(What can you do to prepare to make things easier before we come to work.)
The careful planning and follow-up are necessary for any successful concrete project, whether you hire our company or handle the project yourself. If the project is complex or large is always best to hire a professional contractor. Hiring an expert concrete contractor also relieves the homeowner of the needed planning, preparation, and management of the project. However, before our arrival, it is important to consider just how much you can fix on your own.
Preparing New Project Area
If the concrete project is new, it first requires a removal of all organic material, such as weeds, grass, wood, as well as any water-soaked or pockets of soft soil. In some cases of concrete repair, the slab of concrete can be placed directly on the area of undisturbed soil. If any base or sub-grade was disturbed, the final height of the slab may be raised by adding fill. Fill placed on any undisturbed soli should be compacted in layers of no more than six inches. For any areas of soils with uncertain drainage, like soft black dirt or clays, it is advised to use fill base of no less than four, but no more than eight inches of fine gravel or compacted sand to assist in the disbursement of water and reduce settlement. Take note, concrete must never be placed on the frozen or muddy ground.
Preparing for Concrete Repair
To ensure the success of concrete repair, the surface must be properly prepared. Similarly, proper preparation must also be done for repairs to reinforced concrete. This involves preparation of the reinforcing steel to create a bond the new concrete. The surface preparation differs for each type of repair material. However, the concrete surface must not be too rough, too smooth, or too irregular. In the majority of concrete repairs, only requires removal of a thin layer of concrete from the damaged area, surface roughening, cleaning of the concrete surface, or exposure of fine or coarse aggregate.
Surface Preparation Methods
1) Chemical Cleaning – In some cases, trisodium phosphate, detergents, or other concrete cleaners are used for the preparation of specific cleaners. However, in the case of repairs, they are not generally recommended as the solvents carry the contaminant deeper into the concrete.
2) Mechanical Preparation – With this method, equipment such as scabblers, breakers, scarifiers, and grinders remove thin layers of the surface concrete.
3) Acid Etching – This method removes laitance and delivers a roughened concrete surface once the outer paste is removed. However, acid etching is only used when absolutely necessary due to the acid penetrating the concrete through breaks or cracks, which can promote corrosion.)
4) Abrasive Preparation – Abrasive equipment such as high-pressure water blasters, sandblasters, or shotblasters remove thin layers of surface concrete. This is followed by vacuuming or air or water blasting.
Prior to any concrete project or repair, it is always best to consult with your professional contractor (Call us today) to learn what you can do to make the process smooth. Preparing the surface may be better done if left to the experts.