Pouring concrete may seem like one of the easier parts of a project, but it’s more complex than many people believe. Your construction crew needs to understand every step of the pouring process, from selecting the right concrete forms for sale to understanding the weather and how it affects concrete.
Understanding the common mistakes people often make when pouring concrete will help you and your team avoid making them.
1. Failing to Correctly Calculate the Amount of Concrete Needed
Many of those new to pouring concrete measure only the length and width of the space and use that information to determine how much concrete they need. However, they fail to remember that concrete also has depth.
The concrete slab needs to be at least four inches deep for a sidewalk and as deep as 12 inches if the space will serve as a loading dock. Leaving out this important measurement often results in having far less concrete than needed.
The only time it may not be an issue is if you’re pouring decorative concrete that doesn’t need to be much more than surface deep.
2. Failing to Understand the Different Types of Concrete
While all concrete is created by mixing aggregates, water, and cement, some people don’t realize that there are actually five different types of cement. The type used can greatly affect your project.
Type 1, which is for general purposes, is fine for most buildings, pavement, and other common projects. However, if you’re on a tight deadline, Type 3 cement may be the better option since it’s designed for rapid construction.
Make certain to understand the differences between the types of concrete before beginning a project.
3. Failing to Prepare the Site Correctly
While using the right type of cement and having the right amount of concrete is important, to successfully complete the project, you also have to make certain that the site is prepared correctly.
If it’s not level or doesn’t have the correct grade to it, it could cause water to run down towards a building instead of away from it. It could also weaken the concrete, leading to cracks and requiring it to be replaced more quickly.
4. Failing to Take the Weather into Account
Pouring concrete on a nice day is very different from pouring it in any other weather, especially if there’s going to be any type of precipitation or if it’s going to get very cold.
If concrete freezes within 48 hours of being poured, it can be much weaker than it should be. If you have to pour concrete in cold temperatures, always use insulation blankets or boards to prevent this.
During extremely hot weather, you’ll actually need to use sprinklers to keep the water in the concrete from evaporating too quickly. Always check the weather and understand how it can affect your concrete before pouring.
5. Failing to Understand the Need for Concrete Forms
Concrete forms create a frame or container for your concrete. Without them, it would be impossible to pour a slab because the concrete would simply spread everywhere in its liquid state.
Forms must tightly connect to keep the concrete from seeping out at the joints, and they must be strong enough to keep it in place while it dries. Using the wrong forms can result in a slab that isn’t even on the sides.
You also must coat the forms with a type of petroleum oil to make it easier to remove the forms after the concrete has set.
We Can Help
If you’re not sure what forms you need, Forming America is here to help. We offer a wide variety of forms for sale or rent. Contact us today to discuss your project and the forms you need.