If you are a homeowner renovating your home, you might be tempted to try to DIY with concrete improvements. From outside steps to full patios, concrete is an appealing material for virtually any structure. However, concrete is also difficult to work with. Here are six mistakes that you are most likely to make when attempting to build and pour your own concrete.
1. Not Prepping the Surface
As with many complex jobs, preparing the surface adequately is a large part. To pour concrete, you need to prepare and level the ground below. Often, this means digging down at least a foot into the ground and backfilling with sand, gravel, and other similar materials.
Skipping this stage may result in an attractive surface for now, but the concrete will begin to crack and tilt in time. Concrete is extremely heavy, so surface preparation is necessary for the concrete to last.
2. Mixing the Concrete Incorrectly
For those who are not familiar with concrete, mixing the concrete incorrectly and not noticing until you cannot change things is possible. Adding too much water to concrete will make it easier to pour and work with but will also lead to concrete that is weaker and more likely to chip and crack. On the other hand, mixing concrete with too little water can lead to concrete that is lumpy and hard to work with.
3. Not Adapting to the Environment
Professionals consider many environmental factors when they schedule a concrete pour.
If the area is humid, then the concrete will take longer to set. If rain comes, the finish on the concrete could easily become damaged and need to be resurfaced. If the weather is freezing, the concrete may harden incorrectly. Failing to consider the upcoming weather could lead to damaged concrete that you would have to redo.
4. Forgetting to Finish It
Concrete can have a very natural appearance, which leads many to believe that you can simply pour it into a mold and leave it to set. However, concrete actually goes through numerous professional finishing processes to give it a professional appearance.
If you simply pour concrete and let it set, it will have a rough, uneven appearance. To get the appearance that most concrete has, you will either have to manually smooth or brush it. You might even need to stamp it, which can lead to even more work and potential complexities.
5. Not Calculating the Amount of Concrete Necessary
Concrete is a strong material specifically because it is dense. And many people underestimate how much concrete they will need for their project.
Depending on the space you want to pave, you might need thousands of pounds of concrete for your project, but that concrete can be difficult to move. A homeowner can easily hurt himself or herself when working with concrete, as concrete usually comes in bags that you have to manually move because having them delivered adds extra costs to your project.
6. Not Using the Right Concrete
Many different types of concrete exist. You have quick setting concretes, extra strong concretes, and aggregates available, all of which people generally use for different purposes. Using the wrong type of concrete could mean you have to redo an entire project.
A DIY concrete project is time-consuming and difficult. You might be surprised at how affordable hiring a professional is to pave your concrete surface. Get a no-obligation quote from a professional by contacting Accu-Krete. We're ready to answer your questions and help you with your concrete project today. Just let us know what you need, and we'll be happy to help in any way.