A concrete slab is very useful as it supports not just human footfall but furniture, vehicles and many other items. If you need to pour concrete slab and want to do it fast, a prior experience with concrete is a must. So, if you are a beginner, start small with a sidewalk or a small patch before you pour concrete slab. Once you know how concrete works, you can take up a big project like pouring concrete slab. So, if you are thinking about saving money by trying to DIY pour concrete slab, here is your quick reference guide.
Prepare before you pour slab
You need to have a clear and level ground before starting to pour concrete slab. For this, you can either hire an excavator or do the work yourself. When the ground is clear and level start hop on to the second step to pour slab.
Now, firstly, make sure about your local laws regarding the permit needed to build and how close to build to the road. Once, this is clear you can start with the work of pouring concrete slab. Get a builder’s level or a line level and string to see the slope of your land. It is wise to pour concrete slab on a slope side than trying to level the whole land. You can also flatten the slope and use a retaining wall to hold back the soil.
Make frames for pouring concrete slab
Once you have leveled off the ground, it is time to make wooden frames in which you will pour concrete slab. Use straight form boards with thickened edges. If the boards are not long enough to cover your land, nail two or three boards together to create a long form board. Now, once the form boards are prepared, brace the forms so that the concrete does not push through them. This way, you can make sure that you get straight edges.
Now, before you pour concrete slab, fit the frame on the three sides, leaving the fourth open till you get all the material inside.
To get a concrete slab that doesn’t crack, there has to be a good drainage system underneath. For this, check the kind of soil in your land. A sandy soil is a perfect fit and doesn’t require much tampering. However, if there is clay or other kind of soil, you should layer the land with gravel. Now you are ready to pour concrete slab.
Use steel bars to provide reinforcement
Now, it’s time to provide added strength to the forms, since the concrete will need to be put in place with a strong boundary. You can use rebar and connect it with metal wires. Make sure that this reinforcement is equally distributed on all the four sides of the forms.
Once the forms are fitted in place, prepare for a concrete truck. Plan everything before the truck arrives. Make sure that you know the exact route of the truck and where will it start to pour concrete slab.
Have a couple of wheelbarrows and some strong hands with you as the work is going to be hard. As soon as the truck starts to pour concrete slab, make sure that you know what needs to be done and the work is properly distributed.
Start pouring concrete slab from the farthest end of the truck. Make sure that the concrete is nearby as it cannot be shoved too far. As the process of pouring concrete slab begins, level the slab with a rake.
Now, depending on the weather, you can start to smoothen the concrete with a floater or trowel. Avoid dry and windy days as the concrete would harden quickly, leaving you with no option but settle for a rough finish. On a cold day you can easily wait an hour or more after you pour concrete slab.
Once the slab is smoothened, wait overnight before removing the board. Keep the concrete well hydrated, so that it can attain its complete strength. This way, you have successfully learned how to pour concrete slab like a pro!