Our Concrete Pouring Process
When you’re pouring a driveway or walkway, there must be a specific way to do the job to ensure the concrete will last the test of time. The process is messy and time-consuming if the proper steps are not followed! With over 20 years of concrete experience, we’ve got the right process down to guarantee your next concrete pour will meet your needs and expectations!
In this article, we will explain our concrete pour process. If you want to get a free quote from one of out concrete contractors, please reach out to Dallas Retaining Walls!
The Area Must Be Level
Before we begin the pour, we make sure to clear and level the area to be paved. We remove any loose dirt, roots or rocks using a shovel. Next, we make sure that the ground is flat by using a laser leveler or other tool that can read an accurate surface height (usually in inches). If there are any dips or bumps in your driveway’s surface—such as where it meets a curb—leveling them out will help ensure proper drainage when we pour concrete over the top of them later on!
Lay Down Gravel For a Stable Foundation
The first step to building a concrete driveway is laying down gravel. Gravel provides a stable foundation, preventing the concrete from sinking into the ground and keeping it from freezing in cold weather.
Dielectric barrier tape (DBT) is used as an underlayment between the base course, subgrade, and final layer of paving stones or pavers. This material serves as an insulator, preventing freezing during winter months when temperatures can drop below freezing point on some days throughout the year.
Check For Slope and Grade
When pouring your concrete driveway, it’s important to check for evenness and grade. This can be done by using a level or laser and checking the slope of your concrete from one side of the driveway to another. If there are any problems with this, such as an uneven surface or an incline too steep for your vehicle to climb over comfortably, then there will need to be extra reinforcement in order for it to hold up well throughout its lifetime.
Building the Concrete Forms
- The forms are the wooden boxes that hold the concrete, and they’re what we pour into to build your driveway. They should be sturdy enough to support the weight of the concrete (about 3 tons), but not so heavy that they can’t be moved easily.
- We place them on level ground with plenty of space around each one—this makes it easier when pouring later on in this project!
Low Spots Get Fill Dirt
Fill dirt is the best way to build up low spots.
To fill low spots in your driveway:
- We dig a trench about 2 feet deep and 4 feet wide around the low spot. The trench should be at least 6 inches higher than the surrounding area so that water won’t collect there when it rains (the same goes for any other wet areas).
- We fill this hole with enough soil to fill out the space between your curb and concrete surface—this will help prevent cracks from forming as you pour later on! We ensure that there are no rocks or other obstructions in your newly dug-out area; if there are any loose objects lying around, we move them aside so they don’t get mixed into your finished product!
Pouring the Concrete
We pour the concrete in a continuous stream and use a shovel to spread the concrete. We then use a trowel to spread the concrete and a float (or hand float) to level out your driveway as we pour it, especially when pouring over any dips or bumps in the road surface that may have been present before we started construction on your new driveway project.
Screed the Surface
We use a screed board to level the concrete surface. A screed board is a straightedge with a handle that we use to smooth out the surface of the concrete. It’s best to use one that is at least 1-inch thick, but we recommend going up to 3 inches if possible.
Leveling the Concrete
To level the concrete surface, we use a float or hand rake to remove any excess material from the edge of your driveway. We scrape off any bumps or ridges in your driveway. Then we use the other end to push down on the center line until it meets up with where we want it to be on top of your driveway slab area. We check that there are no more bumps or ridges before moving onto smoothing out these areas by using either trowels or rakes depending on what tools are available at home; if neither tool can get rid of an area without causing damage then we consider using some sandpaper instead.
Finishing The Surface
The next step is to finish the surface. This can be done with a hand float, trowel, or edging tool. A hand float is used to smooth out any bumps or irregularities in the concrete and make it look uniform. A trowel will finish off the edges of your driveway and give it a nice finished look overall (it can also be used for other surfaces like sidewalks). An edging tool helps you get a nice edge around your driveway so that water doesn’t seep under it when it rains (and makes sure there aren’t any jagged edges).
Removing Forms and Site Clean Up
When the concrete has cured, we remove the forms and clean up your site. We make sure that there are no loose rocks or debris on the ground, as this can cause damage to your driveway after it’s poured.
Once we removed all of the excess concrete (and wood forms), we make sure that there are no nails sticking out from underneath any of those pieces of wood. If there are any holes present in these pieces of wood then they’ll need replacing with new ones before pouring more concrete onto them—this is because pouring additional amounts of cement into old holes could result in cracks forming due to expansion under pressure when mixed with water during mixing times later on down line!
Once the concrete is cured, then it’s time for you to dive in! The process of building a driveway is straightforward but we highly recommend not to attempt it by yourself. It can be very costly if your concrete cracks, shifts, or does not drain properly because of the slope or grade. These mistakes are very common when homeowners think that concrete driveways are a DIY project.
Please remember that there are some specific steps required when doing this work. Please give Dallas Retaining Walls a call for a free estimate. You probably will be very surprised with learning how affordable it is for use to install your next concrete driveway!