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An inexpensive concrete slab in your backyard can be ideal for projects such as a shed base or garden path. Ready-mixed concrete can be delivered pre-mixed, while you can also mix your own using bags of cement mix and water.
Tools like a screed to level and bull float to eliminate ridges are vital tools for creating a clean and polished look on any surface. Prior to beginning any excavation work, contact Dig Safe so they can inspect for utility lines before undertaking such tasks.
Concrete slabs Melbourne provide an excellent means of providing a stable base for patios or other outdoor structures, but the process can be time consuming and labor intensive, not to mention costly in terms of material costs.
Breathing protection will also be necessary as dry concrete mix irritates respiratory passages. Prior to beginning any project, always contact your utility company so they can locate any underground lines before digging begins.
Ground conditions should be compacted and well-drained to avoid water pooling beneath your slab and causing stress cracks. To make sure this happens, dig into it thoroughly and lay down an appropriate base such as gravel or sand before continuing construction.
Use a screed board to quickly level the top surface of concrete once it has been poured, working in long strokes to avoid leaving large wet ridges. For forms featuring crowns, position the board so its crown sits atop the concrete.
Pouring a concrete slab may not be impossible, but it does require special equipment and ideal weather. The first step should be preparing the mix: select an appropriate bag (see links to product reviews for product recommendations), add water according to manufacturer directions and start mixing!
Reinforcements should be used if your concrete slab will bear weight; reinforcement helps spread load more evenly and provides for straight breaks instead of random cracking.
Before the concrete sets, drag a 2×4 with two sides reaching across to your form (known as a “screed board”) across its surface in order to create a flat and level surface for concrete placement. This will result in an evenly dispersed layer.
Pouring concrete is an involved, messy process that requires protective gear such as respirators. A team of helpers may also be necessary to stay ahead of the concrete as it sets. Pouring during hot or cold temperatures could accelerate moisture loss, and lead to your slab setting before you can finish laying.
Similarly, for heavy loads such as those found on shed floors, concrete should be applied thicker than 4 inches to increase its load-bearing capability and strengthen the slab. While this may increase both cost and time required to complete the project, its strength will greatly benefit it.
Once the concrete has been poured, use a screed board to quickly smooth it before setting. A sheen will appear; wait until this dissipates before continuing edging, jointing and hand-floating operations. Failure to immediately smooth after screeding could result in ridges or cracks developing in its drying stage if not addressed immediately after screeding.
Once your concrete has partially set–which depends on weather and mix selection–use a trowel to achieve a nonslip finish and protect yourself from chemical burns by wearing rubber gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, and safety glasses.
Use a bull float to level and remove ridges, followed by hand troweling for a dense concrete surface. Specialized tools will help you reach superior results that make an impressive statement about the finished concrete slab’s look.
Make sure that the site you are pouring concrete on is suitable, and contact your local “call before you dig” number to have underground utilities marked. Furthermore, contact your building department in order to learn about setbacks and permits related to your project. Use timber pegs at 100 cm intervals around its perimeter in order to keep formwork from shifting during pouring.