Concrete Slabs: what is it, how to do it, all stages of work
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Concrete slabs: what is it?
In modern construction, concrete is used everywhere and is one of the most durable materials. It allows you to build structures with a long life. For this reason, and for many other advantageous features, concrete is used not only for the construction of walls, ceilings between floors of buildings, but also as the basis for the ground floor of houses.
Concrete slabs are considered the most durable. They are also called monolithic slabs, since a special technology is used in their manufacture – monolithic concreting. A building on a monolithic slab is constructed when the floors in the building are planned to be made closer to the ground.
Concrete slabs manufacturing technology can be applied if necessary to produce a concrete surface for various uses. For example, it can be a playground for games or relaxing in front of the house. Using this technology, it turns out for a little money to make a durable surface.
Concrete slabs are a frequent choice for garage owners. With professional concrete pouring and high-quality leveling work, it turns out to create a solid and even floor in the garage. By the way, concrete easily withstands the weight of cars and does not deform under the pressure of their weight. However, masters always take into account the weight parameter of the car that will be in the garage. If there will be a truck in the garage, then work to create a floor in the garage for such a car is carried out in compliance with certain requirements in order to maximize the life of the concrete surface.
Concrete slabs: how to do it?
For the manufacture of concrete slabs, cement mortar is done 1 time. It is prepared not in advance, but before you start pouring concrete. Experts note that the monolithic design is not only characterized by a high degree of strength, but is also able to withstand enormous loads and can easily tolerate low and high temperatures. The thickness of the plate may be different and it depends on the building being constructed and its purpose.
Before pouring cement mortar, formwork is mandatorily prepared. Masters always have reinforcement in stock to give future concrete additional strength and, at the same time, ductility, which is important for heavy loads. The fittings are installed during the construction of the formwork. After the formwork frame is securely fixed, a solution is prepared. If a lot of mortar is needed, and it is simply impossible to bulk it at the same time and manually prepare it, then concrete is brought to the object in an automobile concrete mixer, and it is supplied at the right time with a single mass.
What is formwork? This is a kind of form for future concrete construction. For the construction of formwork, wooden or metal elements can be used. But it is important not only to install the formwork, but also to fix it securely. With weak fixation, the shape of the plate will not be what it should be as planned by the builders.
The formwork is made so that it can then be easily disassembled. After all, after drying the concrete, it will have to be removed. Often, boards are fixed together using self-tapping screws, so they can just unscrew. Nails are not used, as disassembling the formwork in this case will be very difficult.
If the cement slurry is prepared directly at the facility, professional workers clearly calibrate the volumes of each of its components. They are especially careful in checking the amount of water added to the solution. As you know, the optimal volume of water is the guarantee that hardened concrete will be as strong as possible. If you go too far with water, then in the future, the concrete structure can quickly lose its strength. This is especially true in the case of concrete slabs. Such plates are often made for heavy loads. If you mix up with the amount of water, in the future you can face the development of catastrophic situations. Therefore, if you need to pour concrete slabs, it is better to contact professional workers who have the necessary experience and knowledge in that field.
After the formwork is done and the cement mortar is prepared, the pouring process begins. The form from the formwork is evenly poured, gradually it is filled over the entire area. It is very important that there are no empty spaces in contact with the reinforcement grille and near the walls of the formwork. After pouring, the masters begin to compact the solution to eliminate possible air bubbles and water in the layers of the poured concrete. After compaction, the concrete is left alone and allowed to solidify.
Concrete slabs: all stages of work
- Soil research is being carried out. The need to level the site is assessed, since before the construction of a concrete slab, the site must be flat. If necessary, leveling is performed after the soil layer is removed.
- The topsoil is removed. The thickness of the removed layer is often about 30 cm. It is this thickness of the soil that is susceptible to freezing. If the layer is not removed, the soil during freezing will adversely affect the state of the concrete slab. Accordingly, it is easy to assume that the concrete base or site will become less durable or even collapse.
- Next, a layer of sand and gravel is prepared. Of these materials, a layer of a certain thickness is poured. The thickness indicator depends on the features of the future structure. Then, waterproofing is lined on the layer. The seams of the waterproofing material are securely fastened so that moisture does not leak out of the waterproofing layer.
- Only after the actions are completed is the formwork put on. All the rules described above apply to its construction. After the construction of the formwork, the reinforcement is mounted.
- After the above actions, cement mortar is poured, then its compaction and leveling are performed.
- Concrete slabs dry for several weeks, and previously they are covered with a film. In the first week, the masters, after certain periods of time, moisten the area covered with cement with water.
- Formwork is disassembled and removed from the object.
In the manufacture of a concrete slab, a solid and reliable design must be obtained. That is why it is necessary to use high-quality cement mortar and remember the use of reinforcing mesh. To achieve the desired degree of strength, it is necessary to observe the proportions in the process when preparing the cement mortar. Be sure to adhere to certain rules in the process of pouring the mixture.
When a concrete slab is being built, the craftsmen, as we have said, adhere to certain rules.
- Pouring is carried out in 1 step or concrete is laid at half the required amount for pouring, but over the entire height of the formwork.
- Only freshly prepared cement mortar is subject to filling.
- It is necessary to ensure uniformed coverage of the entire concrete slab.
- Be sure to remove excess water after pouring the solution. Remove air bubbles.
Often, there is a need to manufacture concrete slabs in the winter season. This time is not easy from the point of view of the masters. the process of working with concrete takes place under normal conditions, then winter is considered extreme conditions. If there is no urgent need for the manufacture of concrete slabs in winter, then experts recommend performing such work in other warmer months, when low ambient temperatures are not observed.
Winter conditions can negatively affect the state of the cement mortar. It will freeze, which will lead to an increase in its volume. In this case, create special conditions for the drying of concrete. After laying, the solution is covered with material capable of warming the concrete. Sawdust often acts well in this regard. The solution retains its temperature under a warming layer, which, among other things, was mixed using not cold but hot water. This is the easiest way to protect the solution in the winter month. But masters can use other methods of heating, for which they even use heating equipment. It all depends on the styling and the availability of certain features.
Decor of concrete slabs
If a concrete slab is poured to make it easier to operate a land plot, for example, to equip a recreation area for games, then the concrete cover can be beautifully decorated. Stamping technology can be applied, a method of chemical staining using acid dye – technology of painted concrete. All these methods make it possible to give concrete a more presentable appearance than it has in its natural state. The same technology of using stamps allows you to give concrete the appearance of wood, stone and other materials, which is much more beautiful than ordinary gray concrete.
Building concrete slabs is an easy way to make a solid foundation for your future home. In addition to ease of manufacture, it can build:
- An effective barrier between the ground and the structure of the house itself, to protect the building from moisture from the ground.
- Affordable home base. It will be cheaper, because you do not need to make a complex structure in the form of a strip foundation. True, the house on the slab will not have a basement, but not everyone needs it.
- A durable foundation that will last for many years without requiring the need to repair it. Strength and long service life – these properties are provided precisely by concrete – one of the most durable materials, as everyone knows.
- A barrier that will not allow insects to enter the house. An example, termites that can create impossible living conditions for the owner of the house and his family. In addition, their vital activity is a threat to the reliability of the structure if the house is built using wood.
Another advantage of concrete slabs, if the slabs are exposed to environmental factors, is the ease of maintenance. In this case, we are talking about a concrete surface used as a platform for games or recreation. The concrete surface is easy to care for. For cleaning the concrete surface, ordinary water supplied from the hose is suitable. It is advisable to periodically clean. So, if you see that debris has accumulated on concrete, do not wait for it to stick to the surface, remove it using an ordinary broom or a special machine that will allow blowing away debris from a concrete site.
Concrete slabs: price
$4 – $8 per square foot – the cost of constructing concrete slabs to create a foundation for a house or to make a site next to an already built building. What determines the final price? The cost is affected by several points. This is not only the size of the area on which concrete slab will be poured.
- What will be the thickness of the plate?
- Do I need to somehow reinforce and strengthen in a special way?
- Will additional decoration be required?
Answers to these questions will make it clear how much you will have to pay for the work of the masters.
Before you order work on the manufacture of concrete slabs, we advise you to consider the moments of decorating slabs. This is especially true if the concrete surface serves as a platform for organizing leisure or games, which can often be seen next to private houses. You might want to give a concrete surface a special look. If you do not know exactly how you would like the concrete site to look, we suggest contacting our specialists. We will advise you which concrete finishing option to choose, depending on your wishes and financial capabilities.
Of course, concrete slabs are an opportunity to solve many problems, as the pouring technology is used to create different construction objects. The stove can serve as the foundation of the house or help to equip a recreation area. It can be poured to make strong and durable concrete in the garage. There are a lot of variations in the application of this technology.
However, it is important that only professionals work on concrete slabs. Experienced workers with the appropriate knowledge will make the surface not only durable, but also as even as possible. We think that you do not want to have a crooked house or a crooked playground for your vacation. To prevent this from happening, contact experienced craftsmen. We have specialists who will help you with pouring concrete, which as a result of drying will pleasantly surprise you with its workmanship.
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