Concrete floor slabs are becoming popular for commercial and residential buildings.
A concrete base is good for thermal efficiency, keeps the structure durable and supports large and heavy structures.
For a good concrete floor slab construction, the following procedures are recommended.
Formwork is used to hold the concrete slab in place until it gains shape and dries up.
The erection of formwork should follow some aspects of construction.
For example, the position should be correctly lined and levelled with no protruding nails in the concrete.
Joints should also be sealed appropriately and use materials like steel, wood and aluminium in the construction of formwork.
The formwork frame is laid correctly to make sure the slab is not compromised.
The concrete floor slab should be on the same level as the height of the formwork.
Excavate the Surface
Excavation machines are used on the site to level the ground followed by pins that are arranged on the ground to mark the project’s floor area.
Engineers use a laser level to make the ground level followed by footings and piers.
Removal of organic stone, large roots and organic materials is performed.
Before concrete is poured, formwork is built around the perimeter wall which holds the slab in place until it sets.
Organize Slab Bedding
For the concrete to be set well on the floor, the slab bedding should be organized properly.
This can be done by using crusher dust of a quality thickness that is accepted by building codes.
The surface should be flat and compacted firmly. When this is done correctly, be assured there will be no cracks after or before curing.
Put in Reinforcement
Reinforcements like bars, spacers and tiers prevent the concrete from cracking and caving in once the load is placed on.
Reinforcement also improves the tensile strength which makes it more durable and long-lasting.
Pour Concrete and Compact
Before you pour the concrete, make sure the aggregate mix meets all the comprehensive strengths required to prevent excessive shrinkage.
Water in concrete increases shrinkage and cracking. It is therefore advised to use a plasticizer to achieve the desired slump.
Use a mix of concrete that has the specified strength and before concrete placement, soak the concrete slab with water.
This helps prevent moisture loss.
Pour the concrete and spread it over the slab area.
Adding control joints is necessary; this will prevent cracks from forming when the concrete dries up and shrinks.
Compact the slab properly for the concrete to bind and bound. Consolidate low slump using vibration.
Cure The Concrete Slab Floor And Remove Formwork
Curing conditions can be very critical, once the concrete is set and can resist damage, that’s when curing starts taking place.
Do not delay and wait when the concrete has frozen and dried out and that’s when you remember to cure it. Always cure it as soon as it sets.
Moisture application helps the concrete to seal adequately. In case you notice the chances of it freezing you can cover using an insulator.
The formwork can be removed without causing any damage to the concrete slab.
Common Mistakes in Concrete Floor Slabs And How to Avoid Them
Common mistakes are evident in the concrete floor slab construction. The problems can be avoided by proper base preparation, mixing design, compacting, placement and curing.
The recommended standard of concrete floor slab should be 4 inches for residential and five to six inches in case the concrete is going to carry heavy loads occasionally.
A good finish will make the slab look awesome for some time but a better ground preparation will look awesome for a lifetime.