Concrete is an affordable and flexible material. The trouble is that it has a reputation for being difficult to work with. This stems from the fact that you have to go through a complicated process to set it up. Compared to wood or steel, concrete has many points of failure. To help out those who want to use concrete, here are a few tips.
Start from the Mixing
You need to start right, and this means from the moment you start mixing concrete. There are a couple of factors that you need to consider. First is the application of the water. Concrete comes in powder form, and then you mix it with water to become a sludge for pouring. The proper way to do it is to add a minimal amount of water and to start mixing. Mix until all the water is absorbed and then add a bit more. The gradual addition of water allows you to control the mix so that it will stay as sludge and not become soupy.
Another factor to consider is to put additives into the mix. Any cheap concrete mix can get an upgrade by mixing some things into the mix. Simple projects don’t need them so much, but if you are pouring large amounts of concrete, you may want to add a plasticizer so that the concrete seeps into every nook and cranny. Ask around for other substances to mix in for better results.
Practice Your Pour
The concrete mix needs to be just the right texture when you pour it. This is why you need a bit of practice when working with concrete. Start with small projects so that you can determine what the right texture for pouring is. The goal is for it to feel like cookie dough, not too solid and not too liquid. Plus, when you are pouring, vibrate the mold a bit. This ensures that there are no empty spaces or bugs inside the pour.
Get the Proper Mold
There are large amounts of formwork for sale out there, and they are pretty necessary. The proper mold is what allows your concrete to solidify properly. Avoid some materials since they can affect the finished product while looking for others that make your concrete forms look great. For example, cardboard formwork would be a bad idea since it allows the water to seep in and results in a rough finish. Wood and plastic are better since they contain the concrete better.
Always Wear Protective Gear
Concrete may not be as dangerous as other materials, but concrete can still cause friction burns and the like. Plus, inhaling the concrete dust can be bad for you. Wear covering over your body to ensure you have protection from it.
Finish It Right
If you want the concrete to look fancy, have the surface polished. Concrete polishers can give the pour a sheen when it has become solid. Plus, there are a variety of options to decorate concrete, so it is not so gray to look at.
Concrete is well-known as the material of choice for many buildings. With these tips, you can ensure that any concrete you pour for your building will be at its best. Plus, it should be simpler to use. As the main material for your building, it ensures that your project will be able to stand up to quite a few things.