Category: Home Improvement

Tips In Using Pre-Blended Mortar Mix

October 14, 2018

Home Improvement

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Most individuals plan DIY tasks to make their homes and properties appealing and strong. And, individuals use reliable materials when building such as cement. However, there are cases when cement is not suitable for such areas. Or perhaps, there are better alternatives for cement like pre-blended mortar mix.

Pre-blended mortar mix is designed for both professional and DIY persons since it is easy to use. In addition, this type of mix is suitable for brickwork, blockwork and stone laying needs. Other than that, homeowners can also use mortar mix in creating letterboxes, paving, retaining walls and garden beds. But, in order to create all of these, it is imperative to know how to use pre-blended mortar mix. To help you, below are some tips you need to know.

Mixing Tips

  • When mixing mortar, make sure your project is properly laid out with all the necessary tools at hand.
  • Next, individuals need to pour the required amount of mortar into a wheel barrow or a clean bucket. It is important to ensure you use contents as soon as possible after opening the product packaging.
  • After which, calculate the amount of water you will need. For each 10kg of Mortar add 1.6 litres of water.
  • Add water gradually and mix thoroughly to a stiff consistency (e.g. until the mix just slips off the trowel when lightly flicked). Note: Excess water can ruin good mortar. Should too much water be added, leave the mixture aside until it thickens to a workable consistency.
  • Finally, the mortar is now ready to trowel onto bricks or blocks.

Storage TipsIn case that you have not used all the pre-blended mix, it is imperative that you store it properly.

Most of the time, can be kept for up to six months if kept in a dry environment, off the ground and providing the bags remain sealed. Individuals must be aware that factors like high temperature and high humidity conditions may reduce the storage life of the product.

Safety Precautions

When using mortar mix, it is also best that you how to safely use it. Below are some safety tips.

During use, avoid inhalation of dust and contact with the skin and eyes. Wear suitable clothing, gloves, eye protection and respiratory protective equipment since it contains cement powders which can be harmful to the skin.

If contact with the skin occurs, individuals need to thoroughly clean the area with plenty of fresh water and soap. Meanwhile, in case of contact with the eyes rinse with plenty of fresh water and seek medical advice. And, if swallowed, seek medical attention immediately. Do not induce vomiting.

These are only some of the essential tips that individuals need to know when using pre-blended mortar mix.

What You Need to Know About Fiber Cement Sidings

October 14, 2018

Home Improvement

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Fiber cement siding is composed of fiberglass mesh that has been encapsulated in a cement plaster. The exterior of the siding has a wood finish that protects the cement board from deterioration that comes from sun exposure, heavy rain and snow fall.

types of cement sidings

There are three types of the cement siding: lap siding, batt and board, and cedar shingles.

Lap siding is the most common style of cement siding. The material is usually installed horizontally across a home and comes with an exposed face of 4-8 inches. If you are planning of driving nails or screws into the siding, you have to pre-drill it to create the holes.

Batt and board siding comes in 1X2 to 1X12 boards that can be installed vertically. To cover the seams, you can use smaller width boards.

Cedar shingles are usually 2 feet by 16 inches. For you to hang them you need to pre-drill them. In addition to this you also have to overlap them so that they can create a look of real cedar shingles.

Advantages of fiber cement siding

The main advantage of cement siding is that it’s durable. The reason for this is because its water proof and resistant to bugs. The material also doesn’t crack or warp in extreme temperature.

Another advantage is that the material is versatile. This is because it comes in different designs and styles that are very elegant.

For example, the material can be easily made to look like wood, cedar shingles, stucco or even vinyl. Existence of the material in different styles gives homeowners a wide range of options.

Fiber cement siding is fire resistant; therefore, you don’t have to worry of your house catching fire when you install the sidings.

Many manufacturers usually offer warranties where some of the warranties are for as long as fifty years. These warranties are good because they give you confidence that you are dealing with genuine products with a long lifespan.


Although, the sidings have these advantages they have their fair share of disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is the health concern that comes with the use of these materials.

Scientists say that the dust that comes from the sidings (when they are cut) can cause cancer; therefore, you should be very cautious when installing them.

Another disadvantage is that the materials are expensive. On average one square foot of the material costs $4 which can be expensive for many people.