Hi. I want to build a concrete ramp for my shed where I keep my wheel
barrow and push mower, so instead of lifting them in, I can just roll'em up.
I was reading on quikrete.com about building concrete ramps, and it says
when steps are being built against a house or other foundation be sure to
apply a ½" mastic expansion joint.
How do I do this and what additional materials do I need to create this
mastic expansion joint? Thanks for any help.
All I have ever seen used is the 1/2" thick black material (1/2' thick 3-4"
tall and about 4' wide).
It should be stocked at Lowes or HD on the same asile as the other concrete
products. If not ask I know I have seen it there.
In all the applications I have seen, you merely stand it on its edge between
the existing wall or slab and pour the new concrete. It will rot out and
disappear in 5-10 years. It is just an asphalt impregnated fiber material.
In your case if the ramp is thicker than the height of the material you
might need to stack one on top of the other.
Just in case my ramblings are not clear think of this material as 4th side
of the form you are building to hold your new concrete. It should
completely prevent the new pour from touching the existing slab or
Will you most likely be okay if you don't use it? IMO in this application
you would be fine.
Since you sound like a new concrete DIY person, keep your mix as dry as
possible following the directions on the bag. The major cause of failure is
getting too much water in the mix. The stiffer the concrete the stronger the
I also like to add a little extra Portland cement to the mixture to increase
the PSI strength of the mix. I use about 1 1/2 3# coffee cans per bag.
One 94 bag of Portland will enrich 6-9 80# bags of ready mix.
Since you can only mix a bag or 2 at one time, pour the full depth of your
form a section at a time. Pouring new batches beside and not on top of the
previous. This helps keep the setting process uniform and leads to a
Travis, thanks for the great link and Colbyt for the advice. The ramp I am
building is going to be about 2 feet in length, about 4 feet wide, and 4
feet deep at its deepest point (right near the shed). Colbyt, do you still
think I would still need to double up on the mastic, or need it at all with
a ramp this size? Thanks again.
There has to be a typo in the above statement.
A 2 foot run with a 4 foot rise is not something you are going to walk up or
drive a mower up. A four foot thick slab is nothing you are going to mix by
For the average 1000 pound garden tractor a 4" thick slab is all you need.
I think your peace of mind is worth the 2 or 3 bucks it will cost you. All
you are doing is preventing the concrete from bonding to the old.
You are correct in that it was a typo. 4 feet wide, 2 deep, 2 long. It is
for a shed, not a foundation for a house. The shed is raised on concrete
pillars, so it is above the ground. The floor of the shed is actually 2 1/2
feet off the ground, there is no concrete foundation, so I would actually
have to build a back to the form so the concrete still doesn't spill. And
the concrete will be meeting up against wood, so would the mastic still work
for the joint, or do I know need to use something else.
Yes you need to leave a small gap between the concrete and the wood so the
moisture over time will not rot the wood. This fiber stuff can be removed
after a short period of time with some effort. The longer it goes the easier
it gets. You could also use several layers of cardboard for a faster rot out
That still seems steep to me and sounds like a lot of concrete. You might
consider framing a 3 sided box using blocks or landscape stones stair
stepping it down the ramp angle. Then filling the inside with gravel
creating a ramp and only pouring the top 4" or so. If you used road fill
(DGA) you really would not need concrete. That stuff packs down tight.
Good luck with your project.
Thanks Colbyt. For the small gap I leave between the wood body of the shed,
and the concrete ramp, should I then fill in that gap with a polyurethane
sealant and cement backer rod, or something like that or is that where the
mastic expansion joint comes in? How much of a gap are we talking 1/2 inch?
I've helped build some entrances to some buildings that were about
that high off the ground. We would build the forms and then fill
them with large rocks about the size of softballs, leaving the top 3
or 4 inches clear for concrete. I'd say your ramps should be about 6
On Tue, 03 May 2005 02:13:09 GMT, "Eric and Megan Swope"
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