How to Make Concrete Even Stronger

Save

Concrete, used extensively in modern construction for foundations, retaining walls, floors and even entire buildings, provides a strong permanent structure. Because concrete is relatively inexpensive when compared to other building materials on a square foot basis, it is often the material of choice for patios, decks and other projects. Some projects, however, require the concrete to be stronger than normal. If this is the case, take steps to make your structure stronger.

Things You'll Need

  • Concrete
  • Rebar
  • Rebar chairs
  • Pencil vibrator
  • Water hose
  • Reinforce a concrete pour with rebar or steel mesh. Rebar is the most common addition for strengthening the pour. In vertical or horizontal projects, the more rebar present in the concrete, the stronger the finished project will be. The standard application for installing rebar is on 2-foot centers, meaning that every 2 feet, you will place a rebar bar. Double the number of bars for greater strength.

  • Raise the level of rebar in a flat pour so the steel is in the center of the wet concrete, instead of lying at the bottom. The slab becomes stronger when the rebar lies in the middle of the wet concrete as it sets. Use rebar chairs as you position the rebar to keep it a couple of inches off the sand base.

  • Consider the weather when pouring concrete. The hydration rate of wet concrete, which is the rate at which the concrete sets, depends upon many factors. On a hot sunny day with little or no humidity, concrete may set at a very fast rate, leading to shrinkage and a weaker structure. Test the concrete from the truck and ask the driver to add more water until you like the consistency.

  • Mist new concrete with a water hose every hour on the day you pour it, and at least three times a day for the next two days. The slower concrete cures, the stronger it is. By wetting the exterior of the concrete during the curing process over a period of three days, the concrete develops a strong internal bond.

  • Ask the concrete company not to add calcium to your concrete on a cool day. Calcium is a common additive, added to the wet concrete when the truck is loaded to enable a quicker drying time in cold weather. This can speed up the process of the pour but it also decreases the strength of the concrete as it encourages air filtration in the wet concrete.

  • Vibrate the wet concrete. Vibrating does two things to strengthen the concrete. First, it encourages the wet concrete to filter into voids in hard-to-reach places, such as the space below a basement window. Second, it removes tiny bubbles from the wet concrete, making the final product more solid. Use a pencil vibrator when pouring walls. (See Resources)

Tips & Warnings

  • Arrange for lots of assistants when pouring concrete. Because the strength of your final project relates to how well you work the wet concrete, you will benefit from having a lot of help. Assign tasks before the truck arrives and work steadily until the concrete is in place before taking a break.
  • Avoid direct contact with wet concrete. Until it dries, chemicals in the concrete can irritate the skin.
  • Wear protective safety goggles when pouring concrete.
  • Photo Credit Stock.xchng
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

Resources

You May Also Like

  • Poured Walls Vs. Concrete Block

    Concrete blocks and poured concrete can be compared and contrasted in a number of ways. Although poured concrete is stronger than concrete...

  • How to Make Concrete Rock Hard

    The hardness of concrete is determined basically by two things--the mixture of the ingredients and the time you allow for the concrete...

  • How to Make Concrete Blocks

    Concrete blocks are a must for numerous construction projects--particularly outdoor projects, such as fences and walls. You can purchase concrete blocks from...

  • How to Make Ultra High Performance Concrete

    Ultra high performance concrete is a modern creation that is changing the way we look at construction. While normal concrete has a...

  • How to Make Concrete Lighter

    Concrete is a strong and durable building material that, when properly mixed and placed, can last for decades with only minimal maintenance....

  • How to Make Thin Strong Concrete

    Thinset mortar is a type of concrete composed of Portland cement, fine silica sand and water that is typically used to set...

  • How to Cure Concrete With Burlap

    Newly laid concrete must cure for a specific period of time to achieve its full strength. Curing concrete consists of keeping it...

  • How to Make Super Strong Permanent Glue

    Making homemade permanent glue that is super strong is a relatively simple task that requires only a few inexpensive items and a...

  • How to Strengthen Concrete

    Concrete is one of the most ubiquitous building materials available. From driveways to foundations to countertops to sculptures, concrete is everywhere. The...

  • What Are the Strongest Types of Concrete?

    Concrete mixes balance, strength and workability during construction to produce a strong, high-quality finished product. Portland cement is available in different types...

  • Types of Fiber-Reinforced Concrete

    Fiber-reinforced concrete is concrete that uses other materials mixed in with the still liquid cement to reinforce the concrete structure. These fibers...

  • Should You Keep Newly-Poured Concrete Wet?

    Pouring concrete is a process that requires attention during every step. The final step in pouring concrete is curing. The curing process...

Related Searches

Check It Out

22 DIY Ways to Update Your Home on a Small Budget

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!