There is more to a concrete worker's job than simply pouring concrete onto the ground. Concrete workers typically install foundations for buildings, construct concrete buildings, apply concrete finishes to a project, build retaining walls, and work on other concrete projects. It is sometimes the same work they have done in the past, and sometimes the work is unknown, which requires some trial and error to get it right.
If you're not familiar with concrete, it is composed of three different components: water, an aggregate, such as rock, sand, or gravel, and cement. Powdered cement acts as a binding agent when mixed with the two other items. In order to have time to harden, it must be poured as soon as everything is combined.
Every contractor has a favorite concrete worker as concrete installation is not as easy as it may seem. To create concrete that performs at any job site, contractors need a solid piece of knowledge, experience, and patience.
We will discuss how concrete foundations are laid for our purposes for now.
Concrete contractors should first determine what the concrete's size, shape, depth, color, and finish will be. Each option can drastically change what is required, so it's important to know them all before beginning the job. Concrete contractors can then begin preparing the surface for the work that needs to be done as soon as they have this information.
A clean and clear area is needed around the foundation. A base should be laid down on top of a leveled area so that no grass, rocks, trees, shrubs, or garbage remain. For the concrete to cure properly, care must be taken to ensure that the edges of the base are not missed.
Forms can then be put in place once the base is ready, to make sure that concrete does not leak out. Wooden forms are most commonly used, but metal or plastic forms can be used as well. In order to pour concrete on top of the forms, the forms need to be placed where they need to be.
For concrete contractors, the next step is to screw the concrete's top. The motion assures a smooth top surface, level concrete, and compact concrete. The next thing to do is to place all joints in concrete and secure them before the concrete dries.
There will not be too many additional steps required for foundations that are not smooth or stamped. As soon as the concrete has begun to get solid, stamped or smoothed concrete will need to be retouched with a steel trowel.
Afterwards, concrete contractors will be able to apply the final finishes to the top surface. Broom finishing employs a special broom to create a rough surface. It may be necessary to finish the product with a stamp, a texture, or even by leaving it smooth.
Concrete can take up to 28 days to cure, but for the drying process to be successful, the first 48 hours are crucial. In this process, curing compounds can decrease cracks, curling, and even surface discoloration by reducing cracks, curling, and surface deterioration.
While laying concrete may seem easy, those who perform concrete construction should understand how to use all equipment and materials necessary for the job, as well as acknowledge that the job may present some hazards. Concrete contractors need to stay updated on the latest safety measures because many of those hazards can be prevented with certain safety precautions. Also, they must have an understanding of blueprints, be able to follow both written and oral instructions, and perform simple calculations.
During the course of their work, concrete contractors will need to stay in touch with their supervisors and other contractors. The concrete must be ready before anyone else can work on it. Some contractors prefer to use project management software, which ensures that everyone receives updates as quickly as possible. Updates can be sent via text or email.
There is a lot of mess involved with concrete work, but those who do it are rewarded with something lasting.