Henry’s Building Tips & Advice

Do You Have a Building question – Ask Henry!

Henry is your very own building encyclopedia – he will find you a solution – you only have to ask!


Weekly Building

Tips From Henry

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Henry’s Hint for setting concrete quickly:

Ever needed to reduce your concrete or cement setting time? Try hot water in your mortar and concrete mixture for earlier setting time as opposed to expensive additives

Tips From Henry



Colour differences in Face Brick walls:

Brandon from Randburg writes regarding a face-brick wall “we recently completed a series of face-brick walls and looking at the walls there is a different colour to the cement that is quite visible – Why would this be?”

Henry’s Response: This most often happens when the sand used does not come from the same batch of soil – it may be the same supplier but batches of soil can differ in colour. If you have a face-brick project it is best to buy all the mixing sand you need at one supplier and at one time to avoid this issue. Cement can also vary in colour so it is also advisable to use the same cement for the whole project. 

Tips From Henry



Ant Problems:

Izzy From Northcliff writes – I have ant nests in my garage walls and want to repaint – how can I get rid of the ants without using harmful pesticides?

Henry’s Response: Ants have a very good sense of smell and hate the smell of cinnamon. Add half a teaspoon of cinnamon oil to a cup of water. Soak some cotton wool in it and rub this near areas where the ants live. Repeat the procedure until the ants have gone.  You can also put the cinnamon oil in a spray bottle and use it on any ants you encounter. Some also recommend lemon juice or vinegar as ants leave a scented trail that other ants follow. Sweeping or mopping isn’t enough to eliminate the scent. Instead, mix one part vinegar or lemon with three parts water in a spray bottle, then spritz wherever you’ve seen ants.