If you have decided to take on the large and expansive project of placing a foundation, concrete driveway, or walkway on your property, then you likely need a great deal of concrete. You have the option of using a small mixer, but it will take you a long time to mix and spread the material. Renting a concrete pump truck is a better option, because the truck will allow you to mix, pour, and spread the concrete in a fraction of the time. As an amateur, you may unfortunately forget to rinse out the hopper after using it. If you are used to using a hammer and chisel to remove hardened concrete from your mixer, then you will soon find that this approach will not work to release debris from the hopper. You will have limited access to the deep crevices in the expansive container, so implement the following tips to remove the hardened debris instead.
Break Away the Concrete
The first step in removing hard concrete begins by loosening some of the material from the metal hopper sides and the arm or mixing paddle inside the device. Open up the top of the hopper and add enough water to fill up two-thirds of the device. The hopper will likely hold somewhere between 500 and 1,000 liters of material if you rent an average sized pump truck. This means that you should add between about 375 and 750 liters of water. Add enough gravel to the hopper to fill in the rest of the space. Angular crushed stone is best to scrape free some of the concrete, and it is one of the cheapest options. You also probably have some of the limestone around if you are using an aggregate material in your concrete.
Once you add the water and the gravel, turn on the hopper so the mixing paddle moves around. The gravel will start to scrape away some of the concrete. To help it loosen, use a rubber mallet and gently tap the exterior of the hopper. After about 30 minutes of mixing, drain the hopper.
The gravel will likely remove about one-half to two-thirds of the concrete. You will need to dissolve the rest of it with an acid material. Concrete is made up of water, an aggregate, and cement. The cement is what you want to break up, and this powder is comprised of a variety of materials. Some of the components include silica, limestone, chalk, clay, calcium, and sand. Limestone makes up a large portion of the mix, and this material is a base. This means that a strong acid can dissolve it or break it down. Hydrochloric or muriatic acid with a pH value below one can do this. You can buy the acid at your local home store. If you cannot find it, then go to a pool supply store instead. Some people use the acid to lower the pH of their swimming pools.
Once you purchase the acid, fill the concrete hopper three-quarters full of water. Place rubber gloves on your hands and wear a pair of protective goggles. Add about two cups of the acid to the hopper. Let the acid water sit for about 15 minutes, so the concrete starts to dissolve. Turn on the mixing paddle for 30 minutes and then drain the hopper. You do not need to worry about the acid burning your skin or polluting the environment at this time, because the limestone will neutralize the acid during the mixing process.
If you see a small amount of cement left behind after you use the acid, then use a wire brush to clear it away. Also a final rinse with water will help to flush out the remainder of the debris.Share
27 May 2015
When I first moved into our house, I realized that the place needed a little bit of work. In addition to missing part of the back lawn, there was also an empty RV pad and a missing patio. I thought about what to do, and I realized that the best thing might be to hire a concrete contractor to make things right. After we got settled, we started pricing services. We were able to find an incredible contractor that we knew would do a good job. After he poured the pads, it was amazing to see how much better things looked. Read my blog for ideas on how to finish your property, so that you aren't left looking at an eyesore.