Once you get enough confidence doing DIY jobs, you may move onto a project which requires pouring out concrete slabs.
For someone who’s never tried this before, this might sound fairly simple.
However, there are a number of things that can go wrong during the process.
Messing up a job that involves concrete is an extremely frustrating experience, so make sure you get it right! Here are some common mistakes to avoid.
First of all, using an improper mix. To serve its purpose, concrete needs to be mixed properly. If you get the level of concrete or water even a little wrong, it won’t cure properly. Whenever you buy a bag of concrete, there’ll be a guide to help you mix it on the back. Make sure you follow this as accurately as possible.
You should also be aware that the elevation of the surface, and factors like humidity can have an adverse effect on the way your concrete cures. One of the main benefits of pre-mixed concrete is that you won’t have a chance of getting the ratios wrong. If you don’t trust yourself, this is certainly something to consider.
Another common mistake is neglecting reinforcement. I know, concrete may strike you as one of those things that doesn’t need reinforcing. While it’s fairly strong, it lacks tensile strength to a degree. I’m sure you can remember a concrete slab you’ve seen with a fissure splitting it down the middle. If you want to avoid this in the coming years, then you need to take steps to reinforce your concrete.
There are many materials you can add to the mix in order to do this. Glass, metal and plastic fibres are all widely used to reinforce concrete. When the concrete hardens around these fibres, it creates much stronger bonds. Alternatively, you can use steel mesh in the area where you’re pouring. Whatever you use, be sure to reinforce your concrete.
Finally, not leaving enough time for it to cure. This mistake has been a staple of all kinds of slapstick over the years. However, if you don’t leave your concrete for long enough, it won’t be a laughing matter! After pouring it out, concrete will harden within two days. However, this doesn’t mean it’s ready to use. You should give it a full week to cure before you walk on it, paint it or place anything on it. It will probably be safe beforehand, but don’t risk it. Remember too that the curing time can be affected by the weather.
If you live in a particularly hot area, then you shouldn’t need to worry. However, if there’s the chance of rain, it’s a good idea to cover all your concrete with tarp. Having a cordoned-off area in your garden may be a hassle. However, a pristine concreting job is well worth it.
Avoid these mistakes, and your concreting job should go off without a hitch. Take your time with each individual phase, and use all the resources available to check you’re doing it right.
Image source: Wikimedia
If you want something done, do it yourself; other wise it’ll never get done. Learn to do it if you don’t know and never despair until you finish what has to be done.