How to Prepare for New Concrete

A new slab of concrete is a major investment that requires careful preparation and planning. It’s important to understand each step of the process from start to finish in order to ensure a successful outcome. Here are seven steps to prepare for new concrete:

1. Clear the Area

Remove any debris, dirt, vegetation, and existing concrete that may be present in the area where you plan to pour your new concrete. Make sure the area is clear of obstructions so that you can work safely and efficiently.

2. Excavate

Dig out the soil in the area to a depth of at least 6 inches (15 cm). The hole should be larger than what’s needed for your slab, as it will settle over time. When you’re done excavating, use a plate compactor or tamper to create a flat, uniform surface.

3. Compact

Use a hand tamper or roller compactor to make sure that the base is packed tightly and level before pouring your concrete mix into it. If you skip this step, your slab could settle unevenly which can lead to cracking.

4. Install Reinforcement

Prior to pouring your concrete, install any necessary reinforcement such as steel rebar or mesh to reinforce the strength of your slab.

5. Estimate Amount Needed

Figure out how much concrete you will need for the project and purchase it in advance. Make sure that it is delivered to the site at least one day before you plan to pour so it has time to settle and cure.

6. Prepare Forms/Edges

If creating a form from wood or plastic, secure edges with stakes and line the inside walls with wax paper or plastic sheeting. This will help prevent sticking when removing your forms later on.

7. Pour Concrete Mix

Once all steps have been completed, you are ready to begin pouring your concrete mix. Make sure that you are wearing proper safety equipment and follow the directions on your specific concrete mix for best results.

Now you are ready to enjoy your new concrete! With a little preparation, pouring and finishing concrete can be an easy and rewarding DIY project. Good luck!