When you have a lot of home projects that require mixing cement, you decide you do not want to spend time mixing it by hand. After renting a concrete mixer, you want to know how to use it properly to get the best results. Below are a few tips that will increase the chances of a beautiful finish to your concrete project.
Always Load Dry Ingredients First
When you start loading the barrel of the mixer, always start with the dry ingredients first. This includes the concrete mix, fiber material, gravel, and any pigment powder being used to change the color. This will ensure that all of the dry ingredients are present to absorb the water when it is added.
After placing your materials in the mixer, turn it on for five minutes. This will evenly mix and distribute them in preparation for the water so that it will soak into it evenly.
Get The Water As Cold As Possible
Before adding the water, get it as cold as you possibly can. If necessary, pour it into buckets and place it in a large chest filled with ice to keep the temperature low.
When the water is very cold, it absorbs quickly into the cement mixture. This causes it to thicken up quicker, given you a better idea of the finished consistency.
While adding the water, add a little bit at a time then check the thickness. You can always add more water; however, if you put in too much at once, the ratio of the dry ingredients could become imbalanced.
Check The Thickness Every Five Minutes
Check the thickness of the cement mixture every five minutes, especially if you are working on a project that will take extra time. As the cement is being mixed, the water will start to evaporate. This will make a thicker consistency that will make the cement difficult to pour.
If you notice the mixture becoming too thick, add a little bit of cold water. Allow it to mix for another minute and check it again. Keep adding water and mixing until it is back to the right dry to wet material ratio for your job.