No matter what size of a concrete slab you need, a concrete slab calculator can make the job much easier. Building a concrete slab from start to finish is considerably similar, regardless of the size of the slab you want to make. From laying down gravel to pouring the concrete, measuring properly is going to make each job more efficient.
Prepare the Subgrade
One of the more important aspects of creating a viable concrete slab is to prepare the subgrade before you pour the concrete on. When the subgrade is not tamped down properly and the drainage is wrong, the concrete slab will crack over time. Once the area for the concrete slab is dug out, a layer of gravel should be placed down. While some people skip this step for smaller jobs, it helps with drainage and keeps the concrete slab from breaking.
Once the area is dug out and gravel is placed in the hole, it’s time to place a layer of dirt onto the gravel. Several inches of dirt will work, or if it is small slab the gravel can be skipped. The dirt needs to be flattened and evened out in order for the concrete slab to be level.
Measure the Concrete
The weight, area, and volume has to be determined before mixing and pouring the concrete. If this step is not taken first, you can end up with wasted concrete. Pour too much, and the concrete will overflow, causing a big mess to clean up. When you don’t have enough concrete as you pour a slab, you can end up ruining the job and needing to start over. If you are using truck poured concrete, you must provide the correct measurements to your supplier.
It is important to note if your concrete slab is next to a building, you will have to make sure that the pitch drains water away from the building. If the building is new, you may need to wait to allow the ground to settle before placing a concrete slab down. Once the concrete is poured, it’s time to tamp down the concrete.
Tamp Down Concrete Using a Rake
Use an iron rake to prepare the surface of the concrete. Tamp down on the surface to ensure gravel settles while sand and concrete mixture rise to the top. The mixture is easier to smooth out once the sand rises up to the top. Smooth the concrete with a mag float allowing the water to evaporate. Once the water is gone, use the mag float again to smooth out the surface.
Complete the concrete slab by rounding off the corners, this will help stop the concrete from chipping. A concrete slab that is placed down properly can last for years with regular use. As you go to create your concrete slab, make sure you are using the right concrete calculator and have the tools necessary to get the job done right. When you take the time to prepare the surface, your slab is going to last longer without cracking.