If you have made the decision to install a concrete patio in your backyard, then it is important for you to follow these time-tested do's and don'ts for the best results:
Do pour your concrete on a section of your backyard that has been properly graded so that it will adequately drain when it gets wet in the rain and snow. Proper drainage is vital so that water will run off of the patio and will not damage the concrete by seeping into it from standing water.
Don't install your new patio on ground that has not been machine compacted. You should rent a plate compactor to evenly compact the substrate ground before pouring the concrete slab. You should not use a handheld tamping tool because it will lead to an uneven surface of the concrete. Since concrete is heavy, it will push down into unevenly compacted soil and prematurely age and crack.
Do ensure that the area of your backyard that you are pouring your patio over is dry and free from any mud or frozen ground. Excess moisture from freezing or mud will cause problems with the curing of the concrete slab and can cause the pour to fail. If this happens, you will either have to live with cracked concrete or break it out and start over.
Don't ever pour concrete during inclement weather. Concrete slab patios will not cure properly when they are poured in the rain, freezing temperatures, or in excessive heat. Too much water or a temperature that is too cold will cause the concrete to become crumbly, and excessive heat will cause it to dry out too quickly and not cure.
Do start finishing the concrete patio by starting on one edge and working your way across the slab in a uniform fashion. Make sure that any hand finishing or stamping that you choose to do is worked in the same direction. Never start on the perimeter and then work inward, instead work across the slab from one edge to its opposite edge.
Don't forget that you need to add texture to your backyard's new concrete patio. If you do not add texture, then the concrete will be slippery when it gets wet or icy. Adding some texture gives the concrete a much better surface for walking on when it is wet. Especially if your new patio is near a swimming pool or hot tub, you should stamp it for maximum texture.
For more information, contact firms like Robert R. Andreas & Sons Inc.