Sometimes, garden landscaping or DIY paving requires you to mix and pour your own concrete. This can be a tricky job, unless you have years of experience and professional training. Concrete mixing requires careful attention to safety as well as the consistency of what's in the mixer itself. Too much water can make the concrete weak and prone to cracking, but too little, and you won't get an even spread over the ground.
Kennards Hire has the right equipment to make mixing concrete a breeze. We even have the right vehicles to get everything to your home in one trip.
What's involved with mixing concrete?
Mixing concrete can take a whole day, depending on how much you're preparing.
Before you pour anything, you'll need to make sure your concrete is ready. This can take a whole day, depending on how much you're preparing. A bag of concrete mix isn't just ready to be poured onto the ground. First of all, you need to combine it with water in a mixer. These come in a range of sizes, and can be wheeled around your home depending on where you need to pour the finished product.
To get it to your home, along with the other machinery in this guide, a ute is required. If you don't have your own, then a 1-ton automatic tabletop option can be hired. It's a cinch to drive.
Before handling any concrete material, you should put on safety gloves and goggles. Concrete is caustic, so can cause harm to skin or eyes if it comes into contact. Avoiding this will make your DIY much more comfortable.
Once you've emptied the bag into the mixer, add water until it's a solid consistency. If you drag a hoe through concrete at the perfect consistency, you'll notice that the rest of the mixture stays put. Pat it lightly with a flat item and the top will be slightly shiny and smooth.
When pouring the concrete from the mixer, make sure the ground you're covering is flat. This can easily be prepared with a shovel for smaller patches, but over a large section, it might be easier to use a double drum smooth roller. Pouring for an enclosed section requires you to lay down a frame and a wire grid to help the concrete settle evenly.
The concrete should be poured evenly and smoothly, making sure not to dump lots in one area. It's better to have leftover mixture than to not make enough. It's also important that you only pour in good weather, otherwise rain could change the consistency of the concrete and you might not have a solid final product.
What do you do after you've poured the concrete?
Once set, the concrete will be hard to the touch and not feel wet at all.
Once you've covered the entire space you intended to, you need to make sure it's even and smooth. This can be done with a trowel, but don't worry if it's not perfectly smooth, because you can get to that later. The most important thing is to get an even coverage.
When you've done that, let it dry. Depending on the temperature and the mixture you've used, this could take a day or two. Once set, it will be hard to the touch and not feel wet at all.
At this point, it might not look like it does in the magazines, but that's because we aren't finished! To really give it that sparkle, use a 600-millimetre concrete burnisher. This rotates at high speed and pressure to give a high-gloss finish. This step isn't required for all projects, but sets your pour apart from others if it will be in sight.
Feeling inspired to get out and pour your own concrete? It's not as hard as it looks! Kennards Hire has everything you need for a quick and clean DIY project.