How A Concrete Foundation Is Poured

A building's foundation is the most important structural component. If the foundation is flawed in any way, the structural integrity of the entire building will be at stake. To ensure that you end up with a good foundation, there are certain steps you'll need to take.

Get Clearance from the Authorities

Before you start any work on your foundation, get the necessary clearance from the authorities. You'll probably need a permit before the work starts. You'll also need to have officials from the utility company on site to let you know where the utility lines pass in the area.

Prepare the Site

Test the soil to find out if it has the right qualities for a foundation. Soils with poor drainage can lead to faster deterioration of your concrete foundation. If you have clay soil, for example, you'll need to dig deeper to add more compacted gravel under the foundation. You may need an excavator for this job, depending on how deep you have to dig.

Building the Form

The form is what sets the shape and limits of your foundation. You'll need straight form boards for this. Ensure that the form is braced to preserve their shape. Poured concrete tends to push outwards, and this can result in a curve. Ensure your bracing is strong enough to prevent this.

Start on the Base

The next step is to install the rebar which gives the concrete extra reinforcement. This makes the concrete stronger and also provides improved resistance to cracking. You can divide the slab in two so the concrete is poured in on two different days. This may be important during hot weather when the concrete may harden faster than you can work on it. Mark the doors and the anchor bolts in the form.

Prepare for the Truck

Things move fast when concrete is being poured. It's important to ensure everything is ready before the concrete truck gets there. Check the forms and figure out how much concrete is needed. Have your helpers and equipment ready at the site.

Pouring and Flattening

Concrete is first placed in the areas furthest from the truck. You may need to use wheelbarrows. Concrete should be poured near its final spot since it can't be shoveled very far. Use a float and trowel to produce a smooth finish on the concrete. Grooving should also be done to allow for controlled shrinkage of the concrete.

For help with pouring concrete, contact a company like S&W Concrete.