3 Tips For Preparing A Concrete Pad For Your HVAC System

29 July 2015
 Categories: , Blog

Before the installation of your HVAC system, there is some prep work that needs to take place to ensure that your system is properly installed. One of those projects you might need to take on before the installation is preparing a concrete pad outside for the system. Here are some tips to help ensure your pad is laid perfectly. 

Clear the Area

Clearing the area for your concrete pad is more than just getting rid of the grass and leaves. One of the possible problems you could face with a concrete pad is that it can start to crack months later. A reason for this is that the ground beneath it is not properly settled. As part of clearing the area for the pad, you have to remove the topsoil and ensure the remaining soil is tightly compacted. Once you have the area clear, build a wooden frame for the concrete pad. Nail wooden pegs into the ground to help outline the framework and to support the frame's boards. The pegs need to extend a few inches into the ground to ensure they are stable. Nail the boards for the frame into the pegs using nails to create your square or rectangular frame. Which shape you choose is up to you. 

Use Gravel to Support the Pad

Once you have built your frame on top of the prepared area, you need to cover that area with gravel. The gravel works with the frame that you built to support the concrete pad. It also helps to prevent the growth of weeds beneath the pad that could eventually cause cracks to appear. It is important that you also use a compactor to compact the gravel into place. A compactor is a machine that helps to compact, or push down, the soil so that the surface is smooth and tightly compacted. You can rent one at a local home improvement store. Ask the sales rep for step-by-step instructions on how to use the particular compactor you rent.  

Remember to Bull-Float the Concrete

Once you screed, or spread out, the concrete, it is important to bull-float it. A bull-float is a hand tool that looks like a rake, but is used to smooth the concrete. You can find it at your local home improvement store. To bull-float, simply slide the hand tool, or bull-float, you bought over the surface of the concrete just like you would a rake when picking up leaves. Focus on removing marks that were left from the spreading process. It is important to move slowly while doing this because if you move too fast, you could push excess water from the concrete to one side, which could result in an uneven surface. 

Talk to your HVAC technician like one from Bishop Plumbing, Heating and Cooling to determine if there are any other tasks that you need to complete prior to the installation of your system. If there are, it is important to have them completed before the tech shows up.