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Flat Concrete

Learn about our high quality concrete installation process!

Get a PDF explaining how we only use the best methods for your concrete project!

Flat concrete isn't the most exciting part of your projects, but it is one of the most important!

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Concrete flatwork (or flat concrete) is for any surface with concrete poured along a horizontal plane. Flatwork surfaces include patios, sidewalks, basements, driveways and every other flat surface. Concrete is the material of choice for flatwork because of how it can shape a flat and even surface perfectly.

Flatwork consists of a frame and a subsoil consisting of either rebar (if needed) or aggregate material. The substructure should strengthen the concrete and prevent cracks from forming under pressure and age.

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Our Flat Concrete Process Overview

Pouring a flat concrete patio involves several key steps to ensure a successful and durable outcome. Here’s a general outline of the process:

  1. Planning and Preparation:

    • Determine the location, size, and shape of the patio.
    • Call utility companies to mark any underground utilities in the area.
    • Clear the area of vegetation, debris, and any obstacles.
    • Set up the layout using stakes, strings, and/or spray paint to mark the perimeter.
  2. Excavation:

    • Dig out the area to a depth that accounts for the thickness of the concrete, a gravel base, and any necessary drainage.
    • Ensure the excavation is level and compact the soil.
  3. Base Preparation:

    • Install a compacted gravel or crushed stone base to provide a stable and well-draining foundation.
    • Use a compactor machine to achieve proper compaction.
  4. Formwork:

    • Build forms using wood, metal, or other materials to define the shape and dimensions of the patio.
    • Make sure the forms are level, square, and properly aligned.
    • Secure the forms firmly in place using stakes and bracing.
  5. Reinforcement (Optional):

    • Depending on the size and load-bearing requirements of the patio, you may choose to add reinforcement such as rebar or wire mesh to strengthen the concrete.
  6. Pouring Concrete:

    • Mix concrete according to the manufacturer’s instructions or hire a concrete supplier to deliver ready-mix concrete.
    • Start pouring concrete from one end of the form and work your way to the other end.
    • Use a shovel, rake, or concrete vibrator to evenly distribute the concrete and eliminate air pockets.
    • Aim for a consistent thickness across the entire patio surface.
  7. Finishing:

    • Once the concrete is poured, use a straightedge (screed) to level the surface by moving it back and forth along the top of the forms.
    • Float the surface using a bull float to smooth out imperfections and create a uniform texture.
    • Use a hand edger to create rounded edges along the perimeter of the patio.
  8. Curing and Protection:

    • Cover the freshly poured concrete with plastic sheeting, burlap, or apply a curing compound to prevent rapid moisture evaporation and ensure proper curing.
    • Allow the concrete to cure for at least a week (or longer, depending on weather conditions) before subjecting it to heavy use.
  9. Sealing (Optional):

    • Applying a concrete sealer can help protect the patio from moisture, stains, and other forms of damage.
  10. Final Steps:

  • Remove the forms after the concrete has cured.
  • Clean the patio surface from any debris.
  • Landscaping or furnishing can be done once the concrete is fully cured and ready for use.
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