If part of the concrete sidewalk or driveway you're installing is going to be on a hill, even the smallest installation mistake could cause a crack or water buildup problem later on. Therefore, while you're applying the crushed stone base that's going to be directly under the concrete, it's important to work very carefully. Check out these three tips to follow to ensure a crushed stone layer on a hill will provide an adequate base for concrete.
Go Over All Parts Of The Hole You Make For The Stones With A Ruler
Before you lay down the stones, you'll have to excavate part of the hill so that the stones won't be too high off the ground to provide an adequate base. Once you've made your hole with a shovel, it's important to measure all parts of it with a ruler to ensure that no part of it is deeper than any other part.
If you don't check for this problem and move dirt around accordingly, the result could be an uneven crushed stone layer and a dramatically increased risk of cracks. Also ensure that all the edges of the hole are perfectly straight to protect the shapes of the concrete slabs you'll be laying down (slabs with uneven edges are more prone to breaking apart).
Flatten The Stone Layer With The Broad End Of A Shovel
Whenever you're laying crushed stone on a hill, gravity will inevitably cause some of the stones to fall out of place and onto other stones. If you allow these uneven stone piles to remain, the result will be a weak foundation for your concrete slabs.
After you're done applying the crushed stone, smooth the layer out with the broad end of a shovel. Use your hands to move stones that don't move in response to the pressure you apply.
Insert Steel Pegs Between The Stones To Help Them Stay In Place
The crushed stones need some kind of reinforcement if they're going to stay in place on a hill for a long period of time. As long as the stones are packed close enough together, this reinforcement can be provided by sticking steel pegs into the hole at regular intervals. The pegs will attach themselves to the concrete you pour, so you don't need to connect them with anything else.
It's important to not cut corners whenever you have a large DIY project to do that involves concrete. Luckily, as long as you follow a few simple directions, major problems after installation are going to be unlikely.
For assistance, talk to a professional like Hanson Aggregates.