Concrete is a very durable material, but it needs to be poured and finished properly to ensure it results in the best appearance and durability. Concrete pouring and finishing is a process that involves many steps.
The first step is the correct mixing ratio. The second is pouring the concrete into the formwork. The third step is finishing the concrete by applying a sealant or finish coat to protect it from damage.
To ensure that your new cementitious material has all the characteristics you want, you will need to follow it through each stage of its manufacture. It’s important to note that some stages of the process require different equipment than others. For example, if you are preparing a pour for footings or foundations, you will need different equipment than if you are making an interior finish for walls or floors.
Each step has its importance and contribution to the final result. But it can be overwhelming to consider all of them at once. So, it is essential to follow the process carefully and precisely.
Let’s talk about it in detail!!
Important Steps to Follow for Efficient Concrete Pouring and Finishing
Below are some tips that will help you understand the process and start with a good foundation.
Step 1: Prepare the surface
When preparing for the pour, the first thing you need to do is make sure that there is enough room for equipment and materials. Additionally, it’s vital to check the area where you will pour your concrete for any objects such as nails or screws. If any objects could damage your work site, remove them before starting your concrete project.
Step 2: Concrete mixing
The concrete must be mixed thoroughly by adding water and cement powder at the correct ratio with good quality tools and equipment. This can be done both manually or using a volumentic concrete mixer.
Step 3: Concrete Pouring
Once you have cleared away all debris from your site, it’s time to pour your formwork into place. This forms part of a grid pattern on which the concrete will be poured later on in this process. Make sure that you keep an eye out for any cracks or other flaws in your formwork while it’s being set up. It will ensure that any flaws can be fixed before proceeding with pouring concrete onto it later on.
Placing reinforcing steel bars in concrete slabs during the pouring process helps maintain their shape while they cure (harden). Reinforcing steel bars can also be used as decorative elements such as rebar or decorative grills in sidewalks, walkways, and driveways. Usually, these types of surfaces require special care during installation.
Step 4: Ensure Concrete Settling and Levelling
You need to ensure levelling of slab formwork. The reinforcement work is already completed during the pouring process. Now, you simply need to evaluate the column setting. In case it is not properly aligned, then begin marking the slab formwork and setting the grids.
How to do so?
Pour some concrete into a hopper or bucket until it reaches the required level of thickness and density (one part of concrete per four parts of water). Then, pour the rest of the concrete into another bucket or onto a conveyor belt and the concrete mix is performed thoroughly with a wooden paddle or paddle blade. It will ensure no air bubbles are left in the mixture when pouring onto the surface area. Thus, producing a hard surface finish on top of the poured slab.
Step 5: Concrete Finishing
The completion of the concrete work began in stages. Levelling is completed once the concrete has been poured. Afterwards, it comes to concrete finishing. The final step involves cementing, curing, and sanding, which are all individually essential to ensure a durable job.
It is essential to harden the concrete to a set level, ensuring trowelling machine can easily lay on it. Achieving hard, dense, and soft surface requires floating done by troweling. However, if the surface is not required to be floated. troweling is not sufficient. Executing proper brooming of concrete before it gets hardened is necessary.
Depending on the required finish of the concrete and considering irregularities of the concrete surface, the finishing of the concrete work could be done with plastering.
Step 6: Curing
One of the most vital tasks to perform after concrete finishing is curing. It is the process of allowing concrete to cure for several days to harden it and make it less susceptible to damage from abrasion or chemical attack. The curing process gives the concrete more benefits and increases its safety. Hence, it should not be avoided. The concrete will experience the following major problems if you don’t cure it.
- Concrete flaws or cracks
- It will have an impact on the longevity of concrete.
- Concrete’s strength is diminished
- Concrete pouring varies depending on the components used.
Concrete is a material with a long lifespan and little maintenance. However, a good sealer and regular cleaning with water and soap are two essentials that guarantee the durability of concrete. On the same day as the concrete is set, the sealer is applied. Both elements reduce the possibility of stains or discolouration. Besides, following all these steps beginning from preparing the mix to curing it right is essential to ensure the durability of concrete and the strengthening of the building.
At Thames Concrete, we help people strengthen their properties by providing concrete suitable to application needs. So there is no need to go further if you need a concrete supplier in the UK. Contact us to talk about your needs for a residential or commercial project. We can assist you in meeting your ambition of successful outdoor construction.