Pouring concrete footings is one of the most important parts of your deck foundation. Concrete that is poured incorrectly can crack and cause damage to your deck.
Working with the Weather
When you plan to pour the footings for your deck, be sure to check the weather forecasts before you begin. If there is a forecast of rainy or freezing weather wait until the air is going to be above freezing and dry. Wet and freezing weather can lead to many problems with the setting process of the concrete.
Strengthening with Rebar
You can add extra support to your concrete footings by reinforcing them with rebar. You will need three pieces of rebar for each footing. Push the rebar into the concrete after it has been poured
The holes for the footings should be at least one foot deep however the actual depth may vary depending on the size of the post and the amount of support required to keep it in place. The footing holes should be moistened on the bottom before the concrete mixture is poured into it. A dry footing hole will pull the water from the concrete too quickly.
Bracing the Footing Holes
Use circular cardboard tubes to hold the form of the holes for your footings in place. Use your level to be sure they are in proper position. Place heavy stones at the bottom of the holes to hold the tubes.
Attaching the Metal Anchors to the Posts
Lay out all of the posts for your deck on the ground. Use a hammer and nails to secure the metal anchors beyond the bottom of the posts. The position of the anchor will allow it to take hold of the concrete.
Mixing the Concrete
The concrete you use can either be mixed in a concrete mixer, a wheelbarrow or in the hole you have dug for the footings of the posts. Your concrete mix should contain three parts of cement for every one part of water you use.
Positioning the Posts
Pour the concrete into the first hole. Position the post into the center of the concrete. One third of the post should be installed into the concrete. Move the post up and down to remove any air bubbles in the concrete.
Leveling the Post
Use your level to check that the post has been positioned properly into the hole. Use your tape measure to be sure that the post is at the correct height for the deck support joists.
Repositioning a Post
If the post is positioned too low, give the concrete about fifteen minutes to begin to set then pull the post up into its proper spot. If there are gaps in the concrete after you have repositioned the post, use a trowel to fill the areas with more concrete. If the post is positioned too high, give the concrete enough time to dry completely. Once the post is fully secured in the concrete, use a saw to cut off the excess amount.