Concrete Tips


  • You’ll need to select a mix for your project. Minimum strength on flatwork should be 3,000 psi. VQC sells a COD mix that is reliable and customer friendly, and will achieve about 3,500 psi. This mix is typically used in garage slabs, sidewalks, patios & RV pads.
  • For the best performance, always pour concrete on a stable base. You want to make sure and start out with a dampened, compacted base.
  • Concrete is prone to cracking. To help minimize cracking in your concrete, do not pour your concrete above the water to cement ratio per the mix design. Concrete will get weaker and more prone to cracking as you add more water and exceed the water to cement ratio.
  • Making sure you have enough people on hand to do the job is a key to a nice finish to your project. Average set time for a standard 3000 psi 5 sack mix concrete is 5 hours. Weather is a factor to this time window. If your concrete is too stiff to work after an hour or two it will start to set and at that time you will be stuck with the finish.
  • Take the concrete’s temperature. It should be between 50 and 90. The closer it gets to 50, the longer it will take to set. The closer it gets to 90, the quicker it will set. On cold days, asking VQC dispatch to add hot water will help. On hot days, having VQC add a retarder to your mix will help slow down the hydration process and give you extra time to work the concrete.
  • When the concrete is finished, cure it. Curing keeps moisture in the concrete during the hydration period, which slows down shrinkage while the concrete has time to gain strength. If the moisture leaves the concrete too soon, and the concrete shrinks before it has time to gain strength, the chance to cracking increases.
  • Cure the concrete with a spray-on curing compound, or by keeping wet burlap on the concrete for three days, or by keeping the concrete wet for three days with a sprinkler or soaker hose.
  • Concrete wants to crack. Joints are planes of weakness that attract cracks and make them look better. A joint is a line tooled into the concrete while it’s soft or saw cut into a concrete after it sets. The rule of thumb is put in your joints just as soon as you can get on the concrete. On a typical 4-inch thick patio or driveway, joints should be 8-10 feet apart. For best results, never joint your concrete larger than a 12×12 pattern. Your joint should be 1/4 inch depth per inch of the depth of the slab. So if your slab is 4 inches thick, your joint should be 1″ in depth.
  • Fibermesh is a recycled plastic fiber that VQC can add to your concrete. Our stealth Fibermesh is so fine that it’s hard to see with the naked eye. It disperses through the concrete and ties everything together with hair-like strands. It helps concrete fight off a variety of different cracks. It will also help control the size of cracks in a slab once they start and keep them to a minimum. Please keep in mind it does not make your concrete crack proof.
  • We will be happy to help you find a reliable, qualified finisher to help you complete your project. We have a list of many great concrete finishers who do all different sizes of jobs, big or small.