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Old 02-10-2011, 10:46 AM   #1
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Question Pouring a slab to park on

Has any one in iRV2 land poured a concrete driveway/slab to park their RV on? I have small concern about the weight. 20K to 25K pounds. It is currently parked on my driveway and it hasn't fallen through yet. This will be a new slab to put the steel building on to give here a nice home when we aren't running her down the road. I'm guessing 4" thick with a good 4-6" base. Builing wire and rebar. We are in CA and don't have to worry about freezing.
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:01 AM   #2
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Funny you should ask. I had a sink hole under my driveway so it had to be redone. I used commercial grade cement at 4000 psi vice regular which is 3000 psi and I added fiber into the cement for strength plus put rebar throughout the driveway and my driveway is greater than 4" thick.. My MH weighs in at around 48,000 lbs but has eight tires so the weight is really spread out. My new driveway now has so many cracks in it that they are going to have to do it over again when it warms up a little. We can't figure out what happened. The company that did it came and broke off a chunk and has sent it off to be tested. Still waiting on the results. I can see the cracks around the area where I occasionally park the MH but it has also cracked in places where I have never parked the MH. I think the cracks came in the new cement then the MH just made it worse. Where I store it which is asphalt I have 2" x 12" boards under all the tires to spread the weight out. I tried it without the boards but in the Georgia summer heat it started to depress the asphalt.
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:09 AM   #3
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Call your local Ready Mix supplier and ask for a reference on a Quality
concrete contractor and hire them to do your job!! they will stand behind there work
and of course you should check there references your self
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:10 AM   #4
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Wow you got the deluxe concrete and it still cracked. I was reading up on it last night and water ratio could be the culprit. Sounds anything over .50 is too much. Plus wet cure will make it stronger.
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:10 AM   #5
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sCaryCary....I also live in CA I poured a slab about 10yrs ago it is 6 in. thick with a good base also has steel mesh 4X4 in it. So far no problems. Would not go less than 6inch with 5sack mix. good luck with your project.
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:26 AM   #6
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Cary, the water ratio kind of depends on how much slope you have in the driveway so it doesn't flow downhill after it is poured (lol). My driveway is flat. It was poured in August heat and I kept sprinklers on it for 3-4 days while it was drying. I wish I knew what happened so I could tell you so it didn't happen to you. The guy that did the driveway ordered the cement from the biggest Atlanta cement company so he didn't mix it himself. The guy that did it is going to redo it for nothing which is great. One thing they said when then broke a chunk off to have it tested was that the cement was "green" in the middle. Don't know what that means but it has something to do with the curing or lack of curing. One thing I will do different when he repours it is to make sure there is more rebar in the corners where the driveway joins with the road. Getting my 44' MH backed into my driveway is a challange and I am pretty good at it but I have to cut it tight so it rolls over the corners of the driveway where it joins the curb and it cracked one of the corners pretty bad. I think next time I will angle the two corners out like a funnel rather than have an abrupt 90* corner and make sure it has rebar there and maybe a little thicker cement there also.
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:13 PM   #7
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If you are going to put a building on this slab be sure to pour a grade beam around the perimeter. A 6" slab is ideal and 6 bag mix concrete (4,000 PSI) rather than 5-1/2 bag mix will give you a much stronger slab. The grade beam means that your perimeter will be 8-10" thick and about 12" wide. This will help support the load of the walls.

Reinforcing is critical. You can use either fiberglass fibers within the mix or wire mesh. If you use the mesh care must be taken when pouring the slab to pull the mesh up into the slab. It does no good if it's laying beneath it.

When the slab is finished it needs to be watered to prevent drying out. Concrete doesn't cure from drying out, it's a chemical reaction. In fact the strongest concrete is the stuff poured underwater, such as bridge pilings, etc. Once it's set up, keep it wet for the first day or two.

Finally, slabs expand and contract with temperature. You'll need to cut control joints so that any expansion cracking occurs within those joints. Get a good concrete joint sealant (comes in caulking tubes) and fill the joints to prevent water and dirt from filling them up.

While it doesn't look that hard, there are a number of things to watch for when pouring concrete to ensure a quality job. If you don't know those tricks of the trade, be sure whoever you hire does know and follow them.
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:52 PM   #8
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Well being that I have been a licensed cement contractor for 30 years, there is one thing I can promise you. Concrete cracks. And it really can crack up in Ca. And pouring 12" thick with rebar or wire mesh is no guarantee either. Rebar, mesh, fiber, all that stuff will help to CONTROL cracks, but not eliminate them. The biggest reasons that concrete cracks up is not being worked enough when poured, drying too fast, or being poured too thin. Not enough expansion joints is also a big reason. Sometimes contractors will skimp on the expansion joints because of the wire or rebar in the slab can make them difficult to get them in the wet cement. In that case saw cutting the joints later with a concrete saw is acceptable.

The other main way to control cracking is to cover it with plastic right after finishing and leave it covered for a week with no one walking or driving on it. The slower concrete dries, the harder is gets. Then uncover it and saw cut the expansion joints in it.

The ground moves here in Ca constantly, so preventing cracks all together is not reasonable. As far as the edges go, digging them down 8-12 inches is a good practice, then ensure that your rebar or wire extends into the deep corners. Another thing while talking about wire and steel, is that some contractors do not ensure that the wire or steel is lifted off of the ground as the concrete is poured. If the reinforcement is not about an inch off of the ground in the cement, it is doing nothing to help your crack control problem.

Hope this helps, Sarge
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:46 PM   #9
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Pavers are the only way to go. No cracking and expansion and contraction are not issues. They are used a lot here in florida.
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:38 PM   #10
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Sarge, if I may go off on a tangent a lttle. I understand there will be cracks BUT my new driveway looks like a jigsaw puzzle in places. When they broke a chunk off to send off to get tested the cement starting from halfway point and down was green looking. In your experience do you know what that "green" means?
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:19 PM   #11
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My pad is 12x50 minimum 6inches and over 12inches where the cement truck went with fibers,wire mesh, rebar 7years old no cracks it may have been over kill but why not if your already spending time and money.
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:41 PM   #12
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It depends on a few things Mike. You said the driveway was new, but how new? When concrete is tested, and designed, there is a specific formula for each individual mix. For instance, a 5 sack mix with 3/4 rock is designed to come up to 2000# per square foot in 28 days. 28 days being the curing time for the concrete. When "pea gravel" mix is poured, it is usually boosted to 6 sacks per yard to compensate for the smaller rock in the mix. So the green color in the middle does not mean a whole lot. What you need to know is what mix was used, and how much WATER was added at the job site. Actually going by your description of "jig saw puzzle" , it sounds like too much water was added to the mix. Excess water seriously degrades the strength of the mix.

And now days, a contractor can order almost any mix from the plant. Even pea gravel pump mix can be ordered at 5 sacks per yard, or even less. It's up to the contractor to decide. Sometimes unscrupulous contractors will pour a cheaper mix to save money. Or if excessive water was added it can have the same effect as reducing the sacks of concrete per yard. The mix ordered, the amount of water at the plant, and the amount of water added at the job will usually be indicated on the cement ticket that the cement truck driver gives you after the load is dumped.

But always remember this. Concrete contains a lot of water when it is mixed. It is the action of the concrete drying that can lead to cracking. When the concrete dries, it shrinks. If the load was not worked properly, it may crack a lot. Usually drying too fast is what causes the cracking process to start.
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Canter View Post
Funny you should ask. I had a sink hole under my driveway so it had to be redone. I used commercial grade cement at 4000 psi vice regular which is 3000 psi and I added fiber into the cement for strength plus put rebar throughout the driveway and my driveway is greater than 4" thick.. My MH weighs in at around 48,000 lbs but has eight tires so the weight is really spread out. My new driveway now has so many cracks in it that they are going to have to do it over again when it warms up a little. We can't figure out what happened. The company that did it came and broke off a chunk and has sent it off to be tested. Still waiting on the results. I can see the cracks around the area where I occasionally park the MH but it has also cracked in places where I have never parked the MH. I think the cracks came in the new cement then the MH just made it worse. Where I store it which is asphalt I have 2" x 12" boards under all the tires to spread the weight out. I tried it without the boards but in the Georgia summer heat it started to depress the asphalt.
Should have been 6" min thickness. 8" would have better and not parked on for 90 days.
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:02 PM   #14
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90 days is kind of stretching things a bit. Pavers can be used in liu of, but to be prepared right for that kind of weight you would need to excavate about 12" deep, compact the earth, put down a serious stone base, compact the stone, then base material, and compact again. Add pavers, and compact again. Looks nice, no savings though.
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