What happens when there’s too much water in your concrete mix?
Mixing concrete is a technical job that requires knowledge, practice and skill to get right.
This month, we’re looking at why adding too much water to a mix is a bad idea, and why you should consider having a reliable batch of ready mix delivered instead of mixing concrete yourself.
Why is water used in concrete?
Many people think that water is used simply to bring concrete to a practical consistency, but it is actually the key ingredient, essential for making concrete strong.
Water is mixed with cement to form a paste, which then binds together with aggregates. The water in concrete is the catalyst that allows chemical bonds in the cement to form during a chemical reaction called hydration, wherein the concrete hardens and increases in strength. This means that water plays a crucial role in the production of concrete – the strength of the concrete is dependent on the water to cement ratio.
Often, your expert ready mix supplier has adjusted the amount of water fractionally to meet your intended use, as well as other factors such as the weather conditions or time of year. That’s how much thought goes into the water content of your ready mix concrete!
Water also acts as a lubricant for the concrete while it is being transported to site as a ready mix batch, reducing friction between the concrete and the vessel being used to mix it.
What happens when concrete is too wet?
Adding the right amount of water to concrete ensures that it is strong enough for its intended application.
When there is too much water in your concrete mix, however, it will have the opposite effect and the mix will be ‘swamped’, which will lower the rate that the chemical bonds form and therefore reduce the strength of the cured concrete.
More water results in increased porosity, meaning that the hardened concrete will have many more canals, which can affect any colour or finish that may be applied to the surface.
Once cured, concrete with too much water will also have a much greater risk of shrinkage and cracks, especially in freeze/thaw climates, meaning that it will be particularly weak.
Leave the concrete mixing to the experts
Whatever construction work you have going on, it’s worth getting your concrete laid correctly the first time around, to avoid having to start the process all over again later down the line. If you want to guarantee the best quality in terms of frost-resistance, compressive strength and longevity – then you should go with the benefits afforded by readymix concrete delivery.
Ever Readymix supply concrete for commercial and domestic customers in Yorkshire, including Barnsley, Doncaster, Goole and Scunthorpe. No matter your needs, our team are fully equipped to mix the perfect batch of concrete for your project and use a range of methods to deliver to site, using our fleet of trucks and concrete pumps.
We even offer free site surveys for larger projects and weekend delivery by arrangement, making us the number one choice for customers in Yorkshire. Contact our team today to find out more about our services or arrange a free survey.