Job Cement Masons THE JOB CEMENT MASONS pour, smooth and finish concrete surfaces such as floors, walls, sidewalks and curbs using hand and power tools. Their work encompasses such small projects as backyard patios to large jobs such as concrete highways. Before concrete is poured, Cement Masons (also called cement finishers) check the forms (which hold the concrete) to see that they are properly constructed. During the pour, laborers spread the concrete to the desired depth, using shovels and rakes. On small jobs, the Cement Masons may mix or direct the mixing of the concrete and also pour and spread the concrete. Cement Masons level, smooth, finish and shape the concrete surfaces, using a variety of hand tools such as straightedges, tamps, floats and trowels. Power trowels may be used on large-scale projects, but corners, edges and hard-to-reach places must still be finished by hand.
In some projects, machines are used in the leveling and troweling process. Masons mold joints and edges, using hand tools such as edgers, jointers and straightedges. They remove rough spots from surfaces with power grinders, hammers and chisels and patch holes with a fresh cement mixture. Cement Masons can create desired textures and colors using a variety of brushes, belts, coloring powders and terrazzo (marble) chips. Crew leaders may also direct the preliminary work such as setting forms or grading soil. Cement Masons must be familiar with the characteristics of various cements and concrete mixes and be knowledgeable of the effects of weather upon the curing of concrete.