Whether you’re working with concrete for the first time or you’re an experienced hand, you’re bound to come across a few obstacles. We provide solutions to just a few of them.
Your mix is too wet
Simply add more dry mix in the same proportion as the original dry mix until it is the right consistency.
Your mix is too dry
This is not a bad thing. Just add more liquid in small amounts at a time, while continuing to mix.
Your mix is setting too fast
Try adding a small amount of liquid and remix. Discard the mixture if it continues to remain stiff. The temperature of your environment or that of the water you’re using could be causing the concrete to set quicker. Working in a cooler space or using colder liquid may have a different affect. Make sure that the container you’re using to mix your cement is clean as old cement could also have the same effect on the mixture.
Cracking can occur if you’ve used too much water or not enough aggregate. Try the following:
- Pour the concrete during a cooler part of the day.
- Protect the surface of the concrete from wind and sun with shade cloth and windbreaks.
- Liberally apply a good-quality curing compound immediately after the surface is finished.
- Protect the surface with damp sand, hessian or plastic sheet immediately after the surface is finished.
Reinforcing metal visible
In the finishing stages of completing your physical submission you may find a piece of reinforcing steel peeping through. It’s important to remove it as it may rust and discolour the concrete if exposed to outdoor elements (unless, of course, you are aiming for this effect). To remove it, simply chip away the concrete around the steel so that you can remove the end of the wire with wire cutters, and patch the hole with the same mix used for the main piece.