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Old 03-22-2010, 01:00 AM   #1
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Concrete finishing issues


I'm somewhat new to concrete work so I would appreciate any insight into the following.

I just finishing pouring a small footing for a small garden wall.
  • I find during screeding that a lot of the larger aggregate pulls out of the surface leaving an uneven and pitted surface which then has to be reworked to fill the pits. In the books and info I've found on the web the surface shown after screeding looks smooth. Am I doing something incorrectly.
  • Even when finishing after the bleedwater disappears, some of the aggregates keep pulling out leaving small pits that have to be filled. Again is this normal.
  • Finally I found when removing the forms that there was quite a bit of pitting in places where the concrete had not fully settled to form a smooth surface. I did what was suggested in the book and worked a trowel in-between the forms and concrete to remove air pockets.
I do own a concrete vibrator which I did not use on this project. Could 3 have been prevented by the use of a vibrator?

Thanks for any insight.

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Old 03-22-2010, 07:03 PM   #2
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Concrete finishing issues


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Originally Posted by blue_can View Post
I'm somewhat new to concrete work so I would appreciate any insight into the following.

I just finishing pouring a small footing for a small garden wall.
  • I find during screeding that a lot of the larger aggregate pulls out of the surface leaving an uneven and pitted surface which then has to be reworked to fill the pits. In the books and info I've found on the web the surface shown after screeding looks smooth. Am I doing something incorrectly. try shaking the screed board left to right while dragging toward you.
  • Even when finishing after the bleedwater disappears, some of the aggregates keep pulling out leaving small pits that have to be filled. Again is this normal. No, shaking the screed should help with this also, it will drive down the aggregate and bring up some cream.
  • Finally I found when removing the forms that there was quite a bit of pitting in places where the concrete had not fully settled to form a smooth surface. I did what was suggested in the book and worked a trowel in-between the forms and concrete to remove air pockets.Tap the sides of the forms with a hammer of trowel lightly.
I do own a concrete vibrator which I did not use on this project. Could 3 have been prevented by the use of a vibrator?Yes it would help

Thanks for any insight.

If this is a footing I do not know why you are trying to finish the surface or worrying about honeycombing of the sides anyway. Alot of times forms are not used for footings either. Get it close to the top of you forms and screed it off. Footings do not need a "finished" surface.

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Old 03-22-2010, 07:31 PM   #3
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Concrete finishing issues


Thanks for the reply. Yes, you are correct in saying that the finish on the sides or the top is not important for a footing. Since I'm new to concrete I was simply using this pour as practice to see how well I would do if I were really finishing concrete that would form a visible slab. I just wanted feedback on how I could improve for the next project.

Regarding the reason for the forms - the footing is on a gradient. One side has been excavated for the new patio but the other side is higher so I used a form on the low side to hold the footing and the soil on the higher side acted as the form.
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:41 AM   #4
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Concrete finishing issues


did you add a keyway for tying the wall to the footing?
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:39 AM   #5
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Concrete finishing issues


Actually this is going to be a block wall - not a poured concrete wall. To be more precise it is going to have natural stone veneer with the concrete block serving as the base for the veneer. It will also have some matching stone wall caps on top.
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