Dry Mix Concrete: What is it and how to use it?

Dry mix concrete is, as its name implies, made without any liquid or water during preparation and bagging. The cement, aggregate, and sand are mixed thoroughly until they form dry concrete mortar. Concrete can be stored in bags, or in bulks that will be used at the construction site. You can transport bags using vehicles, or in large quantities by a concrete transit mixer.

Concrete can be made from different amounts of cement, aggregate, and sand. Concrete mixes are most common to be made from one part Portland cement, three parts sand, and three parts aggregates. To increase strength, the ratios can be adjusted according to the project.

Through the hydration process, cement is mixed with water and binds aggregates. The mixture is unchanged if it does not contain water.

Concrete can be used to build foundations, roads, and paving, as well as other masonry structures.

Drying the sand is essential for dry mix concrete. The sand is dried first to get a precise ratio. This will ensure that the mortal has a better quality after construction.

Water or another specified liquid must be added to the mix and the mixture must be mixed at the construction site. The shelf life for dry concrete mix concrete is three to six months.

How to Use it?

  • Dry mix concrete is used mainly for small and medium-sized projects, such as driveway or pavement repairs. Gathering the necessary materials and tools is the first step. Clean the area to be worked on. Clean cracks and holes with a stiff brush. To increase the area’s strength, you can set any formwork or mesh.
  • You will need dry mix concrete, a surface to mix the cement, a shovel, and water to start the project. Protect yourself from dust and debris caused by cement. Safety goggles, thick gloves, and a mask for your nose or mouth are all required.
  • First, determine the amount of dry mix concrete you want to use. The volume and the packaging yield determine the quantity to be used. The dry mix comes in 20-, 40-, and 80-pound units. To avoid dust inhalation, place the dry mix on a flat surface or in a barrow.
  • Mixing half of the amount first is a smart idea. The rest can be saved for later. This will prevent it from going to waste. A concrete mixer is an option if the project is very large.
  • Next, pour water into a small hole. You don’t need to worry about water splashing, as you will be mixing the ingredients until they reach a manageable consistency.
  • To determine how much water you will use, consider volume and not weight. A gallon of water is required for an 80-pound dry concrete mix.
  • Mix the concrete and water with the shovel. You can move the shovel-like you are canoeing. Move the shovel around until all concrete is mixed with water.
  • If the concrete mixture is not forming a round shape, you can test it by pressing a small amount in your palm. It should run through your fingers if it does not.
  • Too much water can cause concrete to bleed and weaken. Experience is key to achieving the right consistency.
  • Mix for about a minute until the concrete is fully mixed with water. Concrete mixed with water will harden through hydration.
  • Place the concrete in the work area and smoothen it with the shovel. To remove air trapped in the concrete and to compact it, use a screed board.
  • Lay the concrete according to your project specifications. Then, barricade the area so that no one can step on it or ruin the work.
  • Finally, clean the area and remove any concrete bags. Clean your tools for storage. Allow the concrete to dry for at least seven days before you add water.