Many times, the average person uses the terms “cement” and “concrete” interchangeably without realizing that there is a difference. Even when the handyman refers to “cement,” there is often a question as to exactly what he means. Before going into the details on mixing and various projects, here is a definition of roofing contractors portland Oregon terms:

1. Portland cement is a manufactured product purchased in sacks that usually contain 1 cubic foot.
2. Cement is a mixture of Portland cement, sand and roofing in Portland Oregon water.
3. Concrete is a mixture of Portland cement and sand with gravel added to give it strength and bulk, plus water.
4. Mortar is a mixture of Portland cement, sand and water with about 10% hydrated lime added.
5. Grout is a flowing mass of cement or concrete.

How Much of Each?

For most cement jobs – to set flagstones or patch a house foundation, you need 1 part of Portland cement to 2½” parts of clean, fine sand.

For concrete jobs, the proportion varies depending upon the use to which the concrete is put.

For mortar mixes – for playing brick or concrete block or repointing brick – use 1 part mortar cement or 1 part Portland cement with 10% lime added to 2½^” parts fine, clean sand plus water.

Basic Tools for Concrete Work

Here are several of the basic tools you need when doing cement or concrete work about the house:

1. General-purpose trowel – for placing cement or concrete when doing any concrete work.
2. Pointing trowel – for smaller repair and patching jobs and also finishing details, especially the joint between rows of brick.
3. Wood float – for finishing the surface, making it smooth but with a gritty texture.
4. Steel float – for finishing the surface, making it smooth, slick and hard.
5. Edger – for finishing sidewalks and large surfaces where rounded corners are desired.
6. Strike board – for striking off the excess of the concrete; it leaves the surface level.
7. Tamper – for removing air inclusions in thick sections of freshly poured concrete.
8. Broom – for finishing surface of concrete jobs with a rough, non-slip surface.

Making a Measuring Box

When doing any extensive mixing of your own cement or concrete, a measuring box is exceedingly helpful, especially when using large quantities. You can make this bottomless measuring box in just a few minutes and avoid counting the ingredients by the shovels-full.

Use ¾” plywood or 1″ thick lumber to make a box with four sides – a cubic foot – 12″ high, 12″ wide and 12″ deep. Secure the sides with screws set about 2″ apart. Two short lengths of 2×2 attached on the sides make it easy to move the measuring box about.