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Maintaining, Storing and Replacing Your Tools

 

Maintaining, Storing, and Replacing Your Tools

As a professional contractor, it’s essential that you have the right tools. It’s also important that you care for your trowels and other tools properly. This way, they’ll perform better and last longer. Below are tips to give your trowels some TLC.

 

Trowel Maintenance and Storage

Letting mortar harden on your hand tools can ruin them. That’s why you should clean them immediately after every use. A hose sprayer works nicely, as does water and a clean sponge. Since it’s common to place concrete or masonry in areas that are away from water sources, many contractors keep a clean bucket of water and a long-handle brush close to the pour.

If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned your trowels, you may need to use a concrete dissolver on them to remove any hardened concrete. Be sure to read the dissolver directions carefully, wear protective gear, and try a small test spot first. If you need to use a grinder on your trowel to remove any hardened adhesive or mortar, be sure to use light pressure so you don’t damage the trowel edge.

While there are many different cleaning routines for tools, the key is to remember to clean off your trowel multiple times a day, depending on the job – as long as you don’t let the concrete harden between jobs. Additionally, keep the handle clean and dry, and don’t leave them in direct sun if they’re loaded with any material.

How and where you store your trowels matters. The purpose of trowel storage is to reduce the chance of the blades getting damaged. One storage option is a trowel bag. While trowel bags are durable, they’re not guaranteed to prevent blade damage. Some contractors hang their trowels by the handle inside a trusty old builder’s bucket, while others invest in heavy-duty trowel cases.

 

When to Replace Your Trowel

It’s a good idea to check your trowels for uneven edges, broken notches, and other damage every few weeks. Check the handles of the trowel as well to make sure they’re not broken. When the trowel’s edges or notches become bent, broken, or worn, it’s a definite sign that you should replace it.