4 Tips for Pouring Aggregate Concrete 4 Tips for Pouring Aggregate Concrete

Aggregate concrete has many useful applications in a home. It consists of cement, water and an aggregate material. Sand, gravel and pebbles are often used as aggregates. You can pour the concrete onto the patio, driveway or sidewalk to achieve a decorative effect. Well-poured aggregate concrete can spruce up your home significantly. Knowledge of a few tips helps to give you the desired results when you pour the material.

1.   Preparation

It is important that you set your forms in place before you pour the concrete. These serve as the boundaries for the concrete and give the installed surface the desired shape. Boards that measure 2 by 4 inches can help you set your forms adequately. Use stakes or poles to secure the forms firmly into the ground before you pour the concrete. Once you have your forms in place, spray the surface lightly with a garden hose before you pour in the concrete. It is a good idea to wash the aggregate before you pour it in. Drill some holes at the bottom of a bucket and place in the aggregate. Douse the aggregate with water until it runs clear.

2.   Pouring

Once the concrete is mixed, use a wheelbarrow to help you carry it to the installation site. It helps if you have somebody to help you with the job. As you pour the concrete into the forms, your helper can spread it evenly with a trowel or spade. This will get the job done more effectively. Leave a gap of about ½ inch between the concrete surface and the top of the forms. This gives you some allowance when you set the aggregate in place. Allow the concrete to dry partially, for about 2 to 3 hours, before you add in the aggregate.

3.   Aggregate

It is best not to pour the aggregate into the concrete. When you pour, it leaves you with lumpy areas. Distribute the aggregate in the same way you would distribute seeds on a seed bed. This gives you a more uniform surface. You can level the aggregate with a broom. Use a lawn roller to compact the aggregate in the concrete. Where you spot areas without aggregate, you’ll need to fill in the bare areas. The aggregate must be pressed down until it is flush with the surface of the concrete.

4.   Sealing

It is best to seal the concrete about 4 weeks after you’ve poured it into place. This helps to compact the aggregate and secure the installation. When you seal the concrete, it also helps to protect the material from heat and moisture. This reduces the incidence of cracks on your concrete. Before you seal the concrete, be sure to wash it with a power washer. This will clear dirt, debris and stains. You must then allow it to dry for 24 hours before you apply a sealant. It is best to use a penetrating siloxane sealer. Allow the sealer to dry completely before you walk upon the concrete.

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