Hiring A Professional To Create Your Concrete Mix
The right mix, delivered at the right time, is critical to quality cement work
By Glyn Sheridan
- What You Need to Know
- You'll need a measuring tape and a calculator to determine the amount of concrete required for the pour. In addition, you'll need to keep an eye on the weather before ordering.
- Concrete is a perishable commodity: It should be poured within about 90 minutes of being batched or 300 revolutions of a cement truck. So finding a concrete ready mix supplier nearby is your first priority.
Measure the width, length and the height of the concrete project and multiply the three figures to arrive at the volume to calculate your concrete needs. Concrete sells by the cubic yard, but most concrete companies allow you to order in 1/4-yard increments.
Add approximately 10 percent to your total volume figure to make sure you have enough. When pouring flatwork, such as a driveway or slab, concrete will spill over the edges of the forms during the smoothing process and it's better to have a little more than you need.
Inform the customer service dispatcher what type of project you're pouring and ask the professional to create a suitable concrete mix. The service will adjust the ratio of water to cement, depending upon the project. In addition, if you're pouring in cold weather, ask the dispatcher about additives that help the concrete cure faster.
Watch the local weather report before ordering concrete. Unlike buying other materials, you will usually order concrete the same day you pour it, or a day in advance. If rain is in the immediate forecast, postpone the pour. Rain can ruin a concrete pour.
Tell the dispatcher your address and give him directions on how the truck driver should enter your yard. Concrete trucks are very heavy and they should not drive on driveways, but the back of the truck should be as close as possible to the area of the pour. If the truck is unable to pull next to the project, ask the dispatcher for a pump truck that will pump the concrete through a long hose to the forms.
Ask the dispatcher to send out a driver who can help you determine the concrete mix on site. When pouring concrete, the moisture level in the mix must coincide with the weather and with the project. Most drivers know how to adjust the mix, but inform the dispatcher in advance that you will require assistance.
About the Author
Glyn Sheridan is a regular contributor to DexKnows.
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