The best concrete jobs begin in the initial stages of form building and concrete mixing. Mixing concrete isn’t overly difficult, but there are certain tricks to making the consistency of the concrete just-so. Well-mixed concrete will be easier to work with and will hold up durably.
Where Do I mix the concrete?
You can use anything, really, and it will depend on the project. Typically, people mixing concrete by hand use wheel barrows, because wheel barrows make it easier to spread the concrete once it’s mixed. Tools needed to mix the concrete include a sturdy garden hoe—preferably one that has been cleaned off so that any soil or aggregate from gardening chores does not end up in the concrete mix, a stiff-bristled brush—something big that can handle cleaning the equipment—and a bucket.
Adding Water to the Dry Mix
So, you have your bags of concrete mix. Place the bag in the wheelbarrow and use the hoe to open it. Bags of concrete are heavy, and it works best not to have to hold them and dump them out—also this keeps down the dust. Fill your bucket with water from the hose. Add water slowly from the bucket, while dragging the garden hoe through the mixture. As you mix the concrete mix and water pay attention to how the mix is reacting. The mix will be too dry if it is balling up and crumbling at the edges. Too soupy and you will have a mixture that will be likely to break down. So, to get the proper mixture, simply add the water, adding only one cup of it at a time, until the consistency is close to that of chunky peanut butter—a thicker mixture will be more difficult to set in place, but it will, generally, be a strong mix.
If you need any supplies for your next concrete job, including a concrete mixer—for any big job (a mixer makes life that much easier when you’re doing the difficult job of working with concrete) give Shotcrete Montana a call.