A new concrete surface can be a big improvement for your property, but only if you use the right preparation and installation tips. Here are some recommendations to help you install and pour a successful and long-lasting durable concrete slab.
Prepare For the Concrete Slab
The preparation of your concrete slab site is one of the most important parts of the preparation. The soil on the site needs to be compacted without any pockets of air that may settle down later on, creating an unstable surface for the concrete. The soil also needs to be a good drainage type of soil that will provide moisture with the ability to flow out from under the concrete slab.
To begin the work of preparing the soil, you need to remove some of the topsoil to provide space for any gravel layer and also for the concrete. If the concrete sits upon the existing soil, it may have too high of a profile and it will need to be subset into the soil.
Remove anywhere from four to eight inches of soil, depending on the type of soil below. You will need approximately four inches for the concrete's thickness and up to another four inches for the drainage layer, whether you choose to use gravel or sand. Your concrete professional can help you evaluate the soil's condition on your site and arrange for a drainage layer, if necessary. Be sure you compact the soil and also the angular gravel onto the site for a solid surface.
Arrange For the Proper Surface
As you prepare for installing and framing your concrete slab, you will need to make sure the slab is the appropriate thickness for its use. For example, a patio slab may only need to be at a thickness of two to three inches, but a concrete slab for a shed or garage foundation will need to be up toward four inches. A garage slab foundation may also need to be installed with thicker edges around the slab with a couple extra inches of thickness, which will provide additional strength to the concrete, the site will need to be excavated to allow for thicker edges.
Be sure you finish the concrete surface with the appropriate smoothing technique. You can use a concrete trowel and apply a broom finish surface to give the concrete some additional traction. Or for a patio you can apply a faux imprint to create the look of cobblestones or bricks.
For more information on concrete slab techniques, talk to a contractor, like Curb Design. They'll have tips to help ensure your project is a success.