Concrete improvements will both enhance the beauty and increase the value of your property. You can build them yourself, easily and economically. While building these desirable improvements, you can also make needed repairs around your home. Do them now and save future worry and expense caused by neglect of minor repairs.

It’s easy to work with concrete. Only ordinary tools are needed. By following a few simple rules – you can make repairs and improvements that are safe and durable and require little or no maintenance.

Walks, patios, shed bases and similar flat work are usually formed with 2 X 4’s set on edge and nailed to stakes placed about 4 ft. apart. Set forms so that finished work will have a slight slope for drainage.

Ordinary sidewalks, patios etc. should be 4 in. thick – for driveways, 6 in. is recommended.

No – unless the soil drains poorly or is soft or mucky – If this is the case, Place 4 to 6 in. of sand, gravel or crushed stone in the prepared area.

It depends on the job. The most popular mix is a 4000 P.S.I., which should be used on any project exposed to freeze/thaw conditions.

Place the concrete in the forms to the full depth, spading along the sides to ensure complete filling. Strike off the concrete with a length of 2 X 4 in a saw-like motion. Go over the concrete twice in this manner to take out the bumps.

Low spots should be filled before the second pass to provide a uniform surface.

Immediately after striking off, work a mag float back and forth across the slab to smooth it and remove irregularities. Work a slight amount of cement paste to the surface. Don’t overwork concrete; overworking will result in a less durable surface.

At all points where the new concrete abuts curbs or other fixed objects. Expansion joints should be of 1/2 in. thick molded strips extending the full depth of the slab. Walks should be divided into sections about 4 ft. long, by cutting a 3/8 in. groove with a trowel.

It depends on the kind of finish you want. If you desire, the rough texture produced by the mag float can be your final finish. The appearance can be improved by using the wood hand float in a swirl pattern. This is done after the concrete has begun to stiffen. Get out on the slab by walking and kneeling on pieces of wide, flat board laid on the surface of the concrete. Work the hand float in wide, sweeping arcs across the slab, and back off the slab as you work.

If you prefer a roughened texture without float marks, draw a fiber brush across the surface. The concrete should be hard enough to retain the grooves or mark made by the brush. The roughness of the brushing can be varied by using a stiff broom or a very soft brush, as you prefer.

If you desire a very smooth surface, the final finishing is done with a steel trowel. Delay steel toweling until the concrete is quite stiff, otherwise excessive water will be worked to the surface. Too much water on the surface would weaken the slab. Work the trowel in seeping arcs in the same manner as mag floating. For the final finish, use the steel trowel again when the concrete is almost hard. The trowel should make a ringing noise as it is worked over the slab and little or no mortar should cling to the trowel in this final operation.

Concrete must be cured so that it will be strong and have a durable surface. Curing can be done by keeping the concrete continuously wet for at least 3 days in warm weather and 7 days in cool weather. This can be done in a number of ways.

When the concrete is hard, moisten with a hose and cover with a plastic sheet weighted down around the edges. This will prevent rapid evaporation of the moisture. You can also cure by keeping the slab wet with a sprinkler or by covering the slab with burlap or other material and keeping the burlap moist by occasionally spraying with water.

Concrete is sold by the cubic yard. With TDSĀ Concrete, it is not necessary to know the exact amount. Just give us the dimensions (length x width x depth) and we will figure it for you.

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