HOW TO USE CEMENT ADDITIVES - Cement is a widely used material used for bonding objects together such as brickwork which is referred to as mortar. In order for cement to be effective it needs to be mixed with other materials such as sand and water. Cement additives such as dyes are there to help you work with cement and to produce better results on the jobs you are doing. This guide below provides useful information on how to use cement additives.
Cement Dyes – This comes in powder form and should be mixed with the sand and cement prior to adding water. There are many colours to choose from and these are widely available from any Builders Merchant or DIY store. Cement dyes are useful for a number of reasons, for instance, it you want to closely match the colour of the bricks that you are laying or simply want to add colour to a concrete driveway or path.
Plasticiser – You can add this to any mortar mix to help make the mortar more pliable and easier to work with – DO NOT use washing up liquid, it can seriously affect the strength of the mix. Plasticiser is widely used when building in colder temperatures and helps prevent the water within the mixture freeze and therefore the concrete cracking.
PVA – Use this to increase adhesion of the cement mix. This is useful when rendering walls as it allow for the render to adhere to the surface, and stay there, much easier.
Waterproofing – Useful when rendering internal walls for bathrooms. This is a chemical mix added to the mixed cement and when dry provides a waterproof barrier and is useful in any room that is likely to come into contact with lots of water.
Frost Proofing – If you are laying bricks in the winter use a frost proof chemical to prevent the water in the mixture from freezing.