The 5 Dos and Don’ts of Mixing Concrete
Concrete holds the place it’s occupied for thousands of years as one of the very best, long-lasting building materials available.
The mix of cement, water, sand, and gravel is so popular for a few key reasons. It’s inexpensive and formable into an endless variety of shapes. The basic materials are easy to access and it’s simple to use.
The benefits of concrete aren’t obvious if you don’t prepare it the right way. Mixing concrete incorrectly causes huge and costly mistakes.
Being informed about how to mix concrete guarantees you won’t run into problems like that. Take a look at these five dos and don’ts of mixing concrete.
1. Do Double…No, Triple Check Your Supplies
No matter how many times you’ve mixed concrete before, act like it’s your first time. Make a list of supplies and have them on hand at all times before and during the job.
Finding yourself in the middle of mixing concrete when you realize you don’t have a concrete mixer, concrete mixing tub, or other needed supply is not a fun experience. This kind of issue is a good way to wreck an entire batch of concrete either through missed ingredients or by letting it sit too much.
2. Do Take Safety Precautions Seriously
You could say it’s a good time to mix concrete right now. The popular N95 face masks are among the most effective safety equipment for concrete mixing, not just for coronavirus.
Dust from the concrete mix can get in your lungs and cause serious health issues. It can also get in your eyes and sometimes causes permanent damage. A mask, gloves, and goggles go a long way.
3. Don’t Hurry When Mixing Concrete
Another part of staying safe is taking your time while you mix concrete.
Going too fast is a good way to skip a step or mess up the consistency of your mix. You might also spill and create an annoying mess or permanent mistake.
4. Do Tweak Your Formula to Perfection
The basic formula for concrete is all-natural, which is why it’s been around so long. There’s no reason to stick to basics, though, when adding modern innovations like various polyvinyl alcohol grades to concrete mix results in better construction.
Using the tools at your disposal isn’t cheating or anything like that, no matter what you’ve heard. It’s being thorough, serious, and scientific about construction.
5. Don’t Guesstimate Amounts
Having all the right ingredients for the perfect concrete mix doesn’t matter if you aren’t careful when measuring.
It might seem easy, but estimating ingredients leads to poor consistency and curing problems. It can also result in fragile concrete.
In the best case, your hard work was for nothing. Other times, inaccurate concrete mix ratios sabotage entire structures and sometimes cause danger.
It’s not hard to use a measuring cup or, even better, weigh your ingredients. The few minutes you save eyeballing ingredients isn’t worth the risk of ruining your entire project.
Start Construction Projects on the Right Foot
With these five valuable dos and don’ts of mixing concrete, you’re prepared to get your next concrete job done right the first time. Whether you’re a first-timer or wanted a refresher, your skills will benefit from following these tips.