Buying ready mix concrete is a great idea if you plan on taking on your own small concrete-pouring project, such as that of laying down a walkway or patio on your property. However, while ready mix concrete projects can very well be DIY projects, there are some things you should know about preparing the site prior to pouring the concrete. This way, you can ensure the best possible results and avoid problems down the road, such as cracks or premature deterioration of your concrete.
DO Calculate the Right Amount
One of the most important preparation steps when it comes to ready mix concrete is that of determining exactly how much you need based on the size of the site itself. There are some helpful calculators out there that will actually do most of the work for you if you simply enter in the dimensions of the area you're looking to pour concrete over and the specific type of concrete project you're taking on--whether it be a pillar, a patio, or a concrete form. From there, order a little bit more than your calculations recommend, just to be safe. Better to have too much concrete than not enough.
DO Compact and Level
You'll need to make sure that the ground on which you'll be pouring your ready mix concrete is as level as possible. Furthermore, the ground should be completely compacted, which you can do by using a tamper manually or purchasing an automatic tamper (recommended if you have a larger area of land to compact). Having compacted ground on which to pour the concrete is especially important because otherwise, the ground will settle after you've poured the concrete. As it continues to settle, the concrete will inevitably crack and crumble.
DON'T Forget the Formwork
Another important aspect of preparing the site for your ready mix concrete pour is laying down the formwork, which typically consists of timber planks laid out around the perimeter of the site itself. There are two main purposes for the formwork: to support the concrete as it's setting, and to make it easier for you to form a completely level surface. Always use a level to check and ensure that your formwork is completely level before moving on to the next step, however.
By keeping these tips in mind as you prepare for pouring ready mix concrete, you'll be well on your way to a well done concrete job in no time.