We are getting our new concrete floor! This is our big day after months of preparation and research.
The research was not only about the technical aspects of moisture management and how best to insulate, it also involved logistical questions, i.e. how do we get 21 cubic yards of concrete down into the basement.
There is really no good way to get the concrete directly from the truck to where we need it. We could get the chute of the truck to the very back of the basement, but how would we get all that concrete to the front?
Using wheelbarrows, such as for the spread footings, is not an option unless I am willing to spend several days on the pour. I was thinking of using 20 foot long portable conveyor belts. But how would I maneuver them in and out of the basement?
Pumping the concrete is my best option, as I had been told a number of times, and slowly came to accept. I could not find an equipment rental place that had small, trailer mounted pumps, but found a company with a small truck mounted pump that came with an operator.
We can’t just pour any type of concrete into the pump, but need what is called a ‘pump mix’. It means that the concrete comes without air (concrete is often air entrained) and is a little lower on the stone content.
I ordered and scheduled the pump mix a couple of days in advance. We set up the pump, the concrete arrived right on time and we were ready to go.
Oh boy, time can fly! We had three truck deliveries, spaced 20 minutes apart. We pumped and poured like there was no tomorrow. While pouring, we spread the concrete to a rough elevation.
When a large enough section was filled, Neil and Greg, the finishers, screened the fresh concrete to the finished elevation. Sort of like I screened the gravel base, but this was going much faster!
Once done, we took a little break to let the concrete set. Not for too long, because Neil had to go back to the front and start with the expansion joints while the concrete was still fresh enough.
While Neil was taking care of the joints, Greg fired up the troweling machine to add the finishing touches to the floor, except for odd corners, which required hand troweling.
It was a long day, be we are sure glad to have this milestone behind us!