1. Mixing cement by hand
This option could be used if you’re repairing small cracks and holes. The key ingredient in cement, which is concrete, is combined in a wheelbarrow with sharp sand or gravel. This can be done by alternating shovel loads between the concrete and the sand/gravel blend, or by using a bucket to measure it out proportionately. When you have the right amount, then it's mixed together usually in a wheelbarrow and water is added to get the correct consistency. Making cement this way is time-consuming, though.
2. Using a cement mixer
This is for a more experienced person who knows how to run the cement mixer and for a bigger job than a few cracks in a sidewalk. The problem with this method is that too much water can be added if the person is inexperienced. Water should only be added in small quantities at a time to get the right consistency. This type of cement laying is probably a two-to-three-person job. One to mix; another to take the wheelbarrows of concrete to the spot, dump it and then a third to smooth it out or form it. Using the cement mixer mixes the cement easier, but there’s still the job of the wheelbarrow being pushed and the cement dumped and applied where the concrete is needed.
3. Ready-mix cement
Ready mix cement is delivered 1 to 11 cubic yards at a time by truck with 9 large full wheelbarrows of cement being equal to 1 yard. Ready-mix is great for jobs when you don’t have much space for mixing and storing the materials.
The advantages of ready-mix cement are many. Since the concrete is produced in conditions which are controlled, the consistency and quality are assured. You may end up using less cement than by mixing it yourself because of less waste and guesswork. Another advantage is that the work can be completed faster since it's delivered mixed in a truck. It’s also better for the worksite environment because using bulk cement by delivery reduces dust and ground waste at the job. In addition, because the job will take less time, there are fewer labor costs.
Also because you can order the cement when you need it, regardless of whether you need 1 yard or 11 yards, it’s ready when you need to start the job. There isn’t a delay either because you’re not waiting for one batch to be mixed while the other one is starting to set up. Plus, if needed, the cement truck will have either a short chute or a long one depending upon your ready-mix cement needs. You'll find that this is your best option for home and commercial concrete repair.