Repair around manhole cover....

8 Jul 2008
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United Kingdom
I was clearing a neglected part of my driveway, in which is situated a manhole cover.

Unfortunately the driveway surrounding it has eroded away leaving a hole around one side.

I removed all the earth and plant-growth, made a suitable base with sand and fine aggregate. I then had some left over high strength concrete and filled it as much as possible.

There was not enough to fully fill the hole however. There is still a void from the top of the drive to the drain surround. So I need to get some more....

However, from what I understand, concrete likes to self level and prefers to be poured into a mould. The concrete I used certainly did not like to be shaped. At the moment it has formed a solid base.

In this case, the drive is higher than the manhole cover. So I wanted to slope the repair to meet the edge of the drain surround.

Is there a type of ready-mix concrete that will hold it's shape a bit like mortar, but with more strength? Or will a mortar mix be OK?

My alternative is to make a mould, but have a sharp drop to the drain surround rather than a slope.

Many Thanks!
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As long as your mix isn’t too wet you can trowel the top of your mortar/concrete to the shape you want.

It will only want to self level if it’s too wet.
You should still be able to trowel it even tho it’s got aggregate in, the stones tend to go below the surface leaving a smooth top surface that you’re trowelling.. kinda
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Yeh, that seems to be where I was going wrong....I'm not doing barrow loads...and adding gradually....but there was so much aggregate it seemed too dry....then I suddenly reached a tipping point where it seemed there was too much water....and it just wanted to self level no matter what I did.
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Cement needs hardly any water to actually set, most water in a mix is for workability and actually hinders the strength and causes shrinkage. So always err on the side of too little water and see how it goes.
Thanks all....

Bought another bag, decided on another brand with slightly less aggregate would probably make it easier. I also added the water more slowly and mixed for longer. It worked! I got a nice stable mix which I could shape.

I also used a more general pre-mix. The first lot I used was 40n stuff. Probably over-kill for what I used it for and it certainly seemed to turn into a runnier mix faster than this general pre-mix.

So whether it was to do with the type of pre-mix or my refined mixing worked!

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