We live in a digital era and that also means that we live in the era of DIY’ers. Ever since the emergence of tutorial videos on YouTube, homeowners all over the world have taken on the challenge of trying to complete home renovation projects that require the skills of a professional.
It’s perfectly understandable to want to take on home renovations projects to feel that sense of accomplishment once the project is complete but not at the cost of your safety, and the safety of your home. Now, there are indeed some projects that you can take on as a homeowner and successfully complete but then there are projects that require more than watching a few YouTube videos and having a bit of know-how… Concrete installation is one of those projects that homeowners take on and fail terribly.
The thing about concrete installation is that it’s not as easy as people think… it’s not like trying to figure out how effective a cordless leaf blower is… it’s much more complicated than that. What a lot of homeowners don’t realize is that there is a multitude of preparation that happens before the tiniest drop of concrete is poured anywhere.
You have to consider prepping the site, how much concrete you need to buy, the type of mix design you want, and the curing process. All of those things need to be taken into consideration, and with residential concrete pouring projects, you’re going to need more experience than having watched a few YouTube videos.
Let’s say your driveway needs to be replaced… Instead of trying to take that project on by yourself, you need to get estimates for concrete driveway contractors. These concrete driveway contractors have the education and special training as well as special certifications to do this kind of work, therefore, they know what they’re doing. On top of that, there is a huge safety risk involved… the mistakes you make can not only end up costing you lots of money but it can pose several threats of injury as well.
If you need concrete work done at your home, don’t do it yourself; hire a professional… or else you can end up making some of these costly and potentially dangerous mistakes.
Biggest Concrete Pouring Mistakes
Mistake 1: Not knowing how much concrete is needed for the project
Not knowing how much concrete you need can be quite a costly mistake. The area where homeowners get it wrong is not knowing or underestimating how thick the concrete needs to be for their project. You base the thickness of the concrete on how much weight the concrete will be bearing or supporting. For example, commercial driveways that support heavy traffic will need to have concrete that’s thicker than residential driveways that support regular or family type of cars.
Mistake 2: Not having the right water to cement ratio
If you don’t have this mixture ratio right, it could make for a terrible and unsafe finished project. This part of a concrete project is so important simply because this ratio has a direct effect on the concrete’s strength and durability as well as how long it will take to set and its workability.
Mistake 3: Creating a slippery surface
Smooth surfaces are wonderful for countertops but for flooring, not so much… it’s an injury waiting to happen! To combat slippery surfaces, you need to add texture to the cement before it hardens. You can do this in various ways too.
Some prefer to run a concrete broom across the cement surface while others prefer decorative overlays like stone or brick. You also have the option of adding gritty material to the sealant.
Mistake 4: Being impatient with the forms
Some homeowners get overly excited and end up removing the forms before the concrete is fully dry. The forms are what hold the concrete in place and when it’s removed before it’s fully dry, it can cause the concrete to crack or collapse. When concrete is in the forms, you need to give it at least two days to fully dry.
Mistake 5: Not wearing proper gear
According to safex.us, working with concrete can pose serious health threats. This is something that lots of homeowners don’t take into consideration. They think they can just throw on a shirt and some jeans and get to work… Well, that’s not how it works. You need to make sure you’re wearing the proper gear before handling some of these solvents and chemicals.
For example, when working with dry concrete, you have to consider that it contains silica, which can lead to the development of silicosis or even lunger cancer if you’re exposed to it for long periods of time. To reduce your chances of this, you want to wear an N-95 respirator to reduce inhaling cement dust.
Mistake 6: Pouring concrete when weather conditions are bad
You obviously wouldn’t want to start pouring concrete in the middle of a thunderstorm but ideally, you would want to pour concrete when it’s not raining, and it’s not extremely hot or cold out. When the weather is too cold it can weaken the concrete’s strength. When the weather is too hot, it can evaporate the water in the concrete and make it dry too quickly. Things like insulation blankets and sprinklers can reduce the chances of weather conditions ruining your concrete.