Common mistakes in DIY ConcreteLast Updated: 02/10/2023
Concrete pouring is a task that requires extensive knowledge, skills, proper planning, and the right tools and equipment. DIY concrete pouring is a viable option in some cases, but it's important to make sure it's a task you can handle before attempting it. Doing so can save you a few bucks, but there are several practical and aesthetic problems that can arise if you don't have the necessary knowledge and tools to complete the job properly.
In this article, we'll outline the most common mistakes that can occur during a DIY concrete pouring process and when it's best to call in a professional.
- Improper Soil Preparation: Clearing out the land and digging soil with a shovel is not enough to prepare the soil for concrete pouring. Loose soil can result in cracking, crumbling, and loss of shape over time. To achieve better results, it's necessary to create a firm base by using a plate compactor to make the soil tightly packed. It's also important to level the surface and install the forms accurately.
- Weather: Rain and wind can cause damage to freshly poured concrete in just a few days. It's important to gather information about the local climate and its potential effects on concrete durability and appearance. If you live in a cold weather area, make sure to use air-entrained concrete to prevent cracking and crumbling over time.
- Use of the wrong tools: Using the wrong tools during concrete pouring can result in cracks, bumps, and holes. Strong, heavy-duty tools are necessary for this task, as wooden or plastic tools won't suffice. Some of the most important tools needed for concrete mixing include a large wheelbarrow, a concrete mixer, a bull float, a magnesium float, a heavy-duty concrete groover, and a broom or brush.
- Wrong amount of water: The most common mistake in DIY concrete is using the wrong amount of water. The proportion of water to dry concrete is crucial in determining the durability and appearance of your concrete surface. Too much water can result in a runny, uneven pour that compromises the strength of the concrete.
- Safety Measures: It's important to follow all safety measures and standards set by OSHA when dealing with heavy equipment, hazardous materials, or tools. Neglecting to do so can result in serious injury.
When to Call in a Professional
If you want to achieve an aesthetic, durable, and high-quality finish for your driveway or concrete surface, it's best to work with a local and experienced team that knows about the local climate. While DIY concrete pouring is feasible in summer, there are several situations in which you may need the help of a professional. These include:
- Uneven land that requires professional handling.
- Lack of appropriate tools for the job.
- Special design or texture in mind.
DIY concrete pouring can save you a few bucks, but there are several practical and aesthetic problems that can arise if you don't have the necessary knowledge and tools to complete the job properly. It's important to be aware of these problems and to call in a professional if necessary. With the right team, you can achieve an aesthetic, durable, and high-quality finish for your concrete surface. Contact Seattle Concrete for help and advice before you start your next concrete pouring job.