Thursday, December 29, 2011

first part of floor complete

 Completed about 1/3rd of the barn floor today; decided to do a small pour to allow everyone to get used to the process.  Sean and Carlos haven't done a slab of this size before, and pouring concrete is a complicated dance. 
 The first step isn't shown, where we screed the concrete -- get it to a rough level.  To do that efficiently, you need three guys.  One on either end of the board that is moved along the top of the forms, and a third guy with a shovel to move concrete in to fill in any dips or gaps that show up. 

Once the concrete is screed, you float it with a bull float to get the basic surface started.  In these photos both of those steps have been completed.
 We're cutting expansion joints in every 8' along the slab, so it basically breaks the concrete into 8'x10' tiles.  As it swells and shrinks due to heat or cold, the expansion joints allow space for it, and prevent cracks.  Actually, it'll probably crack at the expansion joints.  It's more correct to say it's going to crack, and the expansion joints direct that crack to a particular place. 
 Once the joints have been cut in, we bull float it again to cover them up.  The joint is still there; it's just covered with a thin layer.  We do that so that if the slab doesn't crack it provides a smooth, crack-free surface to make cleaning easier in the future. 
 We're building the floor absolutely flat, and it turned out really nicely, but...
 it started to rain pretty hard.  So we had to...
 Edge the slab, which provides a rounded corner on the edges, both looks nice and prevents chipping, and then...
cover the finished sections with plastic.  We'll pour the center portion tomorrow, and the final 1/3rd we'll probably pour on Wednesday.  Everything is closed on Monday. 

Good day today.  Got a lot accomplished. 

2 comments:

Matt said...

Looks good great. It must have been a challenge to keep all your critters from leaving footprints. I imagine that the pigs would have had a field day.

Paolo Benedetti is the designer/ said...

Why did they place the reinforcing steel UNDER the concrete?
Check out the Uniform building code.... the reinforcement is supposed to have 3" clearance to the earth side and 1.5" to the exposed (weather) side.