Concrete is the most famous building material for home improvement. You can use it for flooring, building pavements, walkways, driveways, patios, and other structures around the home. But, can you put concrete on uneven ground?
You can put concrete on uneven ground, but the surface may be distorted and damaged as it dries. However, with suitable concrete, tools, and hard work, you can level the surface and achieve a perfect slab that will not crack or sink.
Although you can put concrete on uneven ground, the area may appear crooked and damaged as the concrete dries. The site may develop cracks after drying that may damage cars and increase the risk of stumbling and falling. In addition, cracks can encourage weed growth and significantly lower the value of your home.
While putting concrete on uneven ground employs the same procedure as pouring on level ground, you must have the right tools and put in extra work. You will have to dig deeper into the soil to remove roots and big stones that could make the area appear uneven. Additionally, fill any pits with soil, so the site appears level from all directions as you view it from the top.
You will need low-slump concrete to stay in place when you pour it. You can order from your local home improvement or construction supply store.
Should You Put Concrete on Uneven Ground?
Installing concrete on the uneven ground has many perks. Concrete is versatile, durable, and can stand all weather. In addition, it’s easy to maintain and can improve the value of your home. However, landscapers face various problems when installing concrete on uneven ground. The section below addresses these issues and how to resolve them.
When installing concrete on uneven ground, you will likely face cracking, crazing, discoloration, scaling, buckling, and curling problems. Get the correct water-to-cement ratio, and mix them properly. Ensure proper installation, drying, and use of expansion joints and reinforcements.
Concrete tends to crack over time after installation. The cracks appear on the surface and eventually reach the bottom. It happens when excess water is added to a concrete mixture, when the slab dries too quickly, or when you use the wrong concrete. To prevent this, use the proper water-to-cement ratio, allow concrete to dry correctly, and use the right strength of concrete
Crazing refers to tiny cracks on the concrete surface due to improper installation and curing. Although crazing is not potentially damaging, the gaps can reduce the area’s visual appeal, and you can prevent this through a quality installation process.
The concrete discoloration is another problem that may occur when installing concrete on uneven ground. It is characterized by bright or dark spots on the surface, and it occurs due to inconsistent mixing, use of calcium chloride, or cement replacement.
Scaling is the peeling off the hard surface due to repeated expansion or contraction of water. It is usually caused by using the wrong methods or inadequately curing the concrete.
Also called thermal expansion, concrete splitting characterizes buckling due to expansion from heat. You can install a flexible joint or reinforce concrete with metal to prevent it.
What Tools Do You Need to Put Concrete on Uneven Ground?
Whether you’re a landscaper or want to lay concrete on uneven ground in your home, you should have the right tools to do the job. Read this section to identify the must-have tools and their functions.
To lay concrete on uneven ground, you need protective gear, a portable mixer, wheelbarrow, bucket, screed, finishing trowel, bull float, Scraper/putty knife, shovel, vapor barrier, edger, garden hose, and a plate compactor or hand tamper.
Copyright protected content owner: ReadyToDIY.com and was initially posted on September 18, 2022.
You need to use protective gear whenever you’re working with concrete. Use goggles to protect your eyes from damage when mixing or cutting concrete and a face mask to prevent inhaling dust. You also need rubber gloves and boots to avoid skin irritation.
You will need a shovel to prepare the area and a wheelbarrow to transport concrete and other materials. A portable mixer will facilitate mixing aggregates with sand and cement, but you can use a large tub or mixing sheet if you don’t have one.
Once you pour concrete over the uneven ground, you need a screed to spread and smoothen it and a trowel for floating. You can use a bull float for a big area. Place a vapor barrier over the concrete surface to prevent moisture from spreading and maintain the integrity of the slab.
An edger will help smoothen the edges of the concrete surface, but you can use a putty knife if you don’t have one. You will need a hand sprayer to spray the curing compound over concrete to prevent cracks and a hand tamper or plate compactor to stabilize the uneven ground.
What Preparations Do You Need to Install Concrete on Uneven Ground?
Since putting concrete on uneven ground is delicate, you must prepare adequately before embarking on this landscaping process. You have to put concrete on a solid base to prevent cracking.
When putting concrete on uneven ground, you should ensure no water, electricity, or gas pipes are underneath the surface. Outline the landscaping area and excavate to remove plants, roots, or stones. Smoothen and compact the soil and lay crushed stone above it to form the sub-base.
When you identify the landscaping area, you should call your gas, electricity, and water companies to come and check for underneath pipes. Once they clear the area, you can start the ground preparation.
Outline the space using a piece of rope or paint spray and dig out grass, weed plants, and stones. Level the soil and remove any debris. Compact the soil and use a level to ensure the area is even.
Determine the amount of concrete and crushed stone you need and order from the nearby home improvement store. Check that you have all the tools you need to purchase or hire what you don’t have.
Put crushed stone above the compacted soil about half a foot into the pit. Spray water above it and use a hand tamper to compact the sub-base. Ensure that it’s leveled and add stone to the areas appearing uneven. The ground should now be ready for putting concrete.
How To Install Concrete on Uneven Ground
You can save a few dollars on small landscaping projects around the home by learning to put concrete on uneven ground. However, you must consider that these projects differ in complexity, size, and finishing. Hence, you must understand the steps when putting concrete on uneven ground.
To install concrete on uneven ground, set a form over the sub-base and add a wire mesh. Mix concrete and pour it above the mold. Flatten and float and make joints every 1.8 meters. Create traction and apply concrete sealant. Leave the concrete to cure for 28 days.
You can install concrete on uneven ground in seven steps.
Step 1: Set a form over the sub-base using wood or metal stakes to achieve a better finish. If the area is rectangular, ensure that the corners form 90-degree angles. In addition, provide one-foot slope per every ten feet to prevent water collection.
Step 2: Add a wire mesh into the form to stabilize concrete and prevent cracking.
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Step 3: Mix one part cement with two parts sand and four parts gravel and add water. Mix thoroughly on a tub, wheelbarrow, or portable mixer.
Step 4: Pour concrete over the mold and spread it using a shovel. Use a screed to move concrete from the top to the bottom until you achieve a flat surface.
Step 5: Use a bull float to press down gravel and move the cream up. Push it away from you and then back to drain excess water from the mixture.
Step 6: Make concrete joints by lining up planks about a quarter of the thickness every 1-8 meters to prevent buckling.
Step 7: Seal the concrete immediately to speed up the curing process and prevent discoloration. Leave the concrete to cure for 28 days. You can use the area for light traffic 3-4 days after installation and 5-7 days for heavy traffic.
Concrete can be placed on uneven terrain, but the piece may get warped and broken as it dries. However, with suitable concrete, tools, and diligence, you can level the ground and produce a flawless slab that won’t sink or break.
ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on September 18, 2022.