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5 Mistakes to Avoid With Concrete Slab Foundations

A concrete slab foundation is an important part of the construction process. It is a layer of concrete, oftentimes poured over a surface of gravel or soil, on which a structure such as a house is built.

It distributes the weight that’s placed upon it and provides a flat, stable and leveled surface for occupants. Walls would sink into the soil or worse, respond to its every movement were it not for the foundation.

It’s therefore important for the soil to be prepared before the slab foundation is poured onto it. Most people postpone learning about their slab foundation until there’s a problem with it. Don’t be one of them. Here are some mistakes to avoid with concrete slab foundations.

1. Installing It On Your Own

One of the worst mistakes you can make when installing concrete is doing it on your own. Concrete stays malleable for a short period of time.

By finishing and pouring it without any help, you open the doors to problems like the concrete being lumpy or weak.

To ensure you have the best foundation, make sure to hire professionals for paving and concrete slab services. If it’s not possible, you’d be safer postponing the project until you can get a hold of expert concrete slab contractors, than compromising on the integrity of your foundation.

2. Thinking that there’s Only One Type of Concrete

Depending on the purpose of the concrete, different mix designs may be needed. Concrete is basically made up of three ingredients: aggregates like gravel, sand, cement and water. The difference comes in the type of cement used.

There are five main types of cement, each of which is suitable for a specific purpose. They are:

  • Type I is general purpose and is used to build most pavements, bridges and buildings
  • Type II has moderate resistance to sulphate and is suitable for concrete exposed to water or soil that’s rich in sulphate ions.
  • Type III is suitable for rapid construction and cold weather concreting
  • Type IV is used in building dams
  • Type V is ideal for concrete exposed to high levels of sulphate ions and has high sulphate resistance.

3. Not Reinforcing it With Steel

When concrete is neglected, it cracks. A technique that’s used frequently to prevent this is reinforcing concrete with steel.

Steel properties are slightly similar to those of concrete, so the two complement each other. Concrete bears heavy loads without compressing while steel has unbelievable tensile strength.

4. Not Maintaining a Consistent Moisture Level

It’s important not to allow the soil around your structure or house to become too wet or dry. Most soils contract and expand as moisture levels change. Motions resulting from expansion and contraction of soil causes cracks.

A great way to maintain a consistent water level is implementing a water control program. Consider watering your concrete slab foundation in warm months.

Or use an automatic soaker hose or lawn sprinkler to keep the soil around the structure slightly moist.

5. Pouring Concrete When the Weather Isn’t Conducive

Rain-free days with a little sunshine are the best for pouring concrete. The first two days determine if the concrete will reach its full potential. They play a huge role in determining the temperature of the concrete.

If it happens to rain as you install cement, you could wait until the rain stops. Or, you could set up a waterproof enclosure.

Hot weather can cause the water in the concrete to evaporate. Since curing requires concrete to remain wet, consider covering the concrete or use sprinklers.

A Good Foundation is Everything

Are you having trouble installing concrete or do you need experts to get the job done? At JC Paving, we’ve got what it takes to handle all your site preparation needs.

Main Services We Specialise In

Concrete Driveways | Bored Piers | Block Retaining Walls | Concrete House Slabs | Excavator Hire