Mixing concrete is a fundamental skill that all DIY fans should precisely know how to do. Concrete is one of the most inexpensive and common construction materials on the planet. It is comprised of cement, gravel, and sand.
Mixing concrete is comparable to baking in that to produce consistent results, it is best to follow a particular recipe. There are many different concrete mixes for various applications depending on the concrete’s application, workability, and strength.
Making a hunk of concrete is very much science for professionals, but to the everyday backyard enthusiast, learning the fundamentals of concrete is enough to get you started. Let’s explore
DIY: Mixing Concrete
- Concrete mix
- Dust mask
- Rubber gloves
- Hoe (not that one)
- Safety glasses
- Stiff bristle brush
Set the concrete mix bag in one end of the wheelbarrow and cut it open with your hoe. Dump the mix from the pack and carefully pull out the paper bag.
- First, pour a limited amount of water (volume varies with bag size) into the mix from a clean bucket rather than ejecting it in with a hose.
- Mark the water level with a marker.
- Pour the water into the opposite edge of the wheelbarrow, reserving about four cups to add later if required.
- Continue stirring for a few minutes after all the water is consumed because the concrete will often get a little more soupier as you mix. If you add more water, it may sadly end up runnier than you’d like. Finally, keep at least a couple of cups of dry concrete mix handy just in case your mix gets exceedingly thin.
- Pull a small volume of the dry mix into the water with a hoe and mix it thoroughly. A hoe makes a fabulous mixing tool. A spade or flat shovel works too. Continue mixing and pulling until all of the powder is wetted and the mix is piled at your wheelbarrow end. Continue the mixing with no so excess water by going to the other side of the wheelbarrow and pulling the blend back toward you. This method guarantees that all the dry particles are thoroughly wetted.
- Use a sturdy wheelbarrow to combine your concrete. And make sure it’s on a clean level surface. Carefully race the wheelbarrow probably with your knee when you’re brewing from the side.
- Drag the hoe through the blend to make a clean trough. The mix is too dry if the trough’s sides are crumbly and the concrete falls in chunks when you shake it. Add water a small cup at a time, mixing between each addition.
- Add additional dry concrete if the mixture is too wet and too soupy and badly sags into the trench.
- The mixture is just right when all the sides of the trough stand and the ingredients are wetted (properly but not in excess). A hoe patted against the resultant concrete will leave a shiny surface.
- Remember to wash your equipment right away. Scrub the tools and wheelbarrow with a stiff-bristle brush before the concrete starts to harden. Once the concrete hardens, it’s a bear just to get off. Scrape extra concrete from the wheelbarrow and carefully pile it on plastic (or use an eco-friendly alternative). If it’s a larger pile, break it up into smaller chunks before it properly hardens. Dump the rinse water in the corner of your lot. You can even harvest a depression into containing the water and then cover the trash after the hole drains.