How to pour the perfect concrete slab?
Give yourself the best results when pouring a concrete slab with this handy guide. Whether you’re launching a DIY project or a more ambitious construction job, here’s how to pour a concrete slab for a perfect finish.
8 Steps to Pour a Concrete Slab
- Safety first
When dealing with concrete mixes, you need to make sure you stay safe. Ensure you have the right protective clothing such as gloves, goggles, boots, PPE, and the appropriate tools. Make sure you have a safe and responsible way of dealing with any produced waste. If you’re arranging for a concrete supplier or contractor to help with the project, they should provide their own PPE and administer their own safety measures.
- Find a trusted supplier
The perfect concrete slab needs a high-quality material from a reliable supplier, who will use their knowledge to create a mix that is suited to your application, before delivering it on schedule. This gives you reassurance, quality and also a timescale to get your preparations and cleanup done at a convenient time without being delayed. A company like Sussex Ready Mix will mix concrete on site, as well as advising on which mix would suit your needs the best.
- Preparation is key
The key to a successful pour is in the preparation. Clear the pour site to ensure that foliage or other items do not get in the way of the operations. Also make sure that the path is clear for the concrete mixing truck to arrive – simply get in touch with your chosen supplier to get details on the dimensions of the truck and what type of access it will require. It might also be wise to check the weather forecast to choose the optimum time for pouring or to make further preparations in light of certain weathers e.g. having a plastic sheet covering on standby to put over the freshly poured concrete.
- Build a base
Depending on the specific application, the base is often important in a concrete pour. First, mark out the area using pegs and string, or another method of your choosing, while also digging to a depth appropriate to your specific project needs. Most bases will need to be firm with good drainage. Sometimes the natural soil will be easily compacted to give these properties, while other projects will require a base to be built over the top and compacted – it will depend entirely on your specific circumstances, so consult with a specialist if you’re unsure.
- Strengthening and levelling
The final preparation to make before the concrete is poured is to level the base. If your project requires extra strength, you will also need to install reinforcement bars, also known as rebars. This will prevent the concrete from cracking or breaking and provide extra strength.
- Pour and spread
Now you’re ready to pour. Your concrete supplier will arrive conveniently on site to mix your concrete, advising on the mix, which you can then pour straight away, spreading and flattening as you go along. Remember that your concrete supplier or building contractor can advise during this process.
- Screed, float and trowel
Immediately after the concrete is spread, use a screed board to remove any excess concrete and to level it. Next, to level the concrete to a more professional finish, floating should take place which smooths out the surface and removes imperfections. A float can be a flat piece of wood or a piece of metal with a handle along the length – a bull float is much larger and is usually used on more large-scale projects. Select the tools most appropriate for the size and scale of the job. Lastly, use a trowel to give it one final go-over to achieve the perfect finish.
- Protect the pour
While the concrete is curing, make sure it’s protected from the elements or other inputs either using a curing blanket or plastic sheet. Ask your trusted concrete supplier for more individual advice on how to protect your pour.
Searching for on-site mixed concrete at a competitive price? Whether you want to lay a simple slab or an entire driveway, we have the concrete for you. Here at Sussex Ready Mix, we provide high-quality concrete mixes for homes and businesses across Sussex. Need a quote or some friendly advice? Simply get in touch, and we’ll be happy to discuss your upcoming project.