Formatubes are a simple and efficient way of making concrete columns. They are cardboard tubes into which concrete can be poured, allowing you to build your columns in situ. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your formatubes.
Keep the tubes dry
The first thing to remember is that you should keep your formatubes dry until you need them. Damp formatubes can cause two problems. Firstly, they can lose their strength and may not keep their shape when you pour in the concrete, leading to a misshapen column. Secondly, they can interfere with the concrete mix itself. The amount of water in the mix has to be finely balanced, and if moisture gets into the concrete from the tube, it can stop it from mixing and setting properly. Store your formatubes in a dry place to prevent this from happening.
Use plastic liners
One way to ensure that no moisture gets into the concrete mix is to use plastic liners inside the cardboard tubes. These have other advantages as well. For one thing, they can ensure that you get a smoother finish on your column. Cardboard tubes can leave lines on the finished product from their seams, especially if they have been made in a spiral shape. A second advantage is that plastic can be easier to remove from the set concrete than cardboard. Although formatubes should come away easily, there may be small scraps of cardboard that stick to the concrete afterwards. This will not happen if you use plastic liners.
Keep them in shape
A third thing to remember is to keep the formatubes in shape. They are designed to be perfectly round so that they produce a smooth and accurate finish to the columns. You should therefore store them vertically to ensure that there is no pressure on their sides that could distort their shape. Keep the ends of the tube covered so that they cannot get squashed, and store them off the ground to stop them from getting damp. You should also make sure that nothing is stored on top of the formatubes. Storing them carefully will ensure that they still have their shape and strength when you come to pour the concrete.
Making concrete pillars is a quick and simple job when you use formatubes. For more information on how to use them, just talk to your supplier who will be happy to answer any questions.