Level Sloped Concrete Pad
A level sloped pad probably sounds like an oxymoron, but consider the end of a driveway as it slopes down into the street. In this case, the concrete needs to be level horizontally with an equal slope on each side vertically. The key is not only preparing the ground to be level from side to side but also choosing the right kind of concrete and adding it in the right way.
Once in place, level the concrete with 2x4s placed over the top of the frame walls and leave it to set. This should leave you with an angled concrete pad that is even and level to itself and made to fit the grade of your slope.
Things You Will Need
Steel or other support frame
Pour The Concrete In Small Sections
Spread the concrete by moving the chute back and forth and by having the driver pull forward as you go. Once the truck has reached the end of a section, spread the concrete out evenly, and a touch higher than the form, with a concrete placer/rake. Dont fill the whole form or giant sections because the mound of extra concrete youll drag back with the screed board will get too heavy.
This rebar grid is sitting on chairs, a setup that keeps it suspended at the proper height. You wont be able to use chairs if you have to distribute the concrete throughout the form with a wheelbarrow. If thats the case, use the hook on the edge of the concrete placer to pull the rebar up into the center of the concrete as you pour. Rebar should be placed near the center of the slab for maximum strength, not near the ground or the surface.
Pouring Concrete For A Patio
When the patio area is firmly framed in, you’re ready to pour the concrete. Because the patio will probably — unless you live in a very warm area — be exposed to freezing and thawing, you must use machine-mixed concrete hand-mixed concrete is not as strong. The easiest way to work is to rent a portable cement mixer with a 3-cubic-foot capacity — one mixer load will mix just enough concrete to fill one grid unit of the patio, 4 inches thick. Depending on the size of the patio, you can schedule the pouring to suit yourself and to make best use of the mixer pour one 3-foot-square section at a time, as few or as many as you like.
To mix the concrete, it’s easiest to use sacks of premixed gravel-mix concrete — 41/2 sacks of concrete mix make up one mixer load, or one 3-foot-square unit of the patio. If you have the storage space, and the patio is a big one, it’s cheaper to mix your own concrete use a mixture of one sack of Portland cement, 21/2 cubic feet of sand, and 3 1/2 cubic feet of coarse aggregate to each 5 gallons of water. Get operating instructions for the portable cement mixer from the rental agent. You’ll also need a wood float to smooth the surface of the concrete.
Work section by section to pour the patio. About 1 hour before you mix the cement, soak the gravel base with the fine spray of a garden hose, to keep the concrete from drying too quickly. Protect the top edges of the wood frame around each unit with 2-inch-wide masking tape.
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How To Pour A Concrete Slab In Sections
by Aurora LaJambre / in Hobbies
If you’re pouring a large concrete slab or have only a small team of helpers, dividing the slab into sections will give you more control of the pour and result in a more stable slab. Each section that you pour will be a separate slab surrounded by expansion joints on all sides. The expansion joint releases tension, preventing cracks from forming when concrete expands and contracts with temperature fluctuations.
Prepare the pour site by excavating six inches deep plus the thickness of your slab with a shovel or excavator machine. Level the floor of the site and compact the subgrade with a plate compactor machine. Compacting the soil forces out air pockets, stabilising the ground for the foundation.
Add six inches of 3/4-inch aggregate over the surface and compact it until the aggregate doesn’t shift beneath your feet. Lay wire mesh over the aggregate to further support the foundation.
- If you’re pouring a large concrete slab or have only a small team of helpers, dividing the slab into sections will give you more control of the pour and result in a more stable slab.
- Add six inches of 3/4-inch aggregate over the surface and compact it until the aggregate doesn’t shift beneath your feet.
Set steel rebar on rebar chairs at half the height of the intended slab. The rebar should run near the sides of the expanse and through the centre to reinforce the concrete.
Measure The Area You Will Work On
Do you intend to pour concrete over the entire old concrete patio or just sections of it? You need to mark and measure the area you will work on. Doing so will enable you to estimate how much new concrete you will need to get.
Your measurements should include both the surface area and height the concrete should reach. Do bear in mind the height of your ceiling or roof. Also, consider the height of your existing doors. If you raise the patio surface too much, it may not be easy to enter through the doors, especially if you are tall.
Once the measuring is complete, you should install the braces to form a mold for your new concrete. These are usually made of wood, and you install them by digging trenches around the patio base perimeter. It would help if you used a level to ensure the braces would form a new even concrete slab or surface.
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Dampen The Base To Lengthen Finish Time
To extend your finish time on hot, sunny days, spray bone-dry ground with water to keep the base from sucking the water out of the concrete. A water spray also slows down curing, which makes for a stronger slab. If theres no hose bib nearby, you can use the water and hose that are onboard the truck. If you dont have water on site, also use the truck hose to fill a couple buckets of water for cleaning your tools after the truck leaves.
Prepare The Site For Pouring Concrete
Next, contact your municipality and see if you need a permit. You can also find out how close to your property lines you can build.
Then, drive four stakes to indicate the corners of your slab. Use a line level and string to find out how much the ground slopes.
If your site is sloped, you will need a lot of soil to make it flat. You might also need to build up a low section.
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S To Prepare Your Yard For A Concrete Patio
An outdoor living space is a great place to gather with family and friends. But if youre lacking a sturdy patio or deck, then you might be struggling with wobbly lawn furniture or a lack of space for your fire pit or grill. In addition to getting the proper rebar tools from BN Products-USA, LLC, youll also need to properly prepare your yard for a concrete slab.
Compact Each Layer Of Concrete Base
Use a vibrating plate compactor and pass over the base three or four times. Then add another two inches of base and go over the plate compactor again.
Make sure you use a compactor that is for compacting a base. Compactors, such as rammers or jumping jacks, are for backfilling trenches. Thats not what you need when prepping for pouring concrete.
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How To Lay Out & Excavate A Patio Site
1. Lay out a rough project outline with a rope or hose. Use a carpenterâs square to set perpendicular lines. To create the actual layout, begin by driving wood stakes near each corner of the rough layout. The goal is to arrange the stakes so they are outside the actual project area, but in alignment with the borders of the project. Where possible, use two stakes set back 1 ft. from each corner, so strings intersect to mark each corner . Note: In projects built next to permanent structures, the structure will define one project side.
2. Connect the stakes with masonâs strings. The strings should follow the actual project outlines. To make sure the strings are square, use the 3-4-5 triangle method: measure and mark points 3 ft. out from one corner along one string, and 4 ft. out along the intersecting string at the corner. Measure between the points, and adjust the positions of the strings until the distance between the points is exactly 5 ft. A helper will make this easier.
3. Reset the stakes, if necessary, to conform to the positions of the squared strings. Check all corners with the 3-4-5 method, and adjust until the entire project area is exactly square. This can be a lengthy process with plenty of trial and error, but it is very important to the success of the project, especially if you plan to build on the concrete surface.
8. Lay a subbase for the project . Pour a 5″-thick layer of gravel, and tamp until the gravel is even and compressed to 4″ in depth.
How To Install Edging Pavers Around A Concrete Patio
- Written by Piyush Jain on Feb 28, 2011To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience.Reviewed by
Installing edging pavers to your concrete patio adds some character and also accentuates its design. More importantly, pavers can also increase the overall durability of your patio because it forms a perimeter around it, making it more secure and intact. Installing edging pavers is not that difficult and you dont really need to hire a professional to do the job. All you need are the right materials, some time, and patience.
Step 1 – Plan
Before starting or even purchasing your pavers, make a plan as to how the pavers will be placed and how they will look by the edge of your patio. Remember that they interlock with each other. Note also that the edges of the patio are not perfectly straight and even, so you will need to purchase the appropriate pavers. Measure the length and area where the pavers will go and use a hose or string to determine the curves of the edges where the pavers will go. Your home improvement person will then be able to recommend the best edging pavers for your application.
Step 2 – Dig a Trench
Step 3 – Set the Foundation
Step 4 – Lay the Edging Pavers
Step 5 – Finish
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Float In Two Directions When Possible
In addition to pushing the aggregate down under the surface, a bull float helps level the slab, so start floating right after you screed, while the concrete is still wet enough to shape.
Whenever possible, run the bull float perpendicular to the direction you pulled the concrete with the screed board . That will help to smooth out the ridges, troughs and valleys created by screeding. Our expert likes to float in both directions when he can.
Benefits To Laying And Pouring Concrete In Sections
- Written by Stephen Phillips on Jul 13, 2010To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience.Reviewed by
Concrete can be an inexpensive solution that can last a long time and provide the ability to be creative by adding texture or color. This material has worked its way from our outdoor patios to our kitchen and bathroom counters, as it can be very versatile. A popular discussion among those pouring new concrete is what may be best: concrete sectionsor one solid slab. There are many advantages to pouring your concrete floor in sections, including extending the life and health of your concrete. Another advantage or sectioning is that you can do it yourself and do not have to hire an entire work crew to get the job done before the cement dries. Here are some other things to consider.
Being sure you start with a nice smooth area can help extend the concrete’s life. This is a little harder to do when you are doing a big slab. Starting with a solid foundation for your pour is the most crucial step. When handling concrete inside its form, weather, humidity, and the sun can all be factors. Having concrete sections can cut back on some of these problems for a better outcome. Concrete sections can make a large project easier to manage.
Detailing and Surfacing
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Fill And Level The Base
Spread the fill in layers no more than 3 in. thick and tamp each layer with a rented plate compactor. Leave a 12-in.-deep by 12-in.-wide trench around the perimeter for a thickened edge. If youre building a heated structure on the slab, cover the ground inside the concrete forms with 6-mil polyethylene sheeting. Otherwise you can leave it uncovered.
Calculate How Much Fill Youll Need
The key to crack-resistant concrete is a firm base that drains well. Unless you have sandy soil, this means adding a layer of gravel.
With the forms in place, you can estimate how much fill you need. To calculate the amount of fill needed, stretch a string across the top of the forms and measure down to the ground. Do this in three or four spots and average the results. Subtract the thickness of your slab. Then use this depth to calculate the cubic yards of fill needed. Be sure to ask what your supplier recommends for fill under slabs. Crushed concrete compacts and drains well.
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Repairing Concrete Slab Q& a
Be sure to scroll down… there may be more than one question on this page!
My concrete driveway and patio have sunken slightly and water puddles whenit rains. is there a way to level it off? I was thinking of using a cementproduct which will adhere to the existing surface without having to replace thewhole drive and patio?
Adding a layer of cement to your driveway and/or patio is one option. Thereare a number of cement products that can be used from plain old concrete mixto special Portland cement mixtures that can be applied as an almost paper-thincoating over existing work.
There are a few preparatory steps you should follow to assure the bestadhesion of these products. First, the surface of the old work should be cleanedand roughened slightly. Concrete becomes harder and less porous as it ages.Chemical concrete cleaners containing phosphoric acid will both clean andslightly etch the surface and increase adhesion between the new and old work.The use of muriatic acid, a more powerful acid, is more efficient but much moredangerous to use. There is an article at the website on muriatic acid at.You can decide for yourself if you want to work with this product.
How To Pour A Concrete Slab
Thoroughly dampen the gravel. Start placing the concrete at one corner of the form while a helper uses a shovel or hoe to spread it .
Pour the concrete up against the form and compact it into all corners with a square shovel or mortar hoe with a hoe, push- don’t drag the concrete. But don’t overwork the concrete, and don’t spread it too far overworking will force the heavy aggregate to the bottom of the slab and will bring up small particles that can cause defects in the finished DIY concrete patio. Instead, space out your placement along the form, placing each batch against the previous batch to fill the form.
If you plan to leave the dividers in place, finish, and cure the concrete in alternating sections. Once they’ve cured for at least three days, remove the stakes from inside of the remaining sections and complete them.
Bull Float To Smooth The Surface
Start bull-floating the concrete as soon as possible after screeding. The goal is to remove marks left by screeding and fill in low spots to create a flat, level surface. Bull-floating also forces larger aggregate below the surface. Keep the leading edge of the float just slightly above the surface by raising or lowering the float handle. If the float angle is too steep, youll plow the wet concrete and create low spots. Three or four passes with the bull float is usually sufficient. Too much floating can weaken the surface by drawing up too much water and cement.
How To Pour Concrete Over Old Concrete
If you wanted to, you could pour concrete over your old concrete patio. However, those problems will carry over unless you address your patios issues and what is causing them.
If your concrete patio still has a sound foundation and is in good condition, you can repair its concrete surface by pouring new concrete. Doing so will also make it more attractive again. However, if the patio base is not sound, you may need to demolish and replace it entirely.
Where possible, it is worth trying to fix your existing patio rather than replacing it. You will spend less money and still get to enjoy using your outdoor space for a while longer. This article discusses how to pour concrete over an old concrete patio in detail.
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