A building has different components that connect to form a strong structure, but the most important is the slab. It provides a flat surface for the rest of the structure to stand on. It has the strength to support the entire load of the structure and acts as an insulator to fire, heat, and sound.
Due to its importance, a builder should never ignore the process of forming it. The mixtures should be within the recommended ratios, while the pouring should be done the right way. To create the perfect slab, follow these tips.
Have the right tools and materials
You need to have with you the right tools such as a 3-lb. hammer, concrete edger, dust mask, hand tamper, and work gloves. You also need the right materials like gravel, concrete mix, boards, metal, concrete cure, and landscape stakes.
Buy the best materials for high-quality structures from https://fastmetals.com/. You will get the best quality angles, flats, plates, sheets, channels, tubes, etc. You will get any type of construction metal you might think about at affordable prices. From alloys, aluminum, stainless, hot rolled, and cold finished.
Make ready the area
Get the right measurements for the area you want to pour the slab. If the ground is not level, level it first to ensure your slab will be of the same measurements. Build the slab frame using 2×4 metal, then drive the landscaping stakes deep into the ground.
Measure the diagonal to make sure your structure is in perfect shape. You must consider the type of soil underneath. If the soil doesn’t allow easy drainage, you need to create stronger concrete. If the soil is sandy, you will have no issues with drainage.
Strengthen your slab
Once your slab frame is ready, strengthen it with metal. Decide the right type of metal to buy to give your slab long-lasting strength. It will also help shape your slab to achieve the perfect corners, diagonal, width, etc.
Metal reinforcement will give your slab additional strength and resistance to cracking. To strengthen the floor, use ½ inch steel reinforcing bar on the slab floor. Confirm the measurements to ensure the frame is straight, balanced, square, and braced well. The importance of checking the diagonal is to ensure you have a perfect square of the slab.
Prepare the concrete
If you are mixing the concrete by hand, get the right tools to help you create tough concrete. You require a water bucket, a mixing trough, spade, and concrete mix. Calculate the amount of concrete needed to fill your slab. An area of about six feet cubed will require about 80 pounds of concrete.
If you are working on an area that is 10ft squared, you require about 55 bags weighing 80 pounds each which might require you to hire a concrete mixer. You require one part of cement to 2 parts of sand, to 4 parts of aggregate. If you want the slab to be stronger, you may add the ratios accordingly. Use the right amount of water and mix until you obtain a smooth but dense paste.
Pouring the concrete
You must pour the concrete into your frame within half an hour after mixing. Use a spade to pour the concrete and a trowel to work on the corners. Pour until it slightly overfills the frame. Begin to level the concrete off using a straight edge.
Once leveled, use a wooden float to compact the surface and smooth it until you attain a consistent motor finish. Wait for the water to drain before you apply the desired finish. The concrete should be kept damp for at least seven days then left to dry.