01:45PM | 06/02/04
Member Since: 06/01/04
1 lifetime posts
Is there anyplace on line where I can get simple and straightforward instructions for putting in a parking pad?

I live in Canada where the winters can be and often are 40 below zero.

Given that, is the following correct and complete ????

1. Dig down 10 inches without disturbing the soil at the bottom of the "excavation".

QUESTION: Is there a need or benefit to placing plastic down so that plants do not come up and ruin the concrete/ashphalt ???

QUESTION: Is the slope important at this point, or do you wait until the next step to create a proper slope?

2. Put in approximately 4 inches of gravel (of a certain size?). Tamp it down with a tamper rented from ********** or other place, maintaining the slope from previous step.

3. Put in forms on top of the gravel at the perimeter of the pad. Ensure the tops of the form is consistent with the slope.

4. Put in rebar/steel mesh for strength.

QUESTION: It is a two car pad. Should I be placing any extra footing or other support in the middle of the pad ???

5. Have concrete company pour concrete. Get helpers to spread the concrete while it is being poured. Use of a piece of lumber with a back and forth mothion to spread it is the best system?

Texturizing is optional but makes a nice look. Use an old broom or some other such item to creat texture. Use a concrete edging trowel for the edges for a nice look.

6. Let set for at least 2 days before removing forms.

Any comments ??? I need some input to lay to rest the controversy here with the proper way to pour a parking pad.

And yes, I'll deal with the city and the bylaw stuff. Don't worry about that. What I need to know is the best way to do this.

Thank you. Dennis Fletcher

ps Love your show Bob.


09:40AM | 06/03/04
Member Since: 01/14/03
264 lifetime posts
How deep you excavate really depends on what you find down there. If you go down 12" (in your neck of the woods you might want to go 14-16") and you find good gravel, then you can stop there and proof roll (compact) the soil with a rented vibratory plate compactor. If you find loam or other organics, you'll need to keep digging until all of that is removed and can be replaced with the good base material.

Then you can place new gravel or crushed stone up to where the bottom of you surface treatment will be. That elevation will depend on what you're using for the surface. If you're using asphalt, then I'd stop 3-4" below where you want the finished asphalt surface to be. If it's concrete, then I'd say 5-6" (for that thickness of concrete).

The gravel or crushed stone you put in should be placed in 2 equal lifts, compacting each with the plate compactor thoroughly as you go. Don't try to compact an entire 10-12" or more as one unit unless you own or can rent and operate a wheeled vibratory roller compactor.

Once the gravel or crushed stone base is in place, then you can prepare for the surface. If you know how to lay an asphalt driveway, then you probably wouldn't be asking these questions, so I'll guess you'll hire someone. But understand that it might be easier to hire an asphalt crew if they know they're getting the entire job, top to bottom. They can then offer a warranty on the job. Placing their asphalt on your work will not put them in a position to warranty the job because they have no idea how well you did your work...or not. If it's concrete, you can set your forms, place your reinforcing fabric (on pins to hold it in mid-slab when the concrete is poured) and get ready for the concrete.

In answer to the first question, no, there's no benefit to the plastic when excavating to the depth you'll need to go to get a good free-draining gravel base that won't heave.

In answer to the second question, yes, slope is important. But just make sure you slope the surface in a direction where the water can drain off the pad and keep going. You don't want to shed the water off to a big puddle next to the pad. And the slope doesn't have to be any more than one percent (which is equal to 1 foot vertically in one hundred feet horizontally...or a little less than 1 1/4" over 10 feet).

In answer to the question about extra support in the middle of the slab, no, none is necessary if the gravel or crushed stone base you've installed was done properly and compacted well...and the slab is at least 5" thick. I'd make it 6".

If you've never done any of this before, you might want to get a friend or someone who does know to assist. Good luck.

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