How to Join Two Concrete Slabs

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Many large slabs are split into several separate pours on different days. Sometimes, if the next section is scheduled in a different construction phase, months can pass before the nextion section is poured. And you can't just pour two slabs next to each other and have them meet the structural requirements of your project; you must join the two concrete slabs in the proper way. Joining slabs involves creating a joint that both structurally connects the slabs and provides a flexural point to accomodate how the different ages of the slab will respond to climate and stress. While it sounds complicated, the proces to join two concrete slabs is easy but might take a few attempts to get it right.

Things You'll Need

  • Project plan
  • Tape measure
  • Lumber crayon
  • Hammer drill
  • Compressed air
  • Concrete epoxy adhesive
  • Epoxy gun
  • Rebar dowels
  • Expansion joint material
  • Box cutter
  • Consult your project plans to determine the spacing of the rebar that was placed in the first slab and the spacing of the rebar that is to be placed in the second slab. Measure and mark the side of the concrete where the two slabs will be joined with points where you will need to drill and epoxy splice dowels. You want to offset the dowels, at the dowel's width, to the rebar spacing. For example, if both slabs have rebar mats that are spaced at 18 inches and use No. 5 rebar, then measure and mark for your dowels at a 18.5 inches of spacing (18" + 1/2" diameter of the rebar). If your two slabs have different spacing for their rebar mats, measure and mark so your dowels fall in the middle of the spacing of the second slab. For example, if the first slab is at 12 inches and the second is spaced at 18 inches then measure and place your first mark at 9 inches and then continue spacing the marks at 18 inches. This will place the dowel in the center of the second slab's rebar spacing.

  • Drill out the holes for your dowels using a hammerdrill. Drill the exact depth specified in the General Instructions section at the front of your project plans. Make sure you use a drill bit that is equal to or slightly larger than the rebar dowel you will be using.

  • Clean out the holes by blowing them with compressed air.

  • Load your concrete epoxy adhesive into the epoxy gun according to the instructions included with the gun. Insert the tip of the epoxy gun into the hole as far as you can. Fill the hole with epoxy slowly. Pull the tip of the gun out of the hole as it fills.

  • Insert your rebar dowel into the hole. Push the dowel in and out several times to get rid of any air pockets in the hole before pushing it in as far as you can. The rebar dowel size will also be specified in the General Instructions section of your project plans. Let the epoxy set for the length of time specified on the package.

  • Run a bead of concrete epoxy on the face of the edge of the first concrete slab, above and below the dowels. Cut your expansion joint material with a box cutter so you can press two strips onto the concrete (above and below the dowels) the entire length of the edge. You are now ready to pour your slab.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images
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