I assume many people believe that mortar and concrete aren’t important enough to warrant an article—after all, you merely mix them and go on with the task. However, different jobs necessitate the use of different materials in varying proportions. I’ve followed this approach effectively throughout the years, and I hope it will be helpful to you as well. Because the weights of sand, ballast, quarry chips, and other materials fluctuate depending to their water content, the following standards are given by volume.

For a concrete path, use 1:5, where 1 represents regular dry cement and 5 represents sand and ballast. Make the mix a little stronger, 1:4, for concrete steps. It’s 1:4 if you’re putting bricks (soft sand). Use a 1:4 scale for rendering (2 fine-washed and 2 soft sand). It should be 1:3 if you’re doing a floor screed (sharp sand). If necessary, additives are available for a variety of jobs. Plasticiser works well in mortar, but don’t use too much. If the temperature dips below zero, a frost proofer can assist, but I prefer not to work with cement in that temperature range just to be careful. If it’s chilly or damp, you could apply an accelerator to shorten the drying time to roughly an hour, however I prefer it to dry naturally. Rendering requires a waterproofer in the first coat to avoid bridging any moisture proof course. It will also be required if you are tanking a basement.For more details please click here herramientasbazarot.com

You should use two shovels: one for dry work and one for wet work. A few of buckets, a trowel, a garden hose (an outside tap is particularly helpful), a board (if mixing by hand), and a wheelbarrow are all required.

If you have a large job, you should use a mixer, which you can rent if you don’t have one. Before you start one that rests on a stand, make sure it’s securely chocked. Pour in the majority of the water first, followed by half of the ballast, turn for a few minutes, and then add half of the cement. Pour in the remaining water, followed by the remaining ballast and cement, and mix for about three minutes. After then, the concrete should fall gently off the blades. While the mixer drum is still spinning, pour the mix into the barrow. Pour water into the mixer to keep the cement from drying on the sides; save this water for when you start your next batch. When you’re finished with the mixer, give it a thorough cleaning, both inside and outside the drum. My first supervisor told me that if I cleaned it properly, I should be able to drink the water out of it. This is something I keep in mind when cleaning any tools.

If the task is minor, you can easily mix the needed amount by hand. Spread the sand or sand/aggregate on a board or other hard, uniform surface. Using a square-nosed shovel, thoroughly mix in the dry cement (as distinct from the round mouthed). Pull the dry mixture out on all sides to form a well in the centre. Pour in half of the required water as well as any additives. Gently stir the dry ingredients into the liquid and begin to turn it. If you have a friend nearby, ask him to assist you, as it is much easier to flip it on both sides. Add the remaining water, mix thoroughly, then sort of chop through it with the shovel to reveal any unmixed bits or parts that are too moist.