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An image of finished concrete work in Encinitas.

With proper installation, your concrete driveway can last for many decades. While the look of the concrete will depend on the finishing technique, there is a need for proper preparation of the ground if the surface will continue to look good in the long term. You need to ensure that the soil where concrete pouring is done is appropriately drained and compacted.

If you need excellent contractors for concrete pouring in Encinitas, get in touch with Encinitas Pro Concrete Co. at (760) 283-6733 for free quotes.

Since concrete is porous, you should ensure that a concrete slab is elected in an area where drainage isn’t a problem. If there is subsurface water, it can cause the flexing of the ground leading to stress cracks. When you prepare the surface well before concrete pouring, you will avoid cracks after the concrete slab is finished.

Importance of a Good Base in Concrete Pouring

Like we have already noted, concrete will crumble and crack if it isn’t poured over a stable and solid base. When you add about four to six inches of a great and compactable base, you can add to the surface’s strength. It is also worth noting that the exact amount of base needed for the driveway will depend on the current soil’s condition, the climate of the location, and the amount of load to be put on the surface.

It is possible to pour on gravely or sandy soil even without adding a base. However, if you live in an area with a cold-weather or will be pouring over organic or heavy soil, or you will need parking-heavy autos on the surface, you may want to increase the base area between 10 and 12 inches. You can speak to your concrete contractor to determine the amount of base needed. They will recommend the right amount of base for the surface once they know the soil condition and the intended use of the slab.

Steps in Preparing a Base for Concrete Pouring

Before you start concrete pouring, you should use the following steps in preparing the base.

Compact the Base Layer

You should prepare 3 or 4 passes using a compactor whenever you add two inches of lift or base. Lift refers to the later you add. You should then compact the soil using a vibrating plate compactor. This is the right choice of a compactor as it will compact the soil even as it backfills trenches.

Make the Base Damp

If the base is super-dry, it will not compact very. This means that when preparing the base layer in dry weather, you need to add some little moisture. Use a garden hose to spray down the lift and ensure maximum compaction. Consider if there is enough moisture in the base. To do that, grab a handful before compressing it to make a ball. When you find that it is holding in shape, you will be ready to go to the next step.

If it crumbles, you should add some water. If the base gets oversaturated, it won’t compact well. Therefore, you should avoid spraying a lot of water to the point where it begins to pool. Making the surface moist will also help to reduce the dust.

Ensure that the Forms Remain Straight

You should tie a string between 2 screws at the two ends of form boards. The strings are used to guide you in making the form boards straight. Ensure that the forms have been set at the right height, causing the last list. This way, you will be using the form to guide you on the base’s final height. To ensure that the water doesn’t pool, the concrete slab should be made at a slope of 1/8 inch. If you are unable to meet the right slope to the sub, you should angle the slab on one side to enable the water to flow away according to the yard’s natural grade.

Contact a Concrete Contractor

If you want your concrete surface to last long, you want to ensure that your contractor begins with the right base preparation. Your choice of a concrete contractor will affect their ability to produce good results. This is why you need to contact a qualified and experienced concrete contractor.

If you need one, get in touch with Encinitas Pro Concrete Co. on (760) 283-6733 for free quotes.