Concrete work is a great way to finish your yard and landscaping projects and provide you with quality hardscaping for your property. Here are some considerations to think about when you are planning to work with a concrete ready mix.
Choose the Correct Concrete Product
Anytime you plan to work with concrete in a home or landscaping project, be sure you choose the right type of concrete mixture for the task. There are several types of ready-mix concrete that you can choose from that are available in bags. Cement as a product is actually one of the materials combined into a concrete mixture along with gravel and sand, so you don't want to choose bagged cement for your concrete project. Cement is used as a singular mortar mixture that you would use for setting bricks or stones in or on a structure. You can, however, combine your own mixture of concrete with cement as one of the additives, but you need to get the proportions correctly to get a durable material.
Look for a concrete ready mix that is right for your project, whether it is setting fence posts, repairing existing concrete, or installing a new pavement. You can find a bagged, ready-to-use concrete where you only add the proper amount of water to build a new sidewalk, steps, or patio. But if you want to install a concrete slab for a foundation or for supporting an RV or other heavy equipment, be sure to look for a high-strength concrete. This will include additives to make the cured product have a higher strength than traditional ready-mix concrete. If you are installing fence posts, for example, you can use a fast-setting concrete that will cure and harden more quickly than a standard concrete ready mix.
Mix the Right Consistency
When you are ready to mix up your concrete, you will need to have an appropriate mixing container in which you will combine the dry mixture with water. For small projects, it is acceptable to use a large bucket or even a wheelbarrow for mixing. Combine the bagged concrete with water according to the product's mixing instructions. Always err on the side of caution when adding water and don't add too much water. You can always add more water to make your too-dry mixture the right consistency, but if you add too much water, you cannot put some back out but instead will need to open a new bag of dry mix and add it to the soupy concrete mixture.
Concrete that has too much water will not give you the required strength that you need in your finished concrete surface. You will find that the concrete will form spalling where the surface layer of the concrete will crack and flake off. Concrete that is too dry is also not a good situation in that the concrete will not have the proper chemical reaction occur and will remain crumbly.
Contact a supplier of ready-mix concrete like Southport Concrete Corp to learn more.