Concrete slab building seems like a simple concept, right? If so, then these terms will sound familiar: corrugated, ribbed, waffle, one-way and two-way. How about pre-cast, post-cast and footing? If these terms are unfamiliar, it’s time to call the concrete company. The slope of the land and the soil in the lot are immediate issues for slab-laying. Professionals know how to solve problems of land formation before starting the making of the slabs. Drainage is a major issue that must be dealt with before proceeding. It may be necessary to add dirt or cart some away in order to form a flat or correctly sloped space. Surrounding bodies of water must be considered if applicable. Are there standing water puddles or “mini-lakes” after a heavy rain? Trees and tree roots might be on or around the area of land in question, and roots can destroy perfectly good concrete over time. Nothing stops Mother Nature.
Foundations for homes and commercial buildings, parking lots, sidewalks, loading docks, driveways and ramps are examples of places that need concrete slabs. We take them for granted since they are so prevalent and so necessary. Drive on a dirt road and note the difference. An old, blacktop parking lot in disrepair may take out a tire or two, and then we appreciate the reliability of concrete.
Rebar is often part of the inner structure of a flat slab and adds strength for long-lasting concrete. It is used in small and large slabs to help them resist cracking. Earthquake prone areas use it in many concrete structures, especially in California.
Temperature is a factor for spreading concrete as it is with many construction projects. Freezing and thawing are destructive to wet concrete and cement. The right size of contraction joints must be included between slabs to allow for weather fluctuation, too. There are so many details to think about before doing any concrete planning.
Water content is important when mixing concrete, and “bleeding” and curing are steps in the hardening process that must be handled correctly for concrete to work as it should. Concrete should be “air-entrained” in the right quantities, as well, which will not even be explained here. You’re welcome.
Remember, cracked, uneven concrete ruins the appearance of the space and its surroundings. Professionals can do the job right, so don’t pay for it twice. Get help before it’s too late.