How to Get Air Bubbles Out of Cement

Removing air bubbles before concrete sets results in a smoother project.
Removing air bubbles before concrete sets results in a smoother project. (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Cement is the mixture used to create concrete. Concrete is used for sidewalks, driveways, garden ornaments and numerous other landscape features. Air bubbles trapped in a cement mixture can cause pits, or pockets, in the finished concrete project. Air bubbles are caused by air becoming trapped below coarse sediment within the cement mixture. To prevent pits, or pockets, the air must be released from beneath the sediment and allowed to float to the surface.

Things You'll Need

  • Concrete vibrator
  • Hammer

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Large Projects

Pour your cement in layers. Each layer should be slightly thinner than the length of the tip on the concrete vibrator. For example, if the tip on the concrete vibrator is 10 inches long, the cement layers should be 8 to 9 inches thick.

Insert the tip of the concrete vibrator into the first layer of cement and turn it on. Let the vibrator work for 10 to 15 seconds, or until foam or paste begins to form around the vibrator's tip.

Remove the tip of the the concrete vibrator and move it 15 to 18 inches from the first insertion. Put the tip into the cement and turn it on, allowing it to work for another 10 to 15 seconds.

Repeat this process throughout your cement project. Overlap the concrete vibrator tip insertions so no insertion is further than 15 to 18 inches from a previous one.

Pour a second layer of cement onto the first, fully vibrated layer of cement.

Repeat Steps 2 through 4 for your second layer. Ensure that when you insert the tip of the concrete vibrator, the last inch or two of it penetrates the previous layer of cement. This will help the two layers adhere to one another.

Repeat the process listed above for each layer of cement that you add.

Small Projects

Fill your cement mold or cement form as desired.

Place once hand on each side of the mold or form, and gently shake it back and forth.

Continue to shake it for several minutes, or until you see air bubbles reaching the surface of the cement.

If you are using a wooden, metal or solid plastic mold or form, gently tap the sides of it with a hammer to vibrate the inner cement.

Tap each location for a minute or two, or until you see air bubbles reaching the surface of the cement, then choose a second location several inches from the first one and repeat the process.

Repeat Step 5 around the entire mold or form.


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