There are many reasons that a concrete installation may go poorly. Inexperienced contractors, wrong material choices, and bad weather can lead to a weak or unstable foundation. Here we will explore some of the most common causes of poor concrete installation so that you can be aware of them and take steps to avoid them.
1. Bad Weather
You need to pour concrete in dry conditions, as too much moisture can weaken the finished product. If it rains or snows during or immediately after pouring concrete, this can cause the material to crack and crumble. If you must pour concrete in wet weather, use a waterproofing agent to protect it from the elements.
2. Wrong Material Choices
There are many different types of concrete, and each has its purpose. Choosing the wrong type of concrete for your project can lead to a subpar finished product. Be sure to consult with a professional before choosing the right concrete mix for your project.
3. Improper Installation Technique
You must pour concrete correctly for it to set properly. If the foundation is not level or the concrete is not compacted correctly, this can lead to cracks and instability. Be sure to follow all installation instructions carefully to avoid these issues.
4. Inadequate Curing
After pouring concrete, it needs to be left to cure for at least 24 hours. This allows the material to harden and achieve its full strength. If curing is not done properly, the concrete can be weak and susceptible to damage.
5. Failure to Use Fibers
Concrete is a strong material, but it can be made even stronger by adding fibers to the mix. These fibers help to reinforce the concrete and prevent cracking. Be sure to ask your contractor if they use a concrete mix with fibers.
6. Using Old Cement
Cement has a shelf life, and using old cement can lead to a weaker finished product. Be sure to check the expiration date on the cement. Additionally, cement that has been stored in humid or wet conditions is more likely to be weakened and should be avoided.
7. Poorly Mixed Concrete
You must mix concrete correctly for it to set properly. If the proportions of cement, sand, and aggregate are not correct, this can lead to a weak foundation. Ask your contractor how they mixed the concrete before pouring it.
8. Incorrect Slope
The concrete slope needs to be correct for proper drainage. If the slope is too steep, water can pool on the surface and cause cracking. If the slope is too shallow, water can seep underneath and cause the foundation to settle. Be sure to ask your contractor about the correct slope for your area.
9. Troweling Too Soon or Too Late
Troweling is the process of finishing the concrete by smoothing it with a large tool. You need to do this at the right time, as troweling too soon can cause the concrete to set improperly while troweling too late can result in a weaker finish.
These are just a few of the most common causes of poor concrete installation. Be sure to consult with a professional before beginning your project, and be sure to follow all instructions carefully. By taking these precautions, you can help ensure a successful concrete installation.