After a few years of use, it is normal for your concrete surfaces to require some repairs. Most people want to do the repairs, installing or replacing concrete on their own. Even so, most people have never worked with concrete before and are therefore clueless about how concrete mixing works. It is often advisable for you to work alongside a concreting expert even as you try to be hands on. Their expertise and help will ensure that you get the concreting jobs done right.
When it comes to concrete jobs, the materials you need depend on the scope of your project. You will need a concrete mixer for your project. There are companies that hire out this machinery which includes an operator.
The first thing you need to know about mixing concrete is the fact that the surface you create should be strong enough to support 3000 pounds per square inch. Therefore the mixture you make need to be thick enough to offer this support. It is important to adhere to materials mixing rations based on the area you need to cover to ensure the surface created is strong and durable.
There are 4 basic components used to make concrete. These are cement, sand, aggregate, and water. To produce 3000 PSI concrete mixture, you need to mix one part cement, three parts sand, 3 parts aggregate and one part water. The water to cement ratio is what indicates the strength of the mixture. The water and cement ration should be equal. A common mistake done when mixing concrete is to add more water than required trying to make the process of mixing and spreading easier. On the other hand, using a lower amount of water than the required water to cement ration will make the mixture too hard to mix and work with.
For small home projects, 5-gallon buckets can be used to measure concrete. With the rations above, you can make use of the bucket as a measuring tool. Therefore, one bucket cement, three buckets sand, three buckets aggregate and one bucket water can produce enough concrete for your small home improvement need and create surfaces that can withstand 3000 PSI.
The mixing process
If you need to mix large amounts of concrete, you can hire a mixer from a concreting company. For very big projects, you will need an electric mixer. This machine mixes the concrete in a spinning tub which makes the mixing process easier and less tedious. For smaller amounts of mixtures, you can consider using a wheelbarrow and a shovel to mix. Regardless of the mixing methods you go for, the mixing ratios should always be the same.
Every slab of concrete requires at least 28 days of curing. During the first 7 days after applying the concrete slab, it is advisable for you to pour water on the slab every day. This allows the curing process to run smoothly and as it should. This is the time the concrete hardens to reach its maximum expected strength potential.