdig should be equivalent to the depth of your excavation. The subgrade should be fairly level and compacted for a firm support prior to placing gravel base.
Forms should be pitched away from foundations at a rate of 1/8″ or 1/4″ per foot to allow proper drainage. Properly secure forms. When placing concrete it will add pressure and forms can bow if not adequately secured with reinforcing stakes.
Once your forms are setup recheck measurements to determine the amount of concrete for ordering – see our concrete calculator for assistance.
The type and amount of reinforcement will vary depending on the project. Fiber reinforcement offers 3 dimensional reinforcement and comes reinforced to the jobsite streamlining the process. Contact your local Concrete Supply representative for guidance.
Proper planning and timing is critical. Under ideal conditions concrete should be placed and finished in about 1-1/2 hour (check with your local Concrete Supply representative for advice). A trucks ability to reach the placement area will move the process along quicker otherwise multiple wheelbarrows and manpower will be needed. It’s a good practice to wet down your forms and base material prior to concrete placement to prevent materials from absorbing water from the concrete. Area should be filled just above forms. Then level off with a screed that can stretch across forms moving forward in a sawing motion. Next, use a bull float to fill any rough voids left from screeding.
Finishing and Jointing:
Excess bleed water will work its way to the surface. Allow time for it to dissapate/evaporate from surface before proceeding to final finish. Using the magnesium float or a power scread will provide a final smoothing and “cream” of the concrete to the surface for a level, durable finish.
Create a nice edge with your edging tool. This will create a level and durable edge while improving the concrete’s appearance. For a non-slip surface a broom finish can be achieved.
Use a medium stiff or stiff bristle and pull in one direction. Make sure to overlap to continue the look. Control joints are created with a jointer. Spacing for control joints are 24 to 36 times the depth of concrete. Depth of the joints are 25% of the thickness (example: 4″ x 25% = 1″).
Proper curing can limit issues with the slab and may take several weeks to fully cure. Using the plastic pull tight removing wrinkles and secure edges with weight or staple to edge of forms. Once begun keep foot traffic off for 24 hours, light vehicles and cars for atleast 2 weeks.