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Tips for laying concrete mixes in hot weather
13th July 2018

If you are laying your own concrete mix this summer, here’s how you can guarantee that hot weather doesn’t ruin the curing process.

Why is it important to keep concrete mixes cool as they set?

The hotter the external temperature, the faster the concrete will cure. This is problematic because the concrete mix needs to hydrate as part of the curing process. 

This process essentially involves the formation of crystals as the concrete absorbs water. When the surrounding temperature is too hot, this process is sped up, meaning that these crystals form too quickly and don’t strengthen as well as they should.

Water also evaporates from the surface of fresh concrete too quickly during hot weather, which results in a weak surface layer more prone to plastic shrinkage and cracking.

How do I keep my concrete mix cool during hot weather?

  • Invest in ready mix concrete delivered straight to your site so you don’t have to worry about mixing the concrete and laying it before it dries out.
  • Avoid laying concrete at the hottest part of the day, between 11-3pm.
  • Use a suitable concrete mix in your project. For example, set retarding concrete mixes slow down the curing process, making them ideal for use in hot weather.
  • Keep all your equipment in the shade until you are ready to use it. This includes metal chutes and wheelbarrows used for transportation of the concrete.
  • Ensure that you have a sufficient workforce to lay the concrete quickly.
  • Make sure that you are well prepared to receive the ready mix concrete delivery.
  • Cover the concrete with a plastic sheet in order to create shade and prevent evaporation as the concrete mix cures.

If you are inexperienced at laying concrete in hot weather, then it’s always wise to seek the advice of a professional. We can provide help and guidance on how to properly lay your DIY or commercial concrete. Get in touch today on 0117 958 2090.

How durable is fully cured concrete in hot weather?

Once fully cured, concrete is much more tolerant of high temperatures when compared with other common road and paving materials, such as asphalt, which begins to melt at around 50 degrees. 

With temperatures reaching above 30 degrees in many parts of the UK this summer, and ground temperatures reaching much higher, these asphalt roads have already started to cause problems, even trapping a bin lorry and its driver in Berkshire. 

Alternatively, regular concrete is not affected by heat until it reaches around 400 degrees, making it the far superior choice for avoiding lengthy and pricey repair jobs.


Laying concrete mixes in hot weather can be tricky. We supply ready mix concrete mixes that are batched with your requirements in mind. Don’t hesitate to contact our team of concreting experts for concrete delivery and advice.

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How do I clean concrete?
08th June 2018

To keep your concrete floors looking good, you’ll want to keep them clean. Here’s how you can help maximise the lifespan of your concrete floor.

Use a pressure washer

A pressure washer is a great method of cleaning concrete and will deliver noticeable differences from the moment you start using it, removing dirt and stains. However, make sure that you do not exceed a rate of 4 gallons per minute (3000psi) or you risk damaging your concrete floor.

Using the fan setting, move the nozzle from side to side as if you were mopping a floor, whilst keeping the end around a foot from the concrete. When power washing a vertical concrete wall, you don’t have to worry about the dirt you’ve just washed away from settling back onto the concrete. When pressure washing a concrete floor, ensure that you wash towards the edges and not towards the centre.

Which chemicals can I use to clean concrete?

What if you have spotted a particularly tough oil or grease stain? Water alone does wonders when cleaning concrete, however, when you need an extra kick there are plenty of commercial options for you to choose from:

PH neutral concrete cleaning agents

Despite its resilience, concrete can be sensitive to certain acidic and alkaline substances. It is therefore the safest option to go with a PH neutral cleaning agent when cleaning internal, unsealed concrete floors.

Alkaline concrete cleaning agents

What about outdoor areas? Alkaline cleaning agents, also known as “concrete degreasers”, are ideal for use on concrete floors that are stained by grease, car oil and other automotive stains. This is because the high alkaline content breaks down oil and grease, making it easy to remove.

As concrete is naturally alkaline by nature, you can also use concrete degreasers to neutralise a concrete floor that has ben recently cleaned by an acidic cleaning agent first.

Acidic concrete cleaning agents

There are several acidic cleaning agents that help with specific concrete stains. Heavy rust stains on concrete are tough but are most effectively dealt with using a cleaning agent containing oxalic acid.

Acidic concrete cleaning agents are also the most effective way of tackling efflorescence; a situation where crystalline salt residue stains the surface of concrete, especially when it is exposed to hard water, a high salt content and alkaline soil.


We are experts in all things concrete, from the delivery of ready mix concrete and liquid screed, to concrete pumping services, we have you covered. For more information about our ready mix concrete, screed or concrete pumps for hire, contact us today on 0117 958 2090.
 

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A guide to laying concrete yourself
15th May 2018

As we head towards summer, you may be thinking of undertaking some DIY concreting jobs that you’ve been putting off, such as a new concrete shed base or driveway. However, concrete can be difficult to handle if you don’t know what you’re doing, which is why we hope this guide to laying concrete yourself will help you.

Safety is important

Wet concrete is a highly alkaline substance, which means that it can cause nasty burns, irritation or allergic reactions if it comes into contact with your skin or eyes. If you do get concrete on your skin, it’s suggested that you wash the area with plenty of water and see a doctor for severe reactions. To avoid this, you should ensure that you wear long sleeves, waterproof gloves and boots, trousers and eye protection whenever you handle wet concrete mix.

Set out your framework

You’ll need to build a wooden framework to mark out where you want your concrete project to go and also keep it in shape whilst it cures. You can first mark out the area using pegs and string, which will act as a marker whilst you dig down to the correct depth. You should allow at least 100mm depth for the concrete as well as a further 100mm for a hardcore base. The top of your wooden framework should be at the height you want your finished concrete surface to be once laid.

Create your hardcore base

A hardcore base is a mix of hard, low absorbency aggregates that is important for providing a strong foundation for your concrete. It also helps ensure that you have an even surface to work with, as you will need to compact the surface using a tamper before continuing. This should be around 100mm deep.

Measure up and order your concrete

Now is the time to figure out how much ready mix concrete you will need for the job - you can use our handy volume calculator for this. Once you know how much concrete you need, contact a concrete supplier such as ourselves, specify the amount and choose a delivery slot.

Take into consideration any access problems, as concrete mixing trucks are large and sometimes will be unable to deliver directly to your lay site. You can use wheelbarrows to manually transport the ready mix concrete yourself, or consider a concrete pump for larger projects.

Receive the concrete and start pouring

Concrete typically remains workable for a couple of hours before it begins to harden, so you’ll need to be proactive once the concrete arrives. It's best if you have friends and family to help you with this, especially if your job is too big for one person to achieve in this time.

Pour the concrete into your framework, ensuring an even distribution with spades or shovels. Once the framework is full completely, use a tamping beam to compress the concrete into place before using a straight beam to even out the surface.

Finishing up

Once you’ve laid your concrete mix, then you’ll need to cover the area using a polythene sheet to make sure that it does not cure too quickly, as this can cause cracking. Allow at least a week for the concrete to cure enough to carry significant weight.


Do you require ready mix concrete for your DIY concreting project? We can help! We deliver the exact amount of concrete you need and endeavour to offer same-day delivery wherever possible across the South West and Wales. Contact us on 0117 9582090.

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What makes concrete the world’s most used construction material?
09th May 2018

Concrete is by far the most used building material in the world. All you have to do is look around you and you’re likely guaranteed to see at least one thing made of it and for good reason. Not only is it incredibly strong, it is also surprisingly versatile, which makes it ideal for various construction requirements. We break down how concrete cemented itself as the most-use construction material in the world.

Are you looking for ready mix concrete or screed for your own construction project, either domestic or commercial? Whatever your concreting requirements, we can supply you with a quality product. Contact us on 0117 958 2090 for more information.

Strength

Concrete’s main benefit lies in the fact that it is incredibly strong and can withstand huge amounts of pressure, which makes it ideal for use in building foundations, roads and pavements. The fact that it generally provides minimal maintenance and repair issues whilst boasting a potential life-span of 100 years or more is what has made concrete the go-to building material since ancient Rome. In fact, the Colosseum built around 2000 years ago was made using Roman Concrete, a mixture very similar to what is used today and is living proof of concrete’s potential durability.

Versatility

Not only is concrete strong, it is also surprisingly versatile. The strength of concrete is not something that is set; rather, different concrete mixes can be created to prioritise different aspects, such as strength, cure-time and workability. This means that you can get the ideal concrete mix for your project requirements. You only need to compare the difference between ready mix concrete and liquid screed to see how versatile in consistency and use concrete can be.

More Environmentally Friendly

Concrete is also one of the more environmentally friendly construction materials available. This is because the resources used to make it, namely water, sand and aggregates, are often readily available resources that are sourced locally and therefore require minimal transport to get them to a plant. In fact, limestone, the main component in cement is limestone, the most readily available mineral on the planet. Ready mix concrete can also make use of many ‘waste’ products, such as slag cement and fly ash, which are by-products of power and manufacturing plants.


For more information about our ready mix concrete, concrete pumping services and liquid screed, contact our team today on 0117 958 2090.
 

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