Asked on Jul 02, 2013

Why is my cement crumbling in my hand?

by 161389
Can someone help me out? Why did my cement crumble? Is it too hot to pour cement? Do you have to keep wet? Was it too wet in beginning? Was it not thick enough? Martha didn't mention this....On the positive side The concept will work & be beautiful if I can keep it in one piece. It's suppose to be a giant leaf bird bath. Also does anyone know a rule of thumb for mixing smaller quantities of cement? The bag only tells you for the whole bag. I also did this as soon as the sun came up so was still cool outside well in this heat cooler.
Excuse my very professional tools. Here's how they started out.
The small one crumbled. The large one broke. Was it too dry of a mixture or too hot outside?
The concept was beautiful & I'll def. be trying again, but I want to get it right next time.
  14 answers
  • Barb Rosen Barb Rosen on Jul 02, 2013
    Tammy, when I make hypertufa pots, I was told to add concrete reinforcement fibers and concrete acrylic bonding agent to the mix to increase the durability. You should be able to find these items in the hardware store where the cement mix, etc. is. That was a pretty one too, sorry it broke on you. If you are going to paint it, maybe you can mend it.
  • 161389 161389 on Jul 02, 2013
    Thank you Barb, I will have to look into those items & give this another try. I tried piecing it together & it just broke more. I think it's just to dry or something.
  • Ava Landscapes Ava Landscapes on Jul 03, 2013
    Looks like you used concrete, not cement (most people think its the same thing). Try cement and go a little thicker if you can, next time. Warm temperature shouldn't effect it.
  • H.C. Lawn H.C. Lawn on Jul 03, 2013
    Portland cement is 1 cement 3 sand ratio . If you could cut out a wire same shape put something under it . so wire mesh is in the middle . like when we do sidewalks we need to add a wire reinforce so it don`t crack. give it 3 days for the cement to cure ? before move it . 1 other thing might be is you had too much water in your mix add more cement
  • 161389 161389 on Jul 03, 2013
    Ava Landscapes....Thank you so much! I ran outside & checked bag and that's what it is. I had no idea there were two & I had to pay attention to that. Running to Lowes today & buying some cement & going to try this again hopefully early tomorrow morning. Thanks again!
  • Gabriele Gross Gabriele Gross on Jul 04, 2013
    it might also help, if you make it just a bit thicker and wrap it in plastic for the first 24 hour and let it cure for 3days and touch it as little as possible during that time.
  • 161389 161389 on Jul 04, 2013
    I just read that trick on another post. Def. going to give it a try along with some other post ideas. I only see success next time. :)
  • Connie Connie on Aug 16, 2013
    You also need to let it cure over time. My friend makes these all the time, she covers in plastic to keep moisture in and lets them sit for a few weeks time, allowing the moisture to slowly evaporate and make it strong. She too has use the fibers and/or wire as reinforcement. With the wire she pours half of the design, lets it sit a moment or two then lays the wire atop and pours the remaining cement mixture over it. Again she says the key is to let the object SLOWLY dry, if it gets to hot she mists it with water and recovers. She also has them made in a shaded area so the sun does not dry it out too fast.
  • 161389 161389 on Aug 16, 2013
    Thank you....I have made a few of these since this post. I was using concrete and not cement. Big difference that I wasn't aware of. I need to remove this post.
  • Bonny McDaniel Bonny McDaniel on Apr 26, 2014
    I'm confused. I thought that the stuff you mix with sand and water (sometimes gravel, too) is cement and the mixture, after pouring, is called concrete. Am I wrong?
    • Cate Cate on Apr 26, 2014
      @Bonny McDaniel Cement is actually an ingredient in Concrete. it is what holds together, or cements, all of the ingredients of concrete.
  • Cate Cate on Apr 26, 2014
    Another thing to note, you are in the desert. You do not want it to dry out too fast. You need to make it thicker but then baby sit it with a mister (you don't want actual drops of water on it that will make an indent in your project-just mist) every few hours. It will also help if you finish the mold at night or inside so the sun doesn't dry it out too quickly. Good luck!
  • Jus4128507 Jus4128507 on Jan 22, 2016
    My draped cement planters work very well in South Africa, but I'm now in the Emirates, using white cement, plus latex bonding liquid but when dry everything just collapses into a powdery heap. Any ideas as to why? Liz
  • Sim84322315 Sim84322315 on Jun 14, 2023

    What ratio of Portland cement to sand do you recommend for casting leaves?

  • Mogie Mogie on Jun 16, 2023

    If the hypertufa mixture is runny, the rock texture will disappear, the container will be weak, and it could crumble once it dries. When the hypertufa is ready, begin pressing the mixture on top of the mold and work down the sides. Try to get the sides thick so the container will be sturdy