A concrete patch or slab is a great way of providing a sturdy foundation on which to place other items. Concrete patches are stronger and easier to set up than a variety of other flooring types. They are suitable for outdoor or indoor use and can be stained and decorated to feature a number of different patterns and designs. Additionally, many concrete patches are relatively inexpensive, making them a great choice for people who are looking to complete projects at home but who don't wish to spend a lot of money in order to be able to complete those projects.
Use the Proper Type of Concrete
There are a number of different types of concrete that are available. Not only will each one have a somewhat different appearance, but they also differ in a variety of other ways as well. In some cases, the concrete is harder or softer. Additionally, the concrete may be easier or harder to pour. Many at home do it yourself workers find that a ready-mix type of concrete is the best for small projects. This concrete is the easiest to use, as it only requires the addition of water in order to begin the process of creating the slab. However, this type of concrete is more expensive than many other types and will not be a good idea for larger projects.
Use Proper Ingredients
If you do decide to make your own concrete out of the basic ingredients, you'll need to know which ones to choose in order to ensure that your concrete patch is set up properly. It's especially important to use water that is completely clean and free of any chemicals or charged ions.
Build the Forms
The forms for your concrete are very important. They will help to ensure that the concrete slab that you lay will be even and that the edges of the slab will look good. When setting up your wood forms, make sure that you use levels and vertical ground post measuring devices to be sure that the slab forms are completely straight, both horizontally and vertically. You'll want to post the forms into the ground where you'll lay the concrete in order to ensure that they don't move as you pour.
Compress and Level the Concrete
After you've poured the wet concrete into the form, you're not done. You'll need to move quickly to compress the concrete using a specialized tool or a 2x4. Then, you can use a scraper to take off the top layer of the concrete in order to be sure that the remaining portion is completely level as well. After you've done this, use a concrete groover and a straightedge to set up contraction lines. These lines will allow the concrete to expand and contract with the fluctuating temperature and will prevent cracks and damage.
Be sure to allow your concrete to set properly before you attempt to touch it or use it at all.