Have you ever wondered how concrete contractors pour and create vertical walls of concrete? It is not as though concrete readily dries within seconds of being poured because most concrete requires at least thirty minutes or more to set. One might even compare this modern marvel of construction engineering with the ancient Stonehenge, stone structures set upright. However, Stonehenge is solid rock carved out and set upright, where concrete walls are liquid set upright and dried that way. Here is a closer look at how that process works.
From Excavation to Wall Formation
- The first step in creating vertical concrete walls is to excavate. If your contractor is creating a basement foundation, he or she will have the crew dig to a certain depth and smooth the bare mud walls out and level out the mud floor.
- Next, metal structures are erected in the excavated site, about a foot from the mud walls. These are the forms that will keep the liquid concrete in place until they have solidified enough to remove the metal wall forms.
- Rebar is often added through the metal walls to secure the concrete to the mud walls once the concrete has dried. The rebar helps reinforce the fully cured concrete and anchor it to the surrounding earth for years to come. The contractor may also decide to pour the walls in stages, adding rebar across the top of each layer poured.
- Finally, the metal walls used to help form the concrete are removed and left to stand and cure.
Smoothing and Curing the Vertical Walls
Once the concrete is erect and hardened somewhat, the concrete crew will use trowels and/or a a concrete buffing tool to sand the walls down to a smooth finish. If you want texture in your foundation's walls, then the crew will create texture rather than smooth the walls out. A curing topcoat may be applied to protect the vertical walls while the construction contractor builds your home or building over the walls.
Vertical Concrete Walls as Decoration
Many concrete contractors also pour shorter vertical walls for decoration. What happens is that after the shorter, above ground walls are poured or layered, the contractor will add decorative touches. Removing the metal wall forms a little early leaves a still wet but malleable surface. The contractor's crew will then use a concrete stain, stamp or trowel to make interesting patterns, designs or cut the wall into unusual shapes. (If you want your own miniature version of Stonehenge, this would be the way to do it, since shorter walls are easier to slice through and shape while they are still wet.) Contact a local concrete contractor, like Kwiatkowski Construction Co Inc, for more information.