Concrete Floor Slab

In concrete floor slab structures, there are some guidelines to follow to avoid common mistakes that may eventually lead to cracking, misplacement, staining, and curling of concrete slab floors. Most mistakes could be avoided with proper placement, finishing touches, and usage of mix designs on well-prepared base grounds. The ideal thickness for a concrete floor slab is four inches. However, if the floor is to bear heavy loads and impacts, this thickness should be increased at least to five inches.

First, the ground where the concrete floor slab is to be laid should be prepared properly. Hard objects such as stones, roots etc., should be removed entirely. The ground then should be excavated about 4 inches and leveled to accommodate the concrete slabs. When grading, sandy soil or gravel is suitable and a vibratory plate or similar type of tool should be used to compact the base. Any straight objects secured correctly can be used to edge forms. For this matter, many persons use metal or plastic whenever there is no clump is available. Then using thread or batter boards outline squares before putting in the concrete.

The concrete mixture for the concrete floor slab should be prepared well to meet the required strength. To achieve this objective, at least 3000 pounds of concrete per square inch has to be employed. Excessive admixtures could create shrinkage. Many use plasticizers and less water when preparing the slump to avoid cracking, curling and shrinkage. Using fiber also reduces cracking and shrinkage. If the exterior of the area is subject to chilly climate or exposure to chemicals, then greater strength and air entrain is also needed.

Spreading concrete over the area should be done as close as possible to the extreme position from every respect. Thereafter, raking should be done to spread the concrete into all the right places. Flatten the concrete with a manual vibrator. This must be done carefully to get the perfect smoothness to the surface. The control joints should not be wider than 24 to 30 times over the thickness of the slab. If the spacing of joints is more than 15 feet, dowel plates or dowels are needed to transfer load of concrete. Steel reinforcement is suitable for spacing with long joint and with no joints. It would hold the cracking of concrete together and create a fine finish to the structure.

Before the concrete floor slab freezes or dries out, proper curing methods should be applied. The curing compound should be placed over the surface. Moist curing is also appropriate for this task. Freezing could easily be avoided covering the slab with insulating blankets. Some use straw enough to foam a thick layer over the slab. This layer or insulator blankets should be kept in place until the concrete strengthens enough. It will take about three days to get the desirable results.

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