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What Concrete To Use For Patio

Use Dish Soap To Clean Cement

How To Form, Pour, And Stamp A Concrete Patio Slab

Its no secret that dish soap comes in handy for more than just dishwashing. This degreaser is highly effective at cleaning up concrete stains while avoiding the use of harsh chemicals.

Simply combine two gallons of warm water and two teaspoons of dish soap in a bucket, then dampen a mop with the cleaner and get washing. This is one of our favorite strategies to clean a concrete patio if youre only dealing with light stains.

How To Clean A Stamped Concrete Patio

The most basic maintenance requirement is to sweep and dry dust the patio every three days and to mop it weekly. Non-severe visible stains can be mopped off using mild detergent.

Hard stains may develop in patios as they are directly exposed to changing weather. In the case of these strong visible stains, that occur due to grease or oil from parked cars, an alkaline degreaser must be used to take them off. For rust-like stains, oxalic acid can be used to tidy the stamped concrete off. For maintaining their shine lifelong, they need to be resealed every two to three years. For heavy traffic areas, applying high traffic floor polish every two months might be needed.


Calculating The Amount Of Base Fill

Granite Construction has an excellent base fill calculator on their site. Use this to figure how much material you need for the subgrade.

Using a Margin of Safety: Problems Caused by Underestimating the Amount of Concrete

Never try to order the exact amount of needed concrete. Include a margin of safety.

A perfectly placed order of concrete will finish the job with a small amount left over. A 20 cubic yard order with 1 cubic yard left over is a good order. A 20 cubic yard order that comes up cubic yard short is not a good order.

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How To Build A Concrete Patio

Create a prominent outdoor space with a strong and stylish concrete patio. The base of rigid patios can be constructed with mortared brick, mortared flagstone, tile, or concrete pad. Concrete provides a solid base beneath these materials. It also prevents them from cracking as the ground shifts from temperatures changes.

In most areas, a concrete patio begins with 4 inches of compacted stone. The difference is the depth you dig before you pour.

If you install a concrete patio, dig out a space 8 inches deep 4 inches for the some, another 4 inches for the concrete, and another 2 inches to allow for mortar and brick.

Form Release Agent
  • Step 1Step 1Lay Out and Excavate the Patio

    Lay out the patio with batterboards and masons line. Remove the sod, dig out 8 inches of soil, and compact the exposed surface. Spread gravel on the surface in 2-inch layers, compacting each layer and adding gravel for a bed 4 inches deep.

    Install a second set of layout lines on stakes. Position the stakes outside the first set of lines, offset from the first set by the width of the forms youll use. Level the lines with a line level or water level.

  • Step 10Step 10Let the Concrete Cure

    Lay plastic sheeting over the finished surface. The moisture trapped inside eliminates the need for watering during the curing stage.

    Let the concrete cure at least 48 hours, then remove the form boards.

  • What Determines Whether Or Not You Reinforce Concrete

    Stamped Concrete Patio Saving Much of Your Budget

    There are pours that will require reinforcement in concrete, but many situations are left up to your judgment. If you decide youd like the added strength and expense, good if not, no worries. Here are some situations where reinforcing the concrete slab is either required or recommended:

    Thick Pours

    If the concrete slab thickness is greater than 5 inches, it is a good idea to use rebar or at least wire reinforcement mesh. It is required in some building codes. Before pouring a slab thicker than five inches, consult your state and local building codes!


    Structural Pours

    If the concrete slab is supporting the weight of a hot tub or building, wire mesh and rebar can be required by local building codes.

    Concrete Beams

    Beams and columns made from concrete will usually require rebar to function properly and safely.

    Slab on Slope

    When pouring on a slope, in addition to pouring thicker on the lower part of the slope, it is a good idea to use wire mesh to add tensile strength to the slab. This will prevent cracking due to uneven weight placement and shifting soil.

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    Indoor And Outdoor Stairs

    This online calculator helps with figuring the rise, run ,and width of stairs. Typically, stairs are at least 9 inches wide with a rise of 6-10 inches between steps. The run of the stairs is the number of inches allowed for the length of a persons foot, usually around 8 inches.


    A tricky element to add when pouring concrete stairs is the nose of the stair. Usually about 1 inch, the nose protrudes from the edge of the stair, forming a lip, and is an optional addition.

    To form stairs from concrete, a dry mix is prepared, then poured into a wooden frame. For outdoor stairs, or for a staircase exceeding five stairs, it may be best to have ready-mix concrete delivered to the location and professionally poured into the forms.

    Place The Gravel And Prepare For The Shed

    The process is coming along nicely. You have the permits and the right shed plans. The ground is properly level and the gravel shed base is dug to a 4-6 inch base. The foundation is framed with a 2 foot extra length and width frame. The frame is squared and the soil is tamped. The right gravel is bought and delivered into the framed area.

    Lots of work done already and a little more to go. Now place some sand on the vapor barrier to protect it from the gravel. Then place the gravel in the foundation and tamp it again with your Ames manual tamper. If it is a large area to tamp then go with the the one by Dirty Hand Tools as we discussed above. The gravel is now tamped and level so move on to the building process.

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    What Is A Concrete Patio

    In the construction industry is the most commonly used structural material used as the foundation for most structures.

    Concrete is made of aggregate that is mixed and bonded together by cement and water and used in construction through the use of structural concrete, slab construction, stair construction and other architectural features.

    Concrete is also the most popular patio material because of its different decorative finishes and unlimited design potential.

    Concrete patios provides a seamlessly blend between the interior and exterior living space, since concrete are the perfect decorative flooring surface for outdoor entertaining area such as outdoor kitchen and living room, outdoor fireplaces and water features.

    Concrete patios can also be stamped, stenciled or have engraved patterns that mimic other popular paving materials such as bricks, flagstones, slates and tiles.


    What Is Rebar & How Does It Work

    How To Clean And Seal A Stamped Concrete Patio (New or Old)

    Rebar is a builders term for reinforcing bar. Rebar is made from carbon steel: usually new steel, but it can also be made from recycled junk steel. Rebar comes in two forms: deformed and plain. Deformed rebar has distinctive and important lugs or ribs along the outside.

    Concrete construction has been around for a long time. The Colosseum and the Pantheon in Rome are built with concrete. Ancient Greeks and Egyptians used concrete.

    Rebar concrete construction has been around for 200 years. Some say the addition of rebar to concrete allowed the building industry to go up instead of out.

    Concrete is used everywhere, so it must be strong, right? Yes and no. Concrete withstands large amounts of weight on top of it, pressing down. Concrete is not so great holding up to pressures that pull on it.

    What pulls on concrete? What does that even mean? Consider a concrete driveway, laid down in dirt and gravel. Now drive your car onto the driveway. What happens next depends on whether or not there are small holes, or even channels, in the dirt and gravel under the slab of driveway cement.


    When first laid down, there will be very few divots in the dirt under the driveway. The driveway contractors were experts and did a good job tamping down the surface with something really heavy.

    Rebar and cement: the perfect couple. A perfect marriage: a compressive strength superhero with a tensile strength one.

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    How Much Weight Can A 4

    This is a bit of a tough question because you have to consider the weight that the concrete slab needs to hold, spread out over the surface area of the item. On top of that, you need to factor in the ability of the concrete slab to resist cracking and breaking. This means that you have to measure the concrete for two different things: compressive strength and tensile strength.

    The compressive strength of concrete is measured in PSI pounds per square inch. The two most common PSI ratings for concrete are 3,000 and 4,000. The rating is measured using a 4-inch thick cylinder of concrete, tested under a pneumatic press. So, the 4,000 PSI rating is for the standard 4-inch thickness of a residential concrete slab. This means that a 3-inch slab will be slightly weaker, while a 5-inch slab will be slightly stronger, in terms of compressive strength.

    Tensile strength is a bit harder to measure. This refers to a slabs ability to withstand cracking or fracturing due to uneven pressure. Think about a pencil breaking, it snaps because its tensile strength is relatively low. A long section of non-reinforced concrete slab has a similarly weak tensile strength, on a much larger scale.

    Use Of White Vinegar To Remove Rust And Other Stains

    If the stains are tough, then lemon juice won’t work out well and the use of white vinegar is more preferable then. The procedure is the same and can be applied on the surface to be treated. You should wait for it to set, and later use a brush to scrub the stain. To enhance the potency of acid, a bit of salt can be added to the vinegar.

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    Excavate The Patio Area

    Remove all vegetation in the patio area, extending the edges about 6 inches beyond all sides of the patio . Excavate the soil to a depth of 8 inches. As you work, measure down from the layout lines to gauge the excavation depth. It’s usually easiest to dig out the sides to full depth, then dig out the interior area, using a long, straight 2×4 and level to make sure the entire area is level . Tamp the soil thoroughly with a rented plate compactor.

    How To Clean A Cement Patio Using Muriatic Acid

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    If none of the other cleaning solutions have been successful, consider using muriatic acid powder. However, its important to note that contact with this strong chemical can cause skin burns or damage to your eyes, lungs, and nose lining.

    If you do use muriatic acid to remove mineral deposits or mold from your concrete patio, make sure to wear protective gear, including goggles and a face mask. Muriatic acid is readily available at many home improvement and big-box stores.

    To prepare your cleaning solution, carefully pour one part muriatic acid into four parts hot water and stir to combine. Pour the acid over your patio and let it sit there for about ten minutes, making sure to rinse away the acid before it dries. Finish by sprinkling baking soda to neutralize any remaining acid.

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    How To Clean A Cement Patio Using Vinegar

    To tackle more stubborn stains, including rust stains and for removing paint from concrete, combine equal parts white vinegar and water. Let the mixture sit for ten minutes on the stains, and then clean the stained areas with a soft bristle brush. If, after rinsing, the stains have not disappeared, try scrubbing your patio with undiluted vinegar.

    While youve already got the supplies out, did you know that you can also clean patio furniture with vinegar? For example, plastic furniture benefits from a combination of white vinegar and water.

    Creating A Diy Patio With Walkmaker

    Using WalkMaker to create a concrete patio isnt much different from creating a path.

    Heres what to do:

    Prep the Project Site. WalkMaker requires very little surface preparation. Simply remove any sod and level the surface. The form can be placed directly on the ground.

    Mix the Concrete. Add water to Quikrete Concrete Mix or Crack-Resistant Concrete Mix, as directed on the package. Hand-mix it in a wheelbarrow or a plastic bucket with a hoe, masonry trowel or shovel.

    Lay Out Your DIY Patio. The reusable WalkMaker forms come in four distinct designs. Its easiest to use the Basket Weave Brick, Running Bond Brick or European Block forms, because they all have straight edges. Start from the homes foundation and work out from the house.

    Fill the Forms. Place the WalkMaker form on the ground and begin to fill openings with concrete. Using a trowel, press the concrete into the form. Work from the corners to consolidate the concrete and eliminate any voids.

    Move the Pavers. Next, just smooth the surfaces and immediately remove the form. Theres no need to wait for the concrete to set. Afterward, simply rotate the form a quarter of a turn to vary the pattern for a random look. Before the concrete becomes thumbprint hard, in about an hour or so, use your towel to smooth any rough edges.

    Add Liquid Cement Color to the concrete mix for an eye-catching result.

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    Best Way To Clean Concrete Patio Without Pressure Washer:

    As most of the patios are concrete, they attract more oil, sand, dirt and thick layers of grease and grime. The concrete is porous and thereby absorbs a lot of stains and even the rain or water is unable to clean them perfectly.

    If we talk about an electric power washer, it is easy to use cleans properly and is reliable. You can clean your patios without the help of these pressure washers also. If you opt for scrubbing your patio, then it will surely consume a lot of your time and effort. Your patio is required to be scrubbed once or twice a year only.

    To start with you can sprinkle on any grease or stains, a layer of sawdust or kitty liner for cleaning purposes. The layer of sawdust should be left for about a time duration of 12 to 24 hours, as this will help in absorbing more and more. Before disposing of just sweep it off.

    Any kind of surface dust that is settled on your patio should be cleaned by sweeping it. Any cracks if developed in this process should also be removed before you wash your patio. A garden hose sprayer is sufficient to spray water on the entire patio.

    Just take some hot water, 1 gallon will be sufficient with 2 ½ ounces of washing soda dissolved in it. As an alternative, you can also sprinkle dishwashing detergent or pressure washer soap or detergent all over the surface area of your patio.

    In This Whole Cleaning Process, You Need To Do The Following Things:

  • Kitty liner or a sawdust
  • A broom
  • Sprayer and a garden hose
  • Bucket
  • Points To Be Noted:

    Olympic Patio Tone Deck Coatings

    How to Resurface a Concrete Patio with a Decorative Concrete Overlay

    Give your patio and deck a vibrant and protective coating with this Olympic coating. All you have to do is chose the tone you want and apply it to your deck. The coating is an acrylic coating, it is water based and because it penetrates into concrete deeply, it has a non-slip feature. It is recommended that it be applied in two coats one gallon will cover between 80 to 120 square feet if it is applied this way.

    Another great thing about this coating is that it doesnt peel and it remains durable under extreme conditions. It is suitable for surfaces that have become worn-out, cracked or peeled.

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    Alternatives To A Patio

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    There are many alternatives to a patio. The most common alternative is a deck or a porch. A deck is like a wooden patio that you build attached to your home while a porch is a deck that is covered with a roof.

    Those are two of the most common options. There are many others such as a gazebo or a pavilion. Then there are uncovered options that are similar to those like a pergola. Take a look at all of your options before deciding.

    You never know. Your original idea might sound great until you find the outdoor structure that was meant for you all along. So dont give up any time soon because that dream yard is out there waiting just for you.

    What Will Happen To My Concrete Patio If I Dont Use Rebar

    Answer: small cracks at first, then big, unsightly cracks, then whole areas of crumbly concrete. Construction of a cement slab patio is not simple. It requires some precision and mixing accuracy.

    Small cracks in concrete are unavoidable. They can be caused by plastic shrinkage, expansion, freezing/thawing cycles, overloading and premature drying. Some cracks are the result of common cement-pouring mistakes and some are thanks to Mother Nature.

    Rebar can prevent some small cracks from happening in the first place. But the reason the building industry uses rebar is rebar prevents small cracks from becoming giant cracks. Giant cracks become crumbly areas and then the patio will have to be replaced.

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