Paving a sidewalk, driveway, or patio is a basic enough job that many enterprising homeowners choose to take it on themselves. While in many cases this may lead to success, it can also turn into a nightmare if you don't begin by arming yourself with some basic information. This article will elucidate three mistakes that amateurs commonly make when working with ready mix concrete.
Using a Wimpy Wheelbarrow
If you've ever worked with concrete before then you know how heavy it is, both in its wet and dry states. A wheelbarrow is thus essential for moving concrete to and from your work site. But don't make the mistake of thinking that the wheelbarrow you use for basic gardening jobs will do the trick.
Gardening wheelbarrows are simply not built to handle the incredible weight of concrete. As a result, they are liable to break or tip over, thus leaving you with a huge mess on your hands. Instead, contact your local home improvement store about renting a wheelbarrow specifically designed for hauling concrete.
Ignoring the Weather Report
Those who aren't mindful of upcoming weather often find their hours and hours of hard work undone by Mother Nature. This is most obviously true where rain and other forms of precipitation are concerned. Even a small amount of unplanned water can upset the careful balance of your concrete.
Yet it is important to realize that excessive amounts of sun and wind can be just as hard on your concrete. That's because both of these factors will negatively impact the speed at which your concrete dries. They will cause the surface to dry out more quickly than the concrete deeper down. This situation usually results in the formation of unsightly cracks.
You can avoid ending up with ugly concrete by scheduling your pour for a day with moderate temperatures. If this simply isn't possible, try to arrange to pour your concrete later in the afternoon, as the sun's heat will not be so intense at that time. High winds can be mitigated through the rental of wind screens specifically designed to protect drying concrete.
Exposing Skin to Concrete
Concrete is a highly caustic substance, one that can easily cause irritation when allowed to come in contact with your skin. If allowed to remain on your skin long enough, it can even lead to serious burns. To avoid the pain, be sure to wear a long sleeve shirt and a pair of heavy-duty gloves while working. Otherwise, wash off any concrete that touches your skin as soon possible.
For more information on how to safely and successful work with concrete, contact services like Van Doren Red-E-Mix.