It is now easier to pour concrete columns due to the preformed concrete forms that are available on the market. However, some precautions have to be implemented if one is to get maximum value from those form tubes. This article discusses some of those precautions that you should implement.
Keep Water Out
Although most form tubes are water resistant, they will eventually fail in case they are left in standing water for a long time. It is therefore necessary for you to ensure that you don't use them where a lot of water is present. For example, you should cover their tops in case you set up the forms when it is raining. Similarly, you should ensure that the ground where you are placing the forms is free from standing water.
Inquire About Bracing Requirements
Concrete form tubes do not usually require to be braced when they are being used. This is because their inherent strength is sufficient to keep the concrete in place while it sets. However, some vertical columns may be so high that some form of bracing may be necessary to keep the forms in place. It is therefore advisable to read the product literature so that you confirm at what height it becomes necessary to brace those forms in order to prevent them from collapsing as concrete is poured into them.
Be Careful When Backfilling
You may need to make concrete columns that extend into the ground during your project. Such columns may require you to backfill the form tubes before or after you have poured concrete into those forms. Avoid using backhoes or other heavy machines to backfill the form tubes since such machinery can exert so much pressure that the forms will collapse. Backfill the tubes by hand and tamp that soil by hand as you keep adding more soil.
Existing Columns Require Special Care
It may be necessary to pour concrete onto existing steel columns. Installing the form tubes onto those steel columns may be hard if the columns are tied onto an overhead structure. Ask the supplier if you can cut the tubes and wrap them around the column. You will receive the details of how you can safely use the tubes on existing columns.
As you can see, all the precautions above rotate around using the form tubes in the way that they were designed to be used. You should therefore refrain from using those form tubes until you have thoroughly read and understood the manufacturer's guidelines so that you avoid any mishaps that can occur in case you misuse the form tubes.