4 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Pouring a Concrete Slab

Posted on: 7 June 2016

If you are planning on installing a concrete patio in your backyard, and doing it as a DIY project, there are some important things to know first. The following list includes some common mistakes that people tend to do when attempting this type of work themselves. Consider these mistakes and decide whether it might be better to hire a professional.

Discolouraton or Non-Uniform Colour

If you are using a ready mix concrete, and you use the same one for the entre patio, it should be the same colour. However, there are a few situations where it might not be uniform or there is odd discolouration. For example, if you don't add the appropriate amount of water to the mix or if another cement additive is used, such as calcium chloride, then it could alter the final colour. If you don't let it cure properly, that can also lead to issues with the final colour. Speaking of colour, if you want your concrete to be a different colour other than the neutral, off-white colour of cement, have a professional mix and pour it for you.

Using the Concrete Slab Too Soon

This is an extremely common mistake made by people who don't know any better. If you go by the manufacturer's instructions for how long to let concrete cure, it might be dry enough, but there is a good chance it isn't. There are weather and climate conditions that could cause concrete to take a little longer to cure, which is something a professional paving contractor would know. Just because the instructions say it will be cured in 48 hours doesn't necessarily mean that is always the case. Try to wait as long as you can before using the concrete to ensure it is fully dry and cured.

Assuming Steel Mesh is Enough Reinforcement

While steel mesh might be okay for concrete slabs that won't be holding heavy items, such as a side concrete slab only used for your home basketball court, it is not strong enough for a concrete driveway or a patio where you are placing a full outdoor kitchen with heavy appliances and furniture. A better option is to use a reinforcement like rebar. This is another material that a professional would know more about and be able to install underneath the slab.

Encouraging Premature Cracking

Cracking of a concrete slab is not uncommon when it is older and used often for heavy vehicles or objects, but it shouldn't crack shortly after it cures. If this happens, it might be due to how it was installed. If you didn't let it cure right, failed to seal it, or used the wrong reinforcements, that might be why it is cracking so early.

For more information, contact Liquid Rock Constructions Pty Ltd or a similar company.