We were contracted to install 5 new square concrete steps in front of a new emergency exit.
Concrete Steps Specifications
Dependable Concrete Contractor use 4000 psi concrete with fiber-mesh. A higher psi mix prevents spalling, scaling or pitting from de-icing materials. According to PCA, a national concrete association, “Since scaling damage to pavements of all types is caused by physical salt attack, the use of high strength (4,000 psi or more), low permeability, air entrained concrete is crucial to good durability in these applications.”
Fiber mesh strengthens concrete work to prevent cracking. There are several types of fiber based on the application. For concrete steps, concrete driveways, concrete walkways, concrete patios, concrete backyards and concrete basement floors, we use “Fiber Mesh 150.”
Forming Concrete steps
90% of the time we use 2×8 lumber for the concrete step risers and 3/4″ plywood for the side board. We stiffen the side boards straight with 3 long 2×3 horizontal support see photo below.
If the form work is not accurate then the concrete steps will reveal the errors from improper leveling, plumbing and measuring. Forming and layout is an absolutely critical step in concrete step construction. Ignoring industry standard practices will result in a failed project. Novice concrete work contractors suffer with this phase either because they underestimate the weight and lateral force of concrete or a unclear understanding that the form work represents the negative mold.
Finishing Concrete Steps
The final stage is applying the finish coat. We use 1 part cement to 3 parts bar sand. To achieve a thoroughly mixed batch we use a drill with a paddle. Cement must be added to the raw concrete steps to shape the edges, corners and honeycombs after pulling the forms. For traction we broom finish the treads of the concrete steps. See video below for a display of these steps.
Concrete Work – Curing
Concrete work takes 28 days to cure to full strength. However, after 24 hours the Concrete steps are accessible to traffic.
Concrete repair like resurfacing concrete steps requires much less time since the density of the material is much less. Within 2-3 days depending on temperature, a sealers and paints can be applied to concrete or cement repair work. See our Youtube video on concrete step repair.
Dependable Concrete Work Contractors have been doing cement work in Philadelphia for 35 years. We take pride in our cement and concrete work and are willing to share our expertise through our catalog of videos and blogs. Please follow us.
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