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How To Prepare
How to prepare.
- Generally speaking, when you pour concrete you should check with your city building inspection department to learn what is required in terms of permits and inspections. Since concrete is a perishable product, waiting until the concrete arrives to find out that a permit is required can be an expensive learning experience.
- Have a plan. If you are working from a building plan, read the requirements carefully and follow them. If you are working from an idea in your head, commit it to paper, so you can communicate it to others and so you can be clear about what you intend to do.
- Concrete arrives as a flowable liquid. Within 90 minutes of mixing, concrete should be in its final place and waiting for the appropriate finishing steps. While in its liquid form, concrete exerts a huge amount of pressure on its form work. The requirements for form work vary according to the volume of concrete contained by the form and the height of the concrete. When it doubt, build form work heavy. It is much easier to build a sturdy form than to attempt to shore up a weak form during a pour, or to clean up after a form has failed in the middle of a pour.
Ground or soil preparation.
- Concrete should be poured on undisturbed ground when possible. If this isn't possible, pouring on well compacted and well drained subgrade is important. Concrete just 4" deep weighs almost 23 kilograms per square foot, so if it is placed on uncompacted fill, the concrete itself will compact the fill, and you may run short.
Determine need for re-enforcement.
- Concrete is incredibly strong in compression. It takes great force to compress concrete - commonly used exterior mixes typically are able to resist more than 4000 pounds of compressive force per square inch before crushing. However, concrete is not particularly strong in either flexion or tension. If concrete will be subjected to either significant flexion or tension forces, you may need to use steel to re-enforce the concrete. The steel provides the strength to resist tension and flexion.
Tools and crew requirements.
- There are many tools required for concrete finishing. Most neighborhood rental stores will be able to rent wheelbarrows, bullfloats, mags, trowels, edgers and jointers. Shovels, rakes and other tools to move wet concrete will be required. If you need to wheel the concrete, you will need 1-3 wheelbarrow operators and 1-2 people on the placement portion. To pour several yards of sidewalk, for example, you may be fine with two wheel operators and one screeder (the person leveling the concrete). To pour a garage may require two screeders and two more on wheelbarrows. For most pours, your spouse and 10 year old child are not enough help. When it doubt, call in several extra friends, provide some liquid refreshment (after the pour), and a bite to eat, and appreciate that the satisfaction and savings from doing the job yourself will be impossible to obtain if your crew isn't big enough or lacks the skills to finish the concrete before it turns into a solid mass of rock.
Can you do this?
- See above. Concrete pouring isn't for everyone. There are many good contractors you can hire to pour your concrete. Do not underestimate the physical requirements of pouring concrete. Bigger jobs require organization, a division of labor, competent direction and leadership skills. Start small. Learn on a small project, and work your way up to bigger projects. Or, find a friend who has a little more experience. Whatever you decide, make sure you have carefully thought through the requirements of the job and have a clear game plan to execute.
What is curing?
- Curing is maintaining sufficient temperature and moisture in concrete so that it can fully hydrate. Hydration is the chemical process that changes concrete from a sloppy liquid into a stone-like mass. 95% of hydration is complete in 28 days. However, if either the temperature drops below 40 degrees or the moisture drops below a certain level, hydration will cease before 28 days, and therefore, before the concrete reaches its full potential strength. Click on the word "curing" to learn more.
How to schedule your delivery.
- Call us at least one day before you need concrete - more if the job is large or you need special timing.
- We'll need the delivery address, the intended use for the concrete, your name and at least a rough idea of how much you will need before you can reserve a delivery.
- Call dispatch at 807-622-5805, or stop in and visit us at our dispatch office in Thunder Bay - 610 Hewitson Street.
- We are happy to walk you through the ordering process so you are sure to get what you need.
- What you need to be ready.
- How will you pay for this?
- We accept payment in cash or credit card.
- We accept checks from customers who have established commercial accounts. We will also accept a check with a printed address that matches the delivery address.
- When paying in cash, our driver will collect the payment in full before beginning to unload the material.
- Commercial credit accounts are available to customers who qualify for credit subject to the terms of our credit policy and the discretion of our credit manager.