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4 Essential Safety Tips To Follow When Pouring A Concrete Slab Patio

by April Carlson

From wood decks and screened porches to a patio and outdoor kitchen, there are many options available to create an appealing and functional outdoor living space. Considering a patio can add an estimated 12.4 percent to your home's value, this outdoor living space can be a worthwhile investment. Unfortunately, you may not be able to install a concrete patio in a safe, effective manner. If you are a homeowner pouring a concrete patio, consider using these tips to ensure your project is completed safely.

Prepare

Preparing your site for the installation of a concrete patio will help your project run smoothly and keep you and your helpers safe.

The site of your patio should already be free of clutter and leveled. In most cases, you should also have the actual perimeter of your concrete patio marked and blocked off using stakes.

Before the concrete truck arrives, make sure a large area is open and free of clutter. The truck will need to park on soil around your patio site, so it should be dry, compact, and able to support the truck's weight.

Since power lines are a main cause of fatal accidents while pumping concrete, you should make sure the trucks can enter the location without the worry of making contact with these lines or surrounding trees.

Ensuring your outdoor area has sufficient space for the trucks' delivery chute is also important. This long component has a large swing radius. It also becomes very heavy and more challenging to operate when the cement is flowing through. Without enough space, the delivery chute may strike you and your helpers while working.

Make sure to stand far enough away from the chute to prevent it from making contact. Keep hands and fingers away from the joints of the delivery chute, as well. Designate hand signals to communicate with your helpers when the chute will be in motion.

Protect

Every person working to pour the concrete will need proper protection, since unhardened concrete may contain many toxic chemicals.

These chemicals are caustic, which can cause burns and irritation on your skin. Also, unhardened concrete contains silica. When inhaled, silica can irritate your respiratory system, decreasing your ability to breathe. In severe cases, inhaling silica can lead to lung disease.

Here are a few imperative items to keep you and your helpers safe while pouring concrete:

  • Safety Glasses/Goggles
  • Rubber Gloves and Boots – Be sure to choose alkaline-resistant gloves and boots.
  • Disposable Coveralls
  • Hard Hat
  • Disposable Respirator Mask

Wearing a brace to support your back is also smart, since the wet concrete will be heavy and difficult to spread.

Prevent

After the concrete is poured, you should avoid walking on the wet concrete. A sufficient amount of time will be necessary to cure the concrete, but the exact time for your patio to dry will also depend on the temperature. A minimum of 7 days will be necessary to cure your concrete patio during temperatures above 40 degrees. During this time, do not walk on or place any furniture on your patio.

If you or a family makes contact with the wet concrete, the patio will not properly cure. This will cause the concrete to crack, reducing the look and durability of your patio. Slipping on the wet concrete can result in falling and injuring yourself. Also, slipping and falling on the concrete will expose your skin to the caustic chemicals. Consider placing stakes around the perimeter of your patio and use tape to block off the area. 

Clean Up

The concrete truck should move immediately after pouring the concrete to avoid any potential accidents during the clean-up process.

Reduce your risk of chemical exposure by immediately removing all of your protective gear and disposing in a trash bag. Seal the bag and place in an outdoor trash can.

Installing a patio is a great investment for your home's value and family's enjoyment, but it does require a great deal of effort. With these tips to keep you and your helpers safe, you can effectively pour your concrete slab patio. To hire a concrete pump truck, check out a company like Masterlink Concrete Pumping.

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