Whether you are in the construction business or building your first home, there is much work to do. One of the key concerns is to order concrete for the project. Things can get more complicated with ready mix concrete because you need to order the right mix according to your needs. Extra care is needed because ordering a wrong mix can cause wastage of time and money. So it is better to know all about procuring the right ready mix before you order it. Here are some tips that can guide you.
Consider the purpose
Every construction project is different and so are its requirements. So you cannot follow a one-size-fits-all approach when ordering for your project. Since the ready mix is made to order, you need to convey the specifications to the supplier and they will create a mix accordingly. To start with, you should consider the area where you will use the concrete mix. This will influence the specifications such as colors, decorative aggregates, corrosion inhibitors, and fiber reinforcement. If you don’t have enough knowledge, ask an expert professional to enlist these specifications for you. Convey them to the supplier and they will create a product for your needs.
Know the strength
Strength is another parameter you need to bear in mind while buying ready mix concrete. Experts recommend a reinforced concrete range of 3,500-4,000 psi for footing and slabs, 3,000-5,000 psi for walls and columns and 3,500-5,000 psi for suspended slabs, beams, and girders. Different strengths are needed if you are using non-reinforced concrete. The value is 2,500 psi for footings and walls and 4,000-5,000 psi for pavements. A range of 3,500-4,500 psi is best if you need outdoor concrete for home improvements.
Another factor that you must specify while ordering a concrete mix is the maximum coarse aggregate to be used in the mix. The best way to decide is by following industry standards. On the other hand, you can seek advice from the ready mix concrete experts if you are a novice in this field. They can offer the right guidance regarding the appropriate aggregate sizing. The maximum aggregate should not exceed one-fifth of the narrowest inside form dimension. Also, it should not be more than three-fourths of the spacing between re-bars.
Concrete slump matters as well
Concrete slump refers to the consistency of the concrete at the time of placing it. Slump varies on the basis of factors such as formwork type, reinforcement spacing and the slope where it will be placed. Further, the construction standards also determine the slump specifications. It should be 2-5 inches for reinforced foundation walls and footings. For footings and caissons, a value between 1-4 inches is recommended. Similarly, opt for 3-6 inches for slabs, beams, building columns, and reinforced walls. The ideal slump value for pavements is 2-3 inches.
Bear in mind the waiting time
Beyond the specifications, there are some other factors to bear in mind while ordering ready mix concrete. Waiting time is one of them because you will obviously have to wait till the supplier prepares the mix and delivers it to the site. Moreover, the truck will take some time to unload at the project site. Consider this factor while ordering replenishment because your labor will have to wait until it reaches the site. The best way is to calculate the estimated time period and order well in advance. Also, make sure that you order the right quantity for a specific part of the project because getting a similar mix time and again can be expensive.
Consider the curing time
Another factor that you must consider while placing the order is the curing time for the ready mix. It refers to the time period during which the mixture can be spread and manipulated before setting. Once it starts curing, it becomes difficult to use. With ready mix concrete, you have an hour and a half before it begins to cure. At the same time, it may be reduced to only one hour when the weather is very hot. So weather makes a critical concern when you order ready mix at any point in time. Remember that ordering ready mix at the right time and in the right quantity is as important as ordering the right one. Moreover, you should order from a reputed supplier that is known for selling high-quality products. Always stick to the right specifications if you want strength, durability and aesthetic value for your construction project. Do consult an expert because they can guide you with the best choice. Thanks to Pyles Concrete for consulting!