Taking on a concrete project in your own yard is manageable as long as you have the right knowledge and use the proper tools. Mixing concrete and using proper clean-up techniques are also important. Here are some tips to help you with these aspects of concrete work.
Depending on the size of the concrete job you are to be pouring, you should mix the concrete in appropriately-sized mixing equipment. Otherwise, if you are, for example, pouring a large slab of concrete using a wheelbarrow to mix the concrete in, you will be mixing several batches of concrete. This can result in inconsistencies in your concrete mixtures, causing the batches to have different levels of strength. For this reason, it can be helpful to rent a portable concrete mixer to mix up a medium-sized batch or order several yards of pre-mixed concrete from a concrete company to be delivered in one batch.
You can also use a wheelbarrow and a shovel to mix or a five-gallon bucket and a mixing paddle to mix up small batches for small projects. If mixing inside a wheelbarrow, combine the water into the dry mix slowly until the mixture is combined completely and to the right consistency according to the dry mix's package directions.
One of the most important parts of pouring concrete is the clean-up of your equipment. First, it is important to clean wet concrete off your mixing, pumping, and delivery chute to prevent damage. If the concrete residue is left to harden and cure on the equipment, it will need to be removed off with force from a jackhammer or sandblasting equipment.
When rinsing off your equipment with water, it is important to not allow the water to drain into the soil, or into the storm drains nearby. Water contaminated with cement is alkaline and contains a high level of chromium, which can be harmful to plants, animals, and humans. If you allow the water containing cement to soak into the soil, it can kill plants, trees, and beneficial bacteria in the soil. Placing it into the drain water through a storm drain puts it into the water system and ends up in your drinking water.
Instead, you can build a concrete washout station in your yard with straw bales for the perimeter and lined with at least ten millimeter-thick plastic sheeting. Make sure there are no holes or tears in the plastic sheeting, otherwise the contaminated water will seep into the soil. Allow the wash water to collect inside this washout station basin, and the water will evaporate from the solution to leave behind the hardened concrete. Then, you can break apart the concrete for disposal or recycle it into crushed concrete for construction businesses to use.
Use these tips to help your concrete work be successful. To learn more, contact a concrete company like CWS Colorado, LLC.