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A typical mortar mix ratio is 1 cement : 3 sand. But what is the water ratio? Is it 0.5:1:3?

Would a 0.5:1:2 ratio be a stronger mortar?

Our next door neighbor has a dog that digs like a pro. The dog somehow manages to dig underneath some parts of our wire fence netting and get through. So I have thought of filling the holes with mortar.

I previously tried to fill the holes with concrete made with 0.5 water : 1 cement : 2 sand : 3 gravel, but the mix I made easily crumbled apart. Could that be because I bought gravel made of 0.5inch stones?

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2 Answers 2

The less water the better, to a point. Excess water will weaken the mix. At some point in the other direction, there is not enough water for the hydration process(around 0.25:1 water:cement). In general though, to have a workable mix, there will be enough water for hydration. Use as little water as possible to make a workable mix, around 0.45:1 is fine. Don't use mortar for bulk fill, it's a waste of cement. The gravel in concrete is just filler, saving cement.

The concrete you mixed is sort of the standard DIY ratio, I don't know why it didn't work. While 0.5" gravel is a bit small, it can't be the reason for crumbling. Perhaps the cement was old? It may have absorbed enough humidity to partially hydrate, but not so much that it bound together.

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Probably you let the dog in before enough days for concrete to get strong, or you did not water your concrete for at least 10 days.

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