Give Yourself a Beautiful Driveway With Stamped Concrete

Mixing And Laying Your Own Concrete? 2 Mistakes You Should Avoid Making

by Milton Myers

After spotting ready mix concrete in the hardware store, your mind might be brimming with ideas about how to use it around your yard. Should you design a cool bike path around the swing set for your kids? What about adding some interesting stamped inlays alongside your front walkway? Although you might be eager to get started, making a few bad decisions could alter your results. Here are two concrete mistakes you should avoid making, so that you will adore your new cement:

1: Improper Mixing

Proper mixing might seem important when you are whipping up a meringue, but how much could it possibly matter when you are making concrete? Although it might not seem important, proper mixing is the key to developing strong, sturdy concrete. Here are a few things to pay attention to as you mix:

  • Water Levels: If you use too little water, your concrete will be difficult to pour and nearly impossible to spread. On the other hand, it you go overboard with the water, your concrete will shrink and warp as it dries. Measure your water carefully to develop concrete with the proper consistency.  
  • Not Mixing Thoroughly: Concrete can be heavy and difficult to work with, which can make mixing more difficult. Unfortunately, if you don't take the time to incorporate the dry ingredients and eliminate all of the clumps, your concrete won't be strong and could break apart later.

To avoid problems, never rush through the mixing process. Follow the package directions to the letter of the law, and don't take liberties that could alter your results.

2: Ignoring Spills

After carefully mixing your concrete, you might be ready to pour it into those forms and let it dry. Unfortunately, wheelbarrows aren't always easy to maneuver, and you might spill a little along the way. Although you might be tempted to leave the mess for later, those hardened concrete drips might be difficult to take care of down the road.

Hardened blobs of concrete can attach to grass blades, nearby patio furniture, or even clothing. As you try to clean things up, you might unintentionally rip away existing landscaping or damage property. If you allow cement to leak underneath forms, it can create an asymmetrical, unprofessional look. As you work with concrete, pay attention to the details. Clean up any spills immediately, and remember that once concrete sets, it is difficult to repair.   

Knowing how to avoid simple concrete mistakes might help you to create the yard of your dreams, without making a mess. Contact a company like Van Doren Red-E-Mix for more information.