Adding a patio to your home is a wonderful way to make more of the space and to raise your overall property value. Yet it is vital you have a thorough understanding of the process before you get started--even if you're planning to hire a contractor to complete the job. If you are considering installing a concrete patio, read on. This article will provide two key tips to help you through the process.

Separate The Slab From Your Foundation

It's nice to have a patio that extends right from the edge of your home. You can step right out your door onto the patio. But wait! You must be sure to allow for a slight gap between the concrete patio slab and the foundation of your house. This will help to ensure that any changes the patio undergoes over time won't affect your home. 

Plan on using what is known as a bond breaker to help keep your patio separate from your foundation. A bond breaker may consist of any of the following:

  • plastic sheeting
  • roofer's felt
  • asphalt-impregnated fiberboard
  • foam sill seal

This material, which should be at least 1/2" thick, should be nailed to the foundation at the height of the new slab. This material will remain in place once the job is complete. Its purpose is simply to keep the new concrete from adhering to the old.

Install A Solid Base

What many people don't realize is that the primary enemy of concrete is water--and not water from above, so much as water from below. In other words, the key to a long lasting and crack-free concrete patio is a well-drained base. Depending on the type of soil in your yard, such a base will consist of either gravel or crushed concrete poured to a depth of between 6 and 8 inches.

Before you add any gravel, however, it is necessary to first prepare the soil beneath it. For your reference, this soil is often referred to in technical jargon as the subgrade. First, several inches of topsoil must be removed to expose the harder, denser soil beneath. This layer is then leveled and compacted using a plate compactor. Once this is done, gravel should be added to the desired depth and compressed again. 

Bottom Line

Tthe key to successfully installing a concrete patio is adequate preparation. The tips outlined above should prove valuable in guiding you through these preparatory phases. 

For more information, contact a business such as Seller's Concrete.