Adding synthetic fibers to cement mix can increase the overall resiliency of the product and reduce the amount of cracking in the cement by 80-100 percent. This can be particularly useful in areas that endure severe winter weather and harsh conditions which tend to erode cement and cause cracks and breaks in cement surfaces. Pouring cement with synthetic fibers at home is a way to get the benefits of the latest in cement technology and quality without the high cost of hiring a contractor.
Read the instructions on the cement mix bag before mixing the cement or adding a fiber additive. Mix the cement mix in the wheelbarrow according to the mixing instructions on the bag.
Add the fiber additive according to the directions on the fiber additive bag if your cement mix does not already contain a fiber additive. Add only as much additive as the directions indicate. You may have additive left over; it is better to have leftover additive than to go against the directions. Adding too much additive may cause negative stresses on the cement and may weaken the finished product.
Pour the concrete into the form for your project by tilting the wheelbarrow so the lip over the wheel faces down into the project area.
Even out the surface using a hand trowel. It is best to work your way from one corner across the project to the other to avoid having to repeat sections.
Allow the concrete to cure gradually. Concrete solidifies relatively quickly, but follow the instructions on the concrete mix to determine how long the concrete must cure to reach maximum hardness. Check the bag of additive to see if there are supplementary instructions which may change the drying time as indicated on the back of the bag of concrete mix.
Things You Will Need
- Cement mix with fiber additive
- or Cement mix and fiber additive
- Hand trowel
- Use smaller sections on deep slopes to avoid concrete pooling at one end of your form and causing an uneven surface.
- Continue to smooth the surface with the hand trowel as the cement cures to ensure that the surface remains uniform.
- Always pour and work with cement out of the rain when possible. Rainwater can reduce the viscosity of the cement and potentially increase the overall curing time and reduce the hardness of the finished product.
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