Most construction jobs require standard concrete mixes. In some instances, however, it might be necessary to reinforce it. Reinforcing makes concrete perform better against harsh weather elements. Understand that you can only reinforce your concrete appropriately if you know how.
This makes it important to research on the same before doing anything. Seeking expert help also helps. What are some of the ways to achieve durable concrete?
1. Change the mix design.
You should get your cement-to-sand ratio right to achieve durable concrete. If you would be using other aggregates such as gravel, research how they affect the durability of concrete.
Since different mixes perform differently in different service conditions, you have to match your mix to the particular conditions it will be exposed to. In case you live in an extremely cold locality, for instance, you need to protect it against longish cycles of cold. Consider using air-entrainment additives to curb cracking owing to frost action.
2. Be careful with concrete placement.
Improper concrete placement not only affects the safety of a structure but also the durability of concrete. Understand that a proper mix would mean little if you would not place it well to form a solid mass.
If you would be using a concrete reinforcing mesh or reinforcing steel bars, ensure that no voids form in the process of concrete placement. For best results, you should vibrate your concrete appropriately around congested reinforcement.
3. Allow for proper curing.
While it is important to complete your project as fast as possible, allowing your concrete to cure properly is equally important. This is because proper curing reduces permeability. You need to research the circumstances necessary for allowing concrete to harden appropriately in your locality.
Be careful with hydration. Proper hydration helps avoid improper drying that might cause cracking and shrinking. Since freezing temperatures can inhibit hydration, you need to be extra careful when laying concrete in such weather.
4. Use the right type of reinforcing bars.
Reinforcing your concrete is very important for its durability. However, you should be careful regarding the sizing and placement of rebars. Be careful to invest in rebars of the right dimensions, particularly regarding diameter. You should also research the spacing appropriate for your type of construction.
It pays to tie your rebars to form a grid pattern. It is also important to place your rebars as close to the center of the slab as possible. Using rebar chairs helps position your rebars appropriately.
5. Protect construction joints.
Since construction joints are inevitable, you should find ways to protect them. If water finds its way through such joints, it will compromise the structural integrity of your construction. In case you would be using wire-mesh and reinforcing steel, moisture would corrode it.
It pays to use a joint waterproofing system to keep water out. Consider using waterproofing systems that employ crystalline technology because they have self-sealing properties.
You should take note of your local building codes. For instance, there might be restrictions regarding the size and amount of rebar you can use. It is also important to work only with building contractors that understand their trade.