Avoiding Costly Mistakes: Pre-Pour Formwork Checklists for Contractors

Concrete pouring is a key deliverable in construction. The construction team needs to make detailed preparations before starting the concrete pouring process, rendering the pouring perfect from the beginning.

The aim of every contractor is to avoid a large amount of money wasted on an unsuccessful pour. Following a pre-pour formwork checklist is usually the answer to this problem. The formworks must be properly installed so that they are ready to receive the concrete that will be set in the mould.

Pre-Pour Formwork Checklist

Design and Planning

  • Ensure the formwork design meets the structural requirements.
  • Verify that the plans are clear and include all necessary details for construction.
  • Confirm that the formwork layout is optimised for the pour sequence and concrete placement.

Material Inspection

  • Inspect all formwork materials for damage or defects.
  • Check the quality and grade of plywood, ensuring it’s suitable for the expected loads.
  • Ensure that all components, such as panels, ties, and braces, are in good condition.

Assembly and Installation

  • Assemble the formwork according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Securely fasten all connections and verify the alignment and level of the forms.
  • Install bracing and supports to prevent movement during the pour.

Safety Measures

  • Implement safety barriers and signage around the formwork area.
  • Provide safe access for workers involved in the concrete pouring process.
  • Ensure that all personnel are equipped with the necessary safety gear.

Site Preparation

  • Confirm that the subgrade is compacted and level.
  • Check for proper drainage to prevent water accumulation under the formwork.
  • Remove any debris or objects that could interfere with the formwork or concrete.

Formwork Quality Control

  • Double-check the dimensions and shapes of the formwork against the project specifications.
  • Inspect for tightness to prevent concrete leakage.
  • Apply a release agent to facilitate easy removal after the concrete has cured.

Reinforcement Placement

  • Verify that the rebar or mesh is correctly positioned within the formwork.
  • Ensure that spacers are used to maintain the proper cover for the reinforcement.

Pre-Pour Inspection

  • Conduct a thorough inspection of the entire formwork system.
  • Look for any signs of bulging, misalignment, or instability.
  • Make any necessary adjustments before the concrete arrives.

Delivery and Concrete Pouring

  • Coordinate the arrival of concrete to prevent delays.
  • Plan the pouring sequence to ensure a consistent and controlled placement.
  • Monitor the pour to adjust the rate and prevent overloading the formwork.

Post-Pour Monitoring

  • Keep an eye on the formwork during the initial set of the concrete.
  • Check for any signs of movement or failure.
  • Begin the curing process using best practices to ensure optimal concrete strength.

Problems With The Pour

There are myriad ways your pour can go wrong. That being said, in the next part of this article, we’re going to put together some quickfire bullet points to help you know what you can do to recover.

There are just so many variables at play that we’re going to give you lots of quickfire answers to problems.

This is what to do when a concrete pour has gone wrong. Act quickly to determine the best course of action in these circumstances, which vary:

Immediate Assessment

  • Pause the Pour: Stop the concrete pouring immediately to prevent further complications.
  • Make your judgement: Decide how much of the pile is affected and in what way.

Identify the Issues

Common issues include:

  • Cracking: Caused by rapid drying, improper curing, or poor mix design.
  • Uneven Surface: Due to lack of proper levelling and compaction.
  • Honeycombing: Voids or gaps within the concrete from poor compaction.
  • Delamination: Separation of concrete layers.
  • Scaling: Flaking or peeling of the surface.

Options for Correction

  • Crack Repair: Use epoxy injections or stitching for structural cracks.
  • Surface Reparation: Grind or overlay the concrete for surface issues.
  • Amputation and Repouring: It’s an extreme case, but in the worst of cases, you might have no choice. Remove the limb, not your head, and repour.

Preventive Measures

  • Proper Mixing: Ensure an even distribution of components.
  • Adequate Curing: Maintain moisture for proper hardening.
  • Correct Water-Cement Ratio: Balance the ratio to prevent issues.

Consulting Experts

  • Structural Engineer: For structural integrity concerns.
  • Concrete Specialist: For mix and curing related problems.


  • Record the Incident: Document what went wrong and the steps taken.
  • Review Procedures: Analyse the process to prevent future occurrences.



Long-Term Solutions

  • Quality Control: Implement stricter QC measures for future pours.
  • Training: Provide additional training to the crew on proper concrete pouring techniques.

This protocol gives you a proper opportunity to mitigate a bad pour, and ongoing protocols can be established to help prevent a reoccurrence. Get right on trying to correct the problem; if you don’t, it will most likely continue to worsen, and, ultimately, it would mean more money out of your pockets.


Therefore, whenever Pre-Pour People apply formwork, they must complete a checklist to avoid a costly ‘Pour Over’ failure! Concrete pouring can be fraught with danger if the correct pre-pouring procedures are not followed. We hope that this has given you a flowchart of sorts to follow. Hopefully, if you follow the first half of this article, you won’t need to follow the procedures in the second section. Remember, there can be unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather and so on, but for the most part, you should have a clean pour. Good luck!

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