7 Tips for Mixing and Applying Cement Mortar
Cement mortar is very important in many construction and concrete repair projects. Concrete mortar is a common ingredient in creating concrete mixes. It provides the adhesive qualities needed to bond together sand and other types of aggregates when mixing concrete. If the mortar is not mixed properly with other concrete ingredients, then the concrete project will be weak. In order to make the mortar effective, it has to be mixed properly to create a strong bond.
Tip No 1 – Understand How Mortar Works
Mortar is an important ingredient in creating a concrete mix. Mixing concrete involves mixing sand, mortar, and water. The mortar acts as a bonding agent. Take note that the cement mix will cure and not dry. Therefore, even when the mortar does not dry out completely, it will still harden because of the curing time. Always remember that mortar or concrete does not harden by drying, but by curing alone.
Tip No 2 – Use an Automatic Mixer
Mixing concrete mortar is a very hard task to do when using your bare hands. Therefore, it is advisable to use a mixer or a machine that automatically mixes the ingredients together. There are several mixers available in the market. Some use gas to power the machine and some use electricity. When involved in a large concrete mixing project, mixing with bare hands is not recommended. Use an electrical mixer instead.
Tip No 3 – Mix Step by Step
The best way to mix mortar is to do so step by step. Never mix all the ingredients all at once. First add half of all the materials in the mixing machine first. Check if it makes a good mixture. If the mixture is good enough, mix the rest of the ingredients. Make adjustments on water proportions if necessary.
Tip No 4 – Use a Wheelbarrow when Mixing Small Amounts of Mortar
If a particular project needs only a small amount of mortar, then mix all the ingredients in a wheelbarrow instead of a mixture to save on energy costs and on materials. Pour the cement and the sand first and mix well before pouring in water.
Tip No 5- Always Test the Mortar First
Test whether the mortar is ready. This can be done by testing it on a small portion on a wall. If the mortar spreads easily, then the mortar is of proper consistency. If the mortar easily breaks up, then it needs more water. Make sure that the mortar has proper consistency before applying it on a wall or any surface.
Tip No 6 – Follow Proper Proportions
To maintain consistency of any mortar, make sure to mix the mortar using exact measurements. Improper measurements will reflect on the consistency and effectiveness of the mortar. When mixing, follow proper proportions.
Step 7 – Add Dye to Mortar before Mixing
In order to allow the mortar to be colored, make sure to add the dye to the mortar prior to mixing it with water and other ingredients. This will make the dye more effective.