How to Prepare Before Laying Concrete Foundations
Your concrete foundations need to be properly prepared before they are laid to ensure they provide the strongest, most reliable base for whatever project you are undertaking.
This month, we’re taking a look at some of the vital prep work you will need to perform before laying your concrete foundations.
Before any excavation work is carried out, an assessment of the site is essential so as to ensure suitability and safety of the job. You should locate and identify the location of any services running into or through the site, including:
- any buried electricity cables or gas mains
- drainage systems
- overhead electricity or telephone cables
- overhanging branches
- tree roots.
Your plan should take into account the presence of any services you find, to ensure that the project does not disrupt any of them. All organic matter should be cleared from the site before it is set out.
Next you should mark out the foundations. This is typically achieved by using string and pegs or marking paint. Make sure that you have measured the area you are planning to fill correctly before working out how much concrete you need to order.
Ideally, you want to avoid under or over-ordering concrete, so double check the measurements of the foundations and use our handy concrete calculator to figure out how much concrete you will need to order for the project.
Get the right tools
There are a number of different tools you should have to hand before you have the concrete delivered to your site. Even if you think you already have the relevant tools, it’s worth double checking beforehand – you don’t want to be left caught out once the job is already underway. The following tools will all be necessary:
- tape measure – for site measurement and to work out how much concrete you need
- string and pegs – to mark out the area to be filled with concrete
- wheelbarrow – for easy transportation of concrete around the site
- shovel – to help move the concrete
- spirit level – to ensure the job is level throughout
- float or trowel – to provide a suitable surface finish
- brush – to help with cleanup after the job is done.
More tools will be needed to ensure perfect levelling of your concrete, a list of which we have covered here.
Health and safety is an important concern during any construction project, so proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) should always be worn on site. For concrete construction, all workers on site should be outfitted with the following:
- protective headgear – this should always be worn on any project, no matter how big or small
- eye protection – safety glasses or goggles with side shields will help prevent splashing concrete from impairing or damaging your vision
- alkali resistant gloves – you’ll be working with your hands for the entirety of the project, so keep them constantly protected to avoid serious burns and cuts
- coveralls with full length sleeves – pull sleeves over gloves to provide maximum skin coverage
- full length trousers and waterproof rubber boots – tuck trousers into boots to prevent concrete finding its way into the boots. It is recommended to apply duct tape at the top of the boot for more security
- dry board or waterproof kneepads – especially when levelling concrete, workers are at risk of severe burns without proper kneepads. Wear kneepads to provide a sturdy means of protection.
Ever Readymix Concrete provides high quality concrete to commercial and domestic customers within the Yorkshire region. We ensure efficient delivery of all concrete orders, and our expert team provides a comprehensive concrete pumping service for versatile and fast pouring. For more information on all our concrete services, don’t hesitate to contact us today.