What are Concrete Slabs?
Concrete Slabs are different from Concrete Sidewalks in that they are not necessarily for pedestrian use and tend to bear a much heavier load than sidewalks. Concrete slabs are usually used as dumpster pads, to support bicycle racks, or in warehouses or loading areas. Concrete Slabs are thicker than sidewalks, ranging from 6″ to 12″ in depth, and are usually reinforced with rebar or wire mesh. Concrete Slabs also are commonly made from concrete with a higher PSI than sidewalks. Depending on the size of the slab, control or expansion joints may be installed at regular intervals, as well, to allow for the natural growth and contraction of concrete due to heat and the elements.
Why are Concrete Slabs Important?
Concrete Slabs are important because they act as the base for heavier objects which cannot be amply supported by asphalt or the surrounding materials. The maintenance of Concrete Slabs is an essential part of successful property management as critical failure of these slabs often results in a liability for the property owners.
How are Concrete Slabs Installed or Repaired?
Concrete Slabs can be repaired by saw-cutting the affected areas with a professional grade wet-saw and removing the damaged concrete. The removed area serves as the form within which the new concrete is poured. The newly repaired area should be doweled into the existing surrounding slab using rebar in order to create a uniform weight distribution between the repaired area and the existing slab. Occasionally, a clear two-part epoxy joint sealer may be used to ensure the repaired area is watertight against the existing slab.
New Concrete Slabs can be installed by first determining the depth below grade the slab is to be installed, and then the depth of the slab. If necessary, the existing surface materials may need to be excavated, but once the area for the slab is properly prepped, a form is built to define the dimensions of the new slab. Then, if necessary, wire mesh or rebar is set within the form for added tensile strength. Concrete is then pumped or poured into the form and allowed to cure, or harden. Once the concrete is set, the forms are stripped and expansion or control joints are installed or cut into the slab if necessary. Depending on the use of the slab, the surface may be broom-finished with a wire bristle room for friction, or left natural.