Tips on concrete for farm yards and lanes

When installing concrete outside in farmyards, lanes and back-streets it is important to consider a few key points to provide durable concrete which will last for a long time.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 8:36 am

Along with heavy traffic, extreme cold temperatures are the biggest risk to damaging external concrete surfaces, particularly freeze-thaw cycles experienced during the winter.

Additionally, de-icing salts used on public roads and potentially concrete greatly increase the damaging effects of freezing.

The effect of frost damage can be extensive scaling and spalling which results in the top layer of concrete coming off. This can be prevented by ensuring concrete is adequately designed, produced, placed, finished and cured.

When planning external concrete slabs please consider the following Do’s and Don’ts:

- Do! Engage with a third party quality accredited supplier and select the correct mix for external paving; PAV 1 (C35n air entrained or 50N), or PAV 2 (40n air entrained or 50N)

- Do! Choose an experienced and competent concrete installer and discuss the concrete mix and installation techniques

- Do! Ensure slump/workability of the concrete is agreed between supplier and installer

- Do! Discuss slab depth and joint placement with concrete installer and if in doubt consult an engineer

- Do! Ensure plan is in place for good curing for immediately after concrete being placed

- Do! Use fibres in concrete to reduce risk of cracking and increase surface strength

- Don’t! Install concrete in very cold or very hot temperatures, rainy or windy days

- Don’t! Add additional water to concrete on-site to increase the slump - this will weaken concrete and can result to quality issues with the concrete

- Don’t! Traffic concrete paving too soon - leave 28 days until it reaches full strength

- Don’t’ Use air entrained mixes for power-floated finishes, consult quality accredited supplier for more information

If you need assistance with concrete mixes or to help recommend a suitable competent concrete layer consultant with a third party quality accredited supplier.