Concrete is a common material used in construction. It is used in making foundations, walls, blocks, pavements, highways, dams, etc. Basically anywhere you look, you will notice the use of concrete. It does not necessarily take a professional to mix concrete. The steps for mixing concrete are relatively simple. You buy the bags of ready mix concrete, add water and mix until it is the right consistency.
The Hardest Part of Concrete Mixing
The hardest part of mixing concrete is getting the amount of water correct. If you use too little water, the concrete will not adhere together and the finished product will crack and crumble quickly. If there is too much water used the concrete will be weak and will crack easily as well as it will take much longer to set up.
Concrete mix is available at most home improvement stores and some lumberyards. The ready mix in the bags is the easiest and most economical way to go when pouring your own concrete. Typically the mix comes in sixty or eighty pound bags. Read the bag carefully before purchasing to make sure it is concrete mix and not mortar mix or sand mix. These options are not as hardy as true concrete.
How To Mix Concrete – The Process
Here are the steps on how to mix concrete by hand.
- Gather the needed materials for the job. You will need a wheelbarrow or large bucket, a hoe, a shovel, water and the bag or bags of concrete mix. For safety precautions you will want to wear protective clothing such as long pants, heavy shoes, gloves and safety glasses.
- Pour the mix into the wheelbarrow or bucket. Then measure out the water and pour into the mix. Mix well for a few minutes to allow all the water to absorb into the mix. It is common for the mix to become more runny as it is mixed and if you keep adding water instead of practicing patience the mix could become too runny to use. Hold back a few cups of dry mix to add to your mixture in case it becomes too soupy.
- When the mixture looks thick and smooth without being runny or lumpy it is ready to pour into your forms. Be sure to carefully measure the amount of water that you are putting into the mix. It is not advised to use a hose to add water since you cannot accurately measure the amount being added. The final mixed concrete should be thick without lumps. Concrete that is mixed correctly will be strong and long-lasting.
- After pouring the concrete, you will want to clean all of your tools right away. Once concrete hardens on surfaces, it is next to impossible to remove from your tools.