Featured Pro: Eric Stromer Category: Home Improvement Time: 3:07
ERIC STROMER: Hey, I’m Eric Stromer. Here’s your GMC Trade Secret.
Whenever creating anything that utilizes concrete mix, like fence posts, decks, stairs, any time you have to work with concrete, I want you to do a couple of things. First of all, get yourself a concrete mixing tub. They’re plastic. They’re inexpensive. Get yourself a shovel. And most importantly, when you’re lifting these heavy pound bags – they come in 45-pound or 90-pound bags – be careful when lifting. So use your legs, obviously. Get up under it. Squat down. Pick it up like that, okay, always using the legs. Just go ahead and dump that thing right in the tub.
Dust mask is key. The lime in cement and concrete can be injurious to the lungs. I want you to preserve your lungs so that you have the ability to breathe for the rest of your life. So a mask is always is essential. Put that bad boy on.
Take your shovel. You can go ahead and just hit it like that. All right. Reach on it. Pull the bag out. Cement’s ready to mix. Okay, now, another important tip – if you’re using cement often, make sure you wear gloves. If you don’t, after a while the cement and the lime in the cement can actually burn your hands. So because I’ve been doing this so long, I have no sensation in my hands anymore. I can’t feel anything. So for me it doesn’t matter.
A little bit of water. Don’t overwater it. You don’t want it to be too runny. Again, when shoveling, I want you to get down with your legs bent this way, okay, not like that, not like that. I want you to be low, squatting down, and use the shovel that way. Make sure you’re always breathing.
Also, keep in mind, whenever shoveling anything, concrete or snow, there’s a situation that occurs called the Valsalva maneuver. If you get in there and you don’t breathe while you’re straining, your heart rate and blood pressure can go up high, causing horrible things to your heart. So be very careful whenever shoveling snow or mixing concrete, all right?
Glasses back on. Mask goes on. A little bit more water. The consistency should be like a thick peanut butter. Also, the difference between concrete and cement – concrete mix has stone in it, so it’s very strong and durable once it dries. Cement just has the lime and the cement in it; that’s it. So use concrete mix whenever doing stuff that really requires some integrity to it.
Learn how to mix concrete on your own. It’s easy. It’s inexpensive. It’ll save you a load of time.