Concrete Problems: How to Prevent Frost Heave
Preventing frost heave is a necessity if you are pouring new concrete. Concrete problems such as heaving, buckling or breaking apart can leave you no option except replacing the concrete.
Step 1 - Prepare the Area
Dig out the area where you are going to pour the concrete to a depth of at least 6 inches. Using a power tamper, tamp down the soil until it is very hard. Once you have the soil heavily tamped down, dump 4 to 6 inches of crushed stone into the area and level it out.
For extra precaution you can add a perforated drain pipe that will drain off any water to another area, but this isn't always necessary unless you live in a low area or an area with heavy rains.
Step 2 - Pour the Concrete
After you prepare the base, you can pour the concrete. You should pour a slab that will dry to be at least 3 inches thick. You can pour half of the concrete, then install reinforcement bars into the cement. For a large area or very thick area, you may also want to press steel mesh into the cement. Then pour the remainder of the concrete and smooth it.