If you’re undertaking a construction project, the list of things you need to take care of is ever growing, with new priorities and tasks appearing on a seemingly daily basis. One of the most pressing issues, and something which can affect man of the other tasks at hand is the type of concrete that you need for your project. In this piece, we’re going to look at ready mixed concrete, and what you need to know before you choose it for your construction work.

What do you need it for?

There are many different applications in a construction project, and there isn’t a universal concrete mix that suits each one. Ready mix concrete is delivered, as the name suggests, already mixed and ready for pouring. That means you need to know what you want including in the mix: colours, decorative aggregates, fiber reinforcement or admixtures like accelerators and corrosion inhibitors. You should inform the concrete company of this in advance, so they can create the perfect mix for you.

Ordering correctly

Before you choose your mix and inform the concrete company of what you need, you need to know the specifics of your batch.

Volume – Concrete is sold by the cubic metre, and when you use ready mix concrete, it’s going to arrive on site in the quantity you asked for, so it’s important that you get that amount right. If you need the concrete for a rectangular area, then it can be easy to work out how much you need. However, if you need it for an irregular shaped area, where the concrete will need to go round corners and along uneven edges, you will need to break the area down into separate shapes and work out from there. To make that process easier, you can use a concrete calculator to determine the amount required.

Water content – When arranging the mix with your supplier, you will need to agree on a level of moisture. The more moisture in the mix, the easier it is to spread. Remember, though, that you can always add water if needed, and choosing a drier mix is preferable to ordering a mix that’s too wet.

Excess – You should always give yourself some leeway for spillage, wastage and spreading when ordering your concrete. Buying between 5%-10% more than you need should provide you with some breathing room.

Density – Different applications require concrete of different applications. The heavier the load that the concrete will be supporting, the denser the concrete needs to be. Be sure to take this into account when ordering your concrete.

Other things to consider

Waiting times – Bear in mind that it takes time to unload the concrete from a truck, and some companies may charge for extra waiting time. Each cubic metre takes around five minutes, so be sure you have the capabilities to unload it quickly.

Curing time – The time before concrete starts to cure is the window you have in which you can spread and manipulate the mixture to your meet your needs. Once it starts to cure, or set, you’re going to find it much more difficult to use it. Ready mix concrete normally gives you an hour and a half before it starts to cure, but this could be as little as an hour in hot conditions.

Ordering concrete can be confusing, especially if you’ve never done it before. This guide will hopefully help you understand some key factors of the ordering process, allowing you to choose the right type and amount of concrete for your construction project.

EasyMix Concrete are leading providers of ready mixed concrete for domestic and commercial customers throughout London. For more information, please get in touch with us today and we’ll be happy to help.