How to Choose the Best Concrete Mix for Building an Outdoor Patio
If you are constructing an outdoor patio, it is important to choose the right concrete mix. The quality of the concrete will determine the durability of your patio.
A concrete mix consists of cement, sand, and loose aggregates. The proportion of each ingredient affects the quality of the concrete. Professionals can use concrete grades to determine the proper mix for your outdoor patio.
A good concrete mix for a patio should contain three to four inches of concrete. It should also include reinforcements, such as rebar or fiber. In addition, it should not have more than one inch of aggregate stone.
These materials will ensure the patio's strength and durability, but you need to choose the correct concrete mix to avoid cracking.
Read on for our recommendations for selecting the best cement for the job.
If you're planning to build an outdoor patio, you can save money and time by using Quikrete mix, which is one of the most popular types of concrete. This premixed concrete comes in bags and can be wheelbarrowed to the desired location.
Concrete trucks can be expensive, and some properties have too little space to accommodate a concrete truck. While a concrete pump can be helpful, it's not a good option for smaller projects.
Concrete is a durable, cheap building material. With the right mix, you can create a beautiful outdoor patio. A high-quality concrete mix, like Quikrete's 5000 Concrete Mix, will withstand the weight of outdoor furniture. Typically, it can reach a compressive strength of 4,000 psi in a month.
When building an outdoor patio, you may want to consider an air-entrained concrete mix. The reason is that adding more water to the concrete will reduce its strength. Adding air, however, increases the workability of the concrete. For this reason, contractors choose this type of mix when building an outdoor patio.
The use of air-entrained concrete helps prevent cracking and scaling in outdoor concrete. Its properties also make it a good choice for areas that are exposed to freeze-thaw conditions. This type of concrete also has better resistance to cracking, which is a common problem with older concrete.
Respirable silica in concrete mix
Respirable silica is a common ingredient in concrete mixes used to build outdoor patios and other hardscape projects. This chemical is harmful to the lungs, but it's not the only concern. Recent research shows that it can cause kidney and liver damage in exposed workers.
However, there are ways to avoid exposure to this toxic chemical and keep your family safe.
One way to minimize exposure to silica is by limiting exposure to it during construction. The OSHA Silica Standard was implemented in 2016 and limits exposure to 50 micrograms of respirable crystalline silica (ug SiO2/m3) for a workday of eight hours or more.
In addition, OSHA recognizes the use of water delivery systems or commercially available dust collection systems to prevent the release of silica dust. When cutting, drilling, or sanding hardscape materials, fine silica dust can be generated.
Placement of reinforcement
The placement of reinforcement is vital to the long-term strength of your outdoor patio. You should place rebar evenly and in a grid-like pattern, every 24 inches in both directions. Remember to leave about two or three inches between the rebar ends and the sides of the form. Use a rebar tying tool to hold the rebar in place.
When you're ready to pour the concrete, there are several ways to make the right mix. You can purchase concrete in bags, which is usually cheaper than making it yourself, or you can hire a concrete truck to mix the concrete for you.
Alternatively, you can mix concrete on site, but this requires additional labor.
Cost of concrete mix
There are a couple of ways to reduce the cost of concrete mix for your outdoor patio or other residential or commercial concrete surface. One of them is to use ready-mixed bags of concrete. This is the cheapest way to mix concrete for your patio. However, it requires extra labor and space.
Another option is to rent a cement mixer or a power buggy and mix the concrete on site.
Another way to reduce the cost of concrete is to apply a decorative surface over it. Concrete can be painted or stained to add colour. The cost for this depends on the desired color.
For instance, you could opt for a light-colored surface for about $50-$70 per square foot, whereas a darker shade will cost more.