Whether you’re an amateur or highly experienced construction worker, the concreting process requires the same amount of preparation, knowledge of best practices and discipline. From mixing to pouring to curing, you should use acceptable techniques if you want to end up strong concrete slabs that’ll last for decades to come.
So before you start working with concrete again, we highly recommend that you take the time and read the following tips:
Have the Right Tools with You
First of all, working with concrete is hazardous to your health. It can cause painful skin and eye irritations and even cause respiratory problems if you inhale too much of the dust. Therefore, it’s absolutely vital that you wear the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including a mask, protective eyewear and tall rubber boots.
In addition to PPE, you need the right tools for mixing, pouring and curing concrete. These include:
- Trowel for finishing
- Broom for dragging the surface
- Hammer and nails
- Stakes for form reinforcement
- Screed boards
Furthermore, if you need to reinforce all of your concrete slabs with rebar, we highly recommend that you look into rebar benders made in Italy. While it does require a little bit of an investment, you’ll ultimately be able to improve the cost-efficiency of projects over the long run.
Weather is an important factor when you’re working with concrete. You absolutely do not want to pour or mix concrete outdoors during rainy days. Concrete is comprised of water, aggregate and cement in precise ratios. If rain pours on the mixture, it will absorb more water, which ultimately results in weaker concrete slabs.
Rain isn’t something that’s a 100% predictable. Therefore, we recommend that you keep some plastic covers handy in order to protect the mixture.
Another thing you have to plan for is concrete forming. It’s important to pitch the slabs at an angle in order to prevent water from forming puddles on top of it. In addition, we recommend reinforcing the forms with stakes so that it doesn’t have to deal with too much pressure from the concrete.
Keep in mind the Speed of pouring
It’s important to keep up the pace during pouring as concrete can dry quickly, depending on the weather conditions. If you want consistency in strength throughout the concrete slab, then it’s best to pour at a fast and uniform speed.
Hence, the best way to go about it is to use a concrete truck. Make sure the truck is backed as close as possible to the formwork and that you have a couple of shovel-equipped hands to help the concrete into place. The alternative is to carry the concrete mixture in a wheelbarrow, which slow down the pace significantly as multiple trips will be required.
Don’t neglect to Cure
Curing is one of the most neglected steps when it comes to working with curing. The proper cure and seal compound can keep your concrete slab healthy while it hardens. Otherwise, you may end up with a cracked or wrinkled surface and an overall weaker slab.
And there you have it – four construction tips to keep in mind when you’re a concrete worker!