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Steps Involved in Laying and Installing Concrete

Pouring and preparing concrete is primarily the job of professionals, but learning about the process can save you money on your project. Although the process is not that difficult to learn, but can be challenging if doing it for the first time. The steps involved in using concrete in your project are as follows:

Step 1: Preparation of Ground for the Concrete to Pour

It is considered the first step when starting your construction. The preparation of the ground depends on the type of structure to be built on top and the type of ground you have in hand. If it is a driveway or pathway, you can pour the concrete directly, but if you are building a base, then the ground needs to be levelled first. Most of the projects include following steps while preparing the ground.

  • Remove the weeds or stones from the target area.
  • Clean off the top layer of soil.
  • Excavate to an average of 100mm, depending on the structure.
  • Then, the sub-base should be added, usually composed of construction waste.
  • Level the sub-base with a compactor or roller.
  • Cover it with a layer of sand and then plastic to prevent the leaking of extra moisture from the concrete.

Step 2: Preparation for Constructing a Formwork

After the ground is ready, the next step is to prepare the formwork to support the concrete during its drying phase. Some of the steps involved in formulating the formwork include:

  • Cut the 25mm thick timber planks into the desired lengths and widths
  • Cover all the sides of the target area with the planks.
  • Level the planks for water.

This formwork will prevent the leaking out of concrete and will facilitate sharp edges to concrete. Moreover, the water can move easily to the target side if appropriately levelled.


Step 3: Calculating and Ordering Ready-Mix Concrete

Now that the ground is ready for concrete, it is time to calculate the required volume and place an order with a trustworthy and experienced contractor. Before ordering ready-mix concrete following steps need to be completed first:

  • The required amount of concrete can be estimated using an online calculator.
  • Rainy days should be avoided to ensure a smooth concreting process.
  • Make sure that there is enough help in place because time is essence after you receive ready-mix concrete.
  • Make sure all the required tolls are in place
  • The truck should have clear access to the construction site
  • Finalise the way concrete needs to reach the target area

Now that all required steps are complete, we can place the order for ready-mix concrete.


Step 4: Pouring Concrete in the Target Area

Once the Ready-mix concrete truck has smoothly arrived at its destination, follow the below steps to pour and level your concrete successfully, as the most optimal way is to lay ready-mix concrete within one hour of delivery.

  • Determine the best way to pour concrete in the target area from the truck, such as a concrete pump or wheelbarrow.
  • According to the requirement, spread and level the concrete parallel to pouring.
  • Use the shovel, screed or steel rake.
  • Remove the extra concrete.
  • Compress the concrete using a tamping beam.
  • To round the edges of poured concrete, use bull float.
  • Smoothen the surface with a trowel or any other source.

Step 5: Curing of Concrete

The curing process starts soon after the concrete is set. This step makes sure that the concrete stays solid with a longer lifespan and achieves its maximum strength. Some of the steps in curing include:

  • Add curing compound to the concrete. It is a membrane used to seal in moisture. It can be easily sprayed over the top of concrete.
  • Put plastic over the top, preventing the concrete from drying out quickly.

The average time taken by concrete to dry is around 48 hours. But it is best to leave for at least five days. You can remove the formwork within 24 hours. However, to avoid any cracks and damage to concrete, you can leave it for 72 hours. It takes approximately 28 days for concrete to reach its maximum strength.

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