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Unread 03-01-2020, 08:22 PM   #1
smifwal
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Concrete installation, industry standards

I was not sure where to put this thread so I started with the mud box if we want to move it somewhere else by all means


I work for a concrete company in high school and part of college for a friend of mine's dad. My father and my uncle both retired from a ready mix company as drivers, so you can say I've seen my fair share of concrete. When we did driveways we spaced the rebar 12in apart and then as we poured we would pull the rebar up into the middle of the slab. That is how I learned. these days I see people doing it that way but spacing it 18 to 24 inches apart. And I also see people using these little tripods that hold it up in the middle. now I don't know if those tripods were available when I was doing flatwork and I know they're available now and I see their purpose cuz when you pull the rebar up in as you are pouring you would think you'd have a tendency to step on it and push it back down God knows I've tripped over enough pieces of rebar.

I have a neighbor that I am doing some dirt work and cutting out for a gravel driveway to go to his barn.
When the people that built the barn they didn't excavate build a pad level everything out they came in marked everything off, drilled the post holes and set the posts, then built the barn. So as a result there is a huge gap under one side of the barn and there is almost no gap on the other side of the barn. When I went over to meet with him so you could show me where his driveway was going to go I found it very odd that there was not a prepared pad but whatever it is what it is at this point.
When we met with the first concrete guy, he said that he was going to do no excavation whatsoever, that he was just going to put gravel down and then rebar, form everything up and pour it, we sent him on his way. I went ahead and dug out all the top soil and filled and compacted the low areas.

The second guy we met with said that he didn't plan on camping the gravel once we got it delivered the driving over it with the skid steer was plenty. I was none to happy to hear this( to me it sounded like yeah I am going to seal the grout and your shower will never leak) so I asked about rebar spacing and his installation methods. He said he's basis is rebar 24in and that they don't use the tripods and that they use a thicker non slump concrete so once he pulls the rebar up it doesn't fall back down it stays right there.


So I figure in this vast community of people someone knows where I can find an industry standard for concrete installation pertaining to a driveway, apron and a shop floor
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Unread 03-01-2020, 08:41 PM   #2
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Many use reinforcement mesh, but I'm not a big fan of it. It's a minimum requirement in my area.

I used 3/8" rebar 16" on center, with gravel underneath. I didn't tamp the driveway, but was required by the city to tamp the sidewalk. I didn't worry so much about the driveway since I had run the tractor over it for a while getting it leveled out.

I did set all the rebar on the plastic supports so I wouldn't have to pull it up. I didn't set them at every intersection, but certainly enough to hold up.

The house was sold a while back, but the concrete had all held together very well.
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Unread 03-01-2020, 09:25 PM   #3
jerrymlr1
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It also depends on the locale and the soil conditions. Here in FL most guys I know do the fiber. Floating the steel is different too. Some pull it up as they go, some use the plastic spacers, and some use the little concrete blocks. Anytime I have had concrete work done slab on grade, the area is virgin ground with organic material (grass etc) removed. It's always leveled of course. If it's a raised area, say inside a stem wall, the area is filled and compacted every 6" or so.
In GA a friend is having a stem wall filled with gravel before the concrete pour. I guess it doesn't settle. ?? Not sure what reinforcement if any is being used.
In CA the soil conditions vary considerably and I have seen almost all concrete there poured with 12" OC 1/2" (or larger) rebar. I personally prefer 12" OC with a stiffer slump. Some add other things like calcium chloride, which can reduce strength as far as I know. I saw a tunnel a hundred feet long done in block before it was covered. The contractor filled the cells with concrete that had CC and the inspector failed the inspection. They had to build another wall around it and filled with the non-CC concrete. Not a good week for the concrete/block guy.
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Unread 03-01-2020, 10:02 PM   #4
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I agree from place to place the codes and requirements are going to differ. Like we see in our industry, hop no to traditional pans to copper pans or Florida where no liner is the norm. I think the problem is that one guy learns from another and either the first guy didn't know what he was doing or wasn't keeping up with his continuing education about practices or new technology. Or the apprentice went out on his own and was cutting corners for cost/profit. And that trickles down to everyone he teaches. Or the contractor is just one of those people that thinks the manufacturers guidelines are absurd and overkill. I feel like the people on here when they are searching for a contractor that will actually install the product the way it supposed to and that will last. I think I will end up having to get it all ready to go and find a couple of high quality finishers
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Unread 03-02-2020, 06:43 AM   #5
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There are 2 contractors involved in what you're trying to accomplish. The site developer and the concrete contractor. My concrete contractor know's the site contractor and they work together to some extent. I have done my own prep at times depending on how much needs to be done. If that's your plan Shawn you just want level, clean, compacted surfaces to place the concrete over. After that you are certainly able to dictate the requirements of want you want done by the concrete contractor. Steel, no steel, mesh, slump etc. AND you are responsible for checking their layout. I assumed that my pool contarctor knew what he was doing when my pool was laid out. His measurements were correct in distance and placement but the pool was shot out of square 2" in 12 feet. Something I overlooked in checking. Simple layout too. With laser levels these days there is really no excuse for that mistake.
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Unread 03-03-2020, 05:57 PM   #6
Tool Guy - Kg
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Shawn, have you every checked out the American Concrete Institute (ACI)?

I have to deal with foundation standards from time to time and the gold standard is considered by many around these parts to be ACI.

Here's a little section of ACI 302.1R-15 for floor and slab construction. These guys are in the business of selling books, so you're not likely to find an entire section of what you need for free. But it'll give you the taste of what they have available.

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