For decades, concrete has been the building material of choice for many construction projects. Whether you’re paving small driveways or constructing the tallest corporate tower, concrete beats out almost any other alternative.
There are many reasons for concrete’s popularity. First and foremost, it’s more than capable of withstanding extremely large loads. Concrete is also durable, owing to the fact that it’s resistant to fire and extreme temperatures. In addition, it looks great as well. That’s why you’ll find concrete elements in a lot of houses with contemporary aesthetics.
Furthermore, it’s extremely easy to work with. Hence you don’t need to have the skills of an experienced construction worker to use concrete in your DIY projects.
That being said, there are a couple of important things to remember when you’re working with concrete. By keeping the following things in mind, you’ll make sure that you avoid any serious mistakes that could either end up ruining your project or put you in harm’s way.
Make Sure You’ve Gathered the Right Tools
Concrete needs to be mixed, poured, layered and smoothed before you’re done with. Hence, unsurprisingly, you’ll need a long list of tools to work with it. This usually includes the following:
- Measuring tape
- Pry bar
- Hand float
- Edging tool
- Rubber boots
- Wheelbarrow (if you can’t afford to buy a power mixer)
Do not start mixing or pouring until you have all of the required tools.
Wear Protective Attire
Wet cement can cause burns in your skin and eyes. That’s why you see construction workers wearing large boots, gloves and protective goggles whenever they’re pouring concrete.
In addition, you should also wear a proper dusk mask so that you don’t breathe any concrete dusk. If enough of it gets in your respiratory system, you could develop breathing problems in the future.
Build a Proper Form
The form is the container onto which the concrete is poured and left to harden. They’re usually made up of the right lengths of wood nailed together. The form is what gives a concrete slab its shape. Hence, if you don’t construct it properly, the slab will end up misshapen.
The key to constructing a form is to pay extra attention to the corners. Get them into perfect right angles, and you have nothing to worry about.
If you’ve never built a form before or don’t want to bother with it, we recommend that you enrol the help of a reliable local contractor. The very best ones, you can hire from here.
Don’t Pour until You’re Ready for the Finishing Process
The biggest mistake you can do is pouring the concrete before you have the means to level it and add the finishing touches. Concrete dries pretty fast (especially on a hot day), so you have to be ready to act quickly. Gather all the required tools (screed, bull-float, edging tool, hand-float…etc.) and have them handy before you pour.
As long as you keep these 4 things in mind, you should have no trouble whatsoever when working with concrete.