The ease of installation and durability of concrete makes it attractive for use in at-home construction projects. The fact that it is possible to use colored concrete, and that concrete surfaces are easy to maintain, serves as a bonus that makes it irresistible. However, these are advantages that can only be enjoyed when the concrete is properly installed.
Since concrete slabs are usually at the center of any concrete work, making sure that you get slab-building right is imperative if you want to get the most out of concrete. The following are slab-building tips that will come in handy in helping to ensure that you end up with quality construction projects.
In order to avoid cracking problems in future, it is important to ensure that the base on which you lay your slab is uniform and stable. This doesn’t just involve making sure that the area is free of vegetation, rocks and dirt. It also involves compacting the underlying soil. This is necessary to eliminate any risks of slab settlement – a process that is to blame for construction headaches like concrete cracks.
Grooves are important because they usually help to prevent cracking and hence ensure the durability of the slab. However, cutting the grooves too deep can weaken the structural integrity of the slab. To help ensure that your concrete enjoys the crack-free ride that grooving provides without ruining its strength, it is important to ensure that the grooves don’t sink past a quarter of the thickness of the slab.
But for the concrete work to look great, finishing operations need to be done on a surface that doesn’t have bleed water.
It is therefore inadvisable for you to perform any finishing operations while the concrete is still wet. Trying to speed up the drying process by applying dry cement is also a bad idea. For you to get a durable concrete slab with an appealing finish, you will have to give the bleed water enough time to evaporate.
The freezing and thawing process that happens in winter is usually brutal to concrete surfaces. It usually makes them crack, thus significantly reducing the lifespan of concrete structures.
If the concrete surface that you are constructing will be exposed to harsh winter conditions, it is usually advisable that you go for air-entrained concrete. This concrete contains tiny bubbles that usually provide space for relieving the pressure that results when moisture expands during winter. Using this concrete will therefore go a long way in ensuring the durability of your project.
For assistance with your concrete construction project, contact a company like West St. Paul Sturgeon Construction Ltd.