What You Need to Know to Successfully Work With Ready-Mix Concrete

Whether you plan to build a driveway, install a pool deck, or finish a basement floor, ready-mix concrete is always the way to go. It does not make sense to hand mix bags of cement on site for a job this big!

If you have never worked with ready-mix concrete before, then the following information will ensure you are successful:

What Exactly Is Ready-Mix Concrete?

As its name implies, ready-mix concrete is mixed offsite at a batching plant and arrives at your home ready to pour.

Ready-mix concrete is made of:

  • aggregate (crushed stone, gravel, or sand)
  • cement 
  • water

In addition, custom admixtures are added to the cement with the goal of improving various aspects of the resulting concrete.

The most commonly used admixtures change the following aspects of the concrete: 

  • increasing the working or setting time
  • increasing surface durability
  • adding a surface color

In addition, a special admixture can be added to make the concrete self-leveling. This admixture is often used for flooring applications where the slab being level is imperative.

The Advantages of Using Ready-Mix Concrete

There are many advantages of using ready-mix concrete. Rather than having to rent mixing equipment or deal with health concerns from caustic dry cement, instead, all you have to do is make the forms, order the concrete, and pour it.

The biggest advantage is that ready-mix produces a much better end product than the cement you buy at the home improvement center and mix yourself. 

Ordering Concrete Ready-Mix

When you call to order concrete mix, it is important to order the correct type and amount. 

The correct type of mixture has everything to do with the application you are using it for and your desired result. Your local concrete supplier can help you determine which of their uniques mixes fits your needs the best.  When ordering ready-mix concrete you should always order a bit more than you need. For example, if you think you will need 10 yards, then order 11. Ordering some extra concrete allows for variations in the grade, accidental spills, and other unforeseen issues. It is always better to have extra cement than less!

However, you also don't want to waste any extra concrete mix you've paid for. So, before the concrete mixer arrives, come up with a Plan B for any unused material. For example, excess cement can be used to make a small walkway, patio, steping stones, or even to fill in fence post holes. 

Have the Forms and Reinforcement Ready to Go When the Cement Truck Arrives

Finally, it is vital all of the concrete forms and necessary reinforcement are in place and ready to go when the ready-mix cement arrives on your job site. Cement mixtures have a relatively short working time between the time they are mixed at the batch plant and pouring into your forms. Typically, this should happen in less than an hour. For this reason, you absolutely must be ready to pour when the mixer arrives onsite. If you aren't, then the cement mixture will go to waste and your project price will greatly increase.

Contact a company like Mershon Concrete for more information.