It is generally observed that high traffic areas in the exterior of a house may become bare and muddy due to constant use. It is not possible to grow grass at such spots. What is possible is to pour a concrete pad to stop the mud and make it look more decorative than before.
Tools and materials required
Tools such as a shovel, hammer, level, a wheelbarrow, an edging and grooving tool are the basic equipments required. Other gardening tools may also prove to be useful. Materials required to prepare the concrete include concrete, gravel, a mason’s cord, some fine sand, forming boards and some concrete sealer.
Selecting the right type of concrete mix
The right kind of concrete mix and the right quantity must be selected for the concrete pad. The options available include:
* The regular concrete mix which is a mixture of sand, gravel and Portland cement.
* The high early strength concrete mix which includes certain additives that shorten the setup time required for concrete. This form of concrete is highly recommended for the concrete pad.
* The fiber-reinforced mixes that includes the regular mix along with synthetic fibers that add strength to the concrete.
Preparing the site for pouring the concrete pad
The form needs to be set in place to prepare for the concrete pour. The forming boards should be set up accordingly and wire mesh may be included if fiber-reinforced concrete is to be used. The concrete is then prepared and the insides of the forming boards are coated with cooking oil. The wet concrete is then filled into the form. The concrete is spread evenly and is given a smooth surface finish. Edging and grooving are the next steps for the pad construction. The pad is then surfaced.
The final touch for the concrete pad
The final steps include curing and sealing the pad. This will add more strength and life to the concrete. The pad is first covered with plastic and left for forty-eight hours to prevent it from flash drying. At the end of forty-eight hours, the pad may be uncovered and left to cure as per the concrete manufacturer’s instructions. Once the curing process is complete, a good concrete sealer may be applied to it.