Constructing a garage on your property begins with the right concrete slab to provide support for the weight of the entire structure. To pour a strong and durable concrete slab, there are several details you will need to put into its construction. Here are some tips to help you ensure you garage foundation is built to last.
Prepare the Site Area
Before you can build the forms and pour the concrete, you will nee to prepare the area to make room for the concrete slab. Concrete must be installed over a layer of well-draining soil or gravel to prevent trapped moisture below the concrete from causing problems. Moisture can cause the soil to erode and also freeze in cold temperatures, causing freeze heaving and potential cracks on your slab.
As you level the soil by removing some of the topsoil, check the soil beneath to make sure it is sandy for it to drain well. If the soil is more clay-like and loamy, you will need to add additional gravel onto the soil to provide the drainage you need. Otherwise, with sandy soil, you only need to add gravel if you need a filler material to build up the height of the site.
Compact the gravel or soil and make the surface level with the elevation you want to install your concrete slab. Most concrete slabs for a garage or other heavy structure are built with thickened edges. So when you level the gravel or soil, slope it downward along the edges to create thicker edges when you pour the concrete.
Consider the Weather
Another detail when pouring your concrete is to look at the weather forecast for when your concrete will arrive on site to be poured. If the weather is expected to be wet, it is best to wait for dry weather. Rainy weather can affect the moisture content of your concrete and cause it to become too wet and not cure as strongly as it should.
Extremely hot weather can affect your concrete as it causes the water in the concrete mixture to evaporate more quickly, affecting the concrete's cure. Talk to your concrete supplier to see what additives they can recommend adding to the concrete mixture to correct any adverse weather conditions.
Install the Foundation
Once the forms are installed, you can pour the concrete into the site, filling the prepared area directly onto the gravel or soil. It is best to use a steel reinforcement mesh made of rebar or similar material to give the concrete additional strength and to prevent cracks from forming.
Set the reinforcement mesh or rebar onto the site where you want it installed in the concrete. Then, as you pour the concrete into the forms, lift the rebar mesh so it can sit within the concrete while it cures and hardens.