Pouring Concrete basement floor


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Old 11-06-05, 03:01 AM
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Pouring Concrete basement floor

Hello people,
I have an older home with a mostly dirt floor. I want to pour a concrete slab to help control the dampness. I have my oil tank, water heater, furnace, etc up on blocks so I can pour around them. I don't want to bring in a cement truck because the only access point for the chute is at the opposite end of the basement and I would need to bring the mix over one wheel barrow at a time. So my questions are...

First, does anyone have any suggestions or ideas on how to make this job easier?

Should I mix by hand and pour small sections at a time?

What type of mix should I use?

Should I lay a moisture barrier on the dirt before pouring?

What is the best way to mix if I don't want to spend $700 for a cement mixer?

Thanks in advance for your help.
 
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Old 11-06-05, 06:07 AM
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First off, it is 100 times easier to get a mixer truck and pour it one wheelbarrow at a time than to mix it by hand or with a rented mixer and still pour it one wheelbarrow at a time. Not to mention the concrete will be much better quality too, and you won't have to get all the materials to your house and deal with shortages or leftovers.
Second, a vapor barrier would be a good idea. Keep in mind that it will force all the bleedwater to the surface as it has nowhere else to go. This will make the concrete set a bit slower. Make sure not to start finishing until the bleedwater is gone, or you will get a weak surface.
In my opinion, it would be a good idea to hire a concrete finisher to help you with this. A basement floor is a large area for a novice. See if you can't find a finisher to help you as a "side job". A little extra cash around the holidays is always welcome for us. He's probably got all the needed tools already anyway, saving you the rental or cost of buying them.
As to the mix, I like a six bag mix (4 to 5 inch slump) with Nycon fibers added. These are very fine nylon fibers that are virtually invisible in a finished slab, unlike the old fibermesh fibers that were coarse and noticeable. Good luck.

Pecos
 
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Old 11-06-05, 09:55 AM
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Pouring Concrete basement floor

Doing a slab by yourself is a bigger project than most people assume. Here are a few comments to your questions:

1.Get as much help as possible to make it easier. Concrete is heavy and it is perishable (will not wait for you). Once you start, you cannot stop. Hire help or get a lot of friends.

2. Do not mix by hand. I guarantee you will have an inferior concrete and every batch will be different. You don't want to try to finish the drier concrete in the center while the wetter concrete around it is still setting up.

3. Use a 3" - 4" slump to minimize shrinkage cracks. The additional water is the cause for lower strength and more shrinkage. Fiber mesh is a good idea.

4. Definitely put a moisture barrier under the slab.

5. There is no good way to mix it yourself. The biggest problem is getting the concrete in and finished. You don't want to add the hassle of orderring, sand, rock and cement to that. You may want to explore renting a conveyor and run it through the window. You can get a truck unloaded easily in short order if you don't order sloppy concrete.

While you are at it, you may want to consider drain tile with a sump and a floor drain.

Dick
 
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Old 11-11-05, 01:42 AM
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Thank you both for the valuable input! I new something like this would be a lot of work but you guys confirmed my suspicion that it would not be a good idea to try and mix it by hand! It sounds like the best approach would be to do all the prep work myself and then get some help when it is time to pour from the truck.

Thanks again!
 
 

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