Installation of a commercial concrete slab for building a garage, warehouse, or similar structure needs plenty of strength and durability to perform its intended job. Here are some recommendations for preparing and installing a strong, durable concrete slab for your commercial building.
Prepare the Foundation
The soil foundation below your concrete slab will provide the strength and stability of your slab and needs to be prepared properly. An unprepared soil base can settle and erode with moisture, causing the concrete slab to become unsupported and crack as it shifts.
Remove any excess surface soil with a Bobcat or similar earth-moving machinery to make space for the concrete slab's depth, then install proper concrete forms around the area. It is important to level the existing soil to give it a smooth and even surface. Compact the soil when you level it to eliminate any air pockets in the soil and to compress the particles of dirt into a solid base. It can be helpful to pour a layer of filler dirt, sand, or compacted gravel onto the site to promote full stability to the site and help in the leveling of the surface before the concrete is poured.
Depending on the size of the foundation site, use an appropriately-sized compactor to level the surface foundation materials. You can use a jumping jack or a steam roller for larger jobs.
Ensure a Strong Slab
When it is time to pour the concrete for a commercial building, it is recommended to pour the slab to a depth of six inches, with the outer edges to a thickness of twelve inches. This makes the slab more durable to hold up the weight of a structure or any heavy trucks that will move upon the slab. The outer edges of a concrete slab take on the most pressure and slabs of an improper thickness can begin to crack before the interior of the slab fails.
Another detail within the concrete to help make it a strong surface is in the mixture of the concrete. When the concrete is is mixed and delivered, the concrete company will take into consideration any weather conditions and add the required additives to make sure the concrete does not freeze or dry out, depending on the weather, during its pouring and curing process. Additional water can be added to a mixture for its pouring during hot weather.
A concrete's slump is also another way to determine how it will cure and later provide required support for its intended purpose. To test the concrete for slump, concrete is pressed into a slump cone and turned over onto a flat surface. When the cone is lifted and removed from the concrete pressed inside, the concrete should slump down slightly from its cone-shape. The amount of its slump can help determine if it is the right consistency. Concrete with too much water will be too soft and slump too much and concrete too dry will be too crumbly during the test. Too much or too little water will affect the concrete's chemical reaction as ti cures and hardens, which affects its strength.
Another way to make sure your slab remains strong is by adding network of rebar into the concrete. Lay out the grid pattern of rebar onto the site, then as the concrete is poured into the form, the concrete professionals will position the rebar within the concrete's thickness.
Allow Proper Cure Time
Making sure the concrete cures for the right length of time and not too quickly or too slowly can affects its strength. In fact, concrete that is moist-cured for at least seven days is approximately 50 percent stronger than concrete that is not properly cured. Because the concrete mixture of cement and aggregate needs moisture for the concrete mixture to chemically react to create a strong slab, the moisture level is an important component. Moist curing ensure the concrete retains its moisture and does not dry out during the process.
Laying plastic sheeting over the poured concrete and using insulation blankets are all ways to keep the moisture from freezing and evaporating during the cure process. Talk to your professional concrete contractor for their recommendations.