Pouring a concrete retaining wall with no forms can be a daunting task. It takes a short period of time to build but it is also can be a stressful period. We want to show you some key elements in making your pour go a little smoother. Whether you're pumping, pouring, wheel barrowing or buggying these pointers can make a drastic difference in your day.
1. Clear Debris
Make sure that all paths to your wall are clear of any stones, sticks, dirt piles, etc. When you're moving mud around the last thing you want is to be tipping wheel barrows or tripping over objects when you’re running around trying to work.
2. Plan of Attack
Before your concrete arrives be sure to gather the troops and talk about what is going to happen. Ensure everyone knows what tasks they will be responsible for. For example someone should always be directing where the mud is going next and over watching the wall. You will have some shoveling and some troweling. You may have a line/boom pump that needs to be operated. Knowing what you should be doing and working together as a team is the most important item to remember. If something goes wrong or there is a sudden change of plans, teamwork will be the solution to get it done.
3. Organization of tools
Not only do you need to organize yourselves but your tools need to be laid out and ready to go. Depending on the project itself, have all the tools that you will need laid out in an area that is easily accessible but out of the way of the pour. Remember, having extra wheel barrows, trowels, shovels, etc. is always a good thing. You never know when something is going to break or become un-operational. Back-ups ensure that you can keep moving at the same pace without skipping a beat.
This is probably the most neglected procedure. When you set up your rebar for a wall you want it to be tied tight and cleanly. Check your height also; you will want the top of the steel to be about 4” from the top of wall. Be sure to anchor your standing rebar into the ground with “dead men” to take any shakiness out. When you are pouring the mud and stacking it, if there is movement in the steel it can cause vibrations into the wall and cause it to fall. If the steel is to tall it will be a lot tougher to fix with cement all around it and you will have to adjust which will cause movement throughout the wall. Use string lines to check heights and always be sure that it is tied at all intersections to ensure sturdiness in the steel.
5. Don’t Overdue Yourself
Whether you’re a seasoned concrete man or it is your first pour make sure that you order the amount of mud that you can safely handle with the crew that you have on site. Don’t think that because you have a 10 cubic yd. wall that you have to get a 10 yrd truck. Get two trucks with 5 yds. each. Getting too much mud to handle can result in the concrete setting up too fast and you will have to tear it up and start again. Double check the weather for that day, is everyone on your crew on site? Take into account for all the variables and play it safe rather than taking unnecessary risks.
Every pour is going to be different even if it is the same yardage or layout. There is many things to account for on the day of the pour and tension or anticipation can make you overlook some of the simpler things to remember. So start with the basics and you will be on your way to a successful pour!