Concreting requires a lot more detail aside from pouring the concrete itself. Proper planning is essential not to waste time, money, and effort. Improper planning may not only affect your schedule and budget but may raise numerous safety risks as well. Here are 5 of the common concreting mistakes that you might encounter:
1. Underestimating the concrete volume requirement
There are numerous ways to compute the amount of concrete required by your project, depending on its intended use. For specific tasks, especially those involving slabs, some contractors eyeball it or calculate based on the size of the area and forget the importance of depth. Shortage in concrete supply during pouring may lead to issues in performance when the concrete dries up. Concrete being too thin would lead to a decrease in the strength of the structure.
2. Not having the proper tools or equipment.
Once the concrete is poured into its formwork, there is very little time to make adjustments before the concrete starts drying up. This highlights the essence of preparing the right tools and equipment when concreting to avoid re-doing the area. It’s also best to invest in machinery for hard-to-reach areas to save both time and money on labor costs.
3. Incorrect water-cement ratio
The concrete’s water-cement ratio affects the concrete design significantly in terms of strength, curing time, workability, etc. When there’s too much water in the mix, the tendency is that the concrete will most likely develop cracks after curing. With less water, on the other hand, concrete would be too dense to work with. The appropriate water-cement ratio can be found on your country’s Building Codes.
4. Removing formworks too early
When formworks are removed too soon, the freshly poured concrete’s chances of not drying evenly are very high. In cases like these, concrete tends to develop cracks once cured or, ultimately, collapse. Although most schedules for construction projects are very tight, there is no way around the setting and curing process of the concrete.
5. Using the wrong kind of concrete
Even though all types of concrete have the same basic materials such as water, cement, and aggregates, some people are not aware that many different types of cement vary depending on their intended use. There are five types of cement available in the market, which have the following characteristics:
- Type I: General Use. Typically used in buildings.
- Type II: Low Sulfate Cement. Used for structures in direct contact with soil or water.
- Type III: High Early Strength. Ideal for projects with short schedules or cold weather.
- Type IV: Low Heat Cement. Used commonly in dams; generates less heat.
- Type V: Sulfate Resistant Cement: For structures exposed to sulfate ions or high-alkali soil.
There are numerous mistakes during concreting that could happen, and most of them are caused by human errors. To ultimately decrease the chance of ruining your freshly poured concrete, the best option is to pay attention to detail and not give in to negligence. Overall, the key is to understand what type of concrete you are working on to avoid these mistakes in the future.
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