BRICKS, BLOCKS & PAVERS
at a time, which could result in the half opened
bag potentially going to waste or being spoilt.
This is because the other half of the cement is
often left lying around, meaning that cement dust
gets into all sorts of unwanted places. Overall, the
process is extremely wasteful.
Luckily, smaller packs of cement are readily
available. On many occasions and depending on
the size of the job, individual bags could contain
the exact amount for one mix of typical mortar.
Importantly, this means less cement goes to waste
and more money can be saved.
Moving and storing
A smaller bag is also lighter, which makes it easier
to deal with on-site. In the case of many smaller
BUILDING PRODUCTS | JULY 8
bag sizes, handles are in-built so they can be
easily carried in one hand, reducing the risk of
accidents. It essentially makes the product easier
to transport, whether that be up ladders or on to
site through confined spaces such as passageways.
As well as handling, it’s also important to look
at storage. It goes without saying that cement
bags should be kept inside, raised from the
floor and away from other products to guard
against dampness and contamination. With
the unpredictable British weather, something
as simple as waterproof packaging can increase
storage space for water vulnerable products and
eliminate wastage through accidental damage or
More than ever, suitable storage preparation
is essential for site workers, especially during
the winter months, where extreme weather can
see projects seize up. Recently, the construction
industry ground to a halt due to heavy snowfall
caused by the Beast from the East, prompting the
biggest drop in activity since 2016.
Ready to use mortar
Likewise, when looking for a high-quality
mortar there are many qualities to look out for,
from how it hangs on the trowel and spreads,
to its workability, compressive strength and
appearance. For many builders a pre-packed ready
to use mortar is therefore a firm favourite.
Guaranteed mix proportions in a ready to use
mortar can also help overcome many potential
problems relating to site mixing. These include
the use of excess water and the addition of other
inappropriate materials that can result in reduced
strength, increased permeability and reduced
durability of the hardened mortar.
A pre-mixed mortar eliminates all of these
headaches. This is because mortar products that
are made to exacting standards in a controlled
factory setting improve overall quality and
consistency. Ready to use with the addition of
water, dry mixes can already include selected
sands, lime, cement and admixtures,
which have been blended together
to produce the ideal product. As
previously mentioned, it’s also
worth considering mortar mixes
that are available in weatherproof,
tear resistant plastic bags and for
even smaller projects, re-sealable
plastic tubs to reduce mess and
Saving time and costs on-site
can also be achieved using a high
quality post mix. Post mix is ideal
for smaller jobs that may include
the fixing of wooden, concrete and
metal posts. A high quality post mix
should offer a fast-setting, readyto
use product which requires no
mixing, enabling the fixing of posts
in just 10 minutes.
For professional builders, products that make
them feel confident about the task at hand are
essential, and the onus is on manufacturers to
equip them with the best quality products to
reduce waste and worries, whilst also saving costs.
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