Pouring concrete foundation right after the rain

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Old 01-21-17, 10:28 AM
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Pouring concrete foundation right after the rain

I am building a pad for my rain barrels I will be installing shortly. The pad will be a 3" compacted class II roadbase or recycled concrete. The perimeter of the pad will be contained by 18" deep 12" wide foundation with 2 ft "retaining" wall attached to it on three sides. It's been raining here cats and dogs for the last couple of weeks and surrounding clay soil is very much saturated so when I finish my excavation for the foundation I am sure it will be pretty wet soil. Can or should I poor concrete when surrounding soil is so wet? If not what is the alternative?
Thank you in advance.
 
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Old 01-24-17, 07:43 AM
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BTT

Also is it better to poor foundation into 2x12 "frame" or just leave it to fill the voids of excavation? Not going to look as neat but will probably have a better "grab" factor, no?
 
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Old 01-24-17, 09:14 AM
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Many clays are expansive, meaning they swell when wet. If you pour when the clay is saturated, you will likely have settling and shifting when it dries out. OTOH, if you pour when it's fully dried out, then you can have trouble with the swelling shifting the slab as well, next time it rains a lot. I think you are better off waiting until the soil dries out, and then using a good aggregate base to provide some buffer against potential swelling of the clay.

I would use forms wherever you care about the appearance of the edge of the concrete. They also make it easier to screen the concrete flat.
 
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Old 01-24-17, 08:01 PM
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Thank you Paul,

How about I wait till it dries out halfway? Maybe a compromise between two extremes... Also, when you mention aggregate base, is it on the bottom of my foundation or the one I use as a base for my barrels?
 
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Old 01-25-17, 06:32 AM
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Ideally you want at least a few inches of aggregate between the concrete and soil. So underneath any flat slabs, and backfilled against any vertical sections. Usually, on vertical sections you backfill against the section with aggregate up to 6 inches or so below ground level, and then cover that with soil.
 
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