To ensure the success of your concrete pour, it’s important to finish, cure, seal, and then maintain the surface properly for years to come.
””After a concrete slab has been planned, framed, and poured, the work is not over. In order for your new driveway, patio, flooring, or countertops to last a long time, the first days after your concrete pour are critical. After it’s finished, your concrete can become weakened or cracked prematurely if it is not properly cured and sealed. Then, your concrete becomes easy to maintain if you take each steps in the following guide on what to do after a concrete pour:
Finishing Your Poured Concrete
Before you apply any sealants, make sure that the concrete is finished the way you want. Finishing concrete properly is a skill that is only acquired through experience, so you may try practicing pouring concrete on smaller projects before tackling a patio or a driveway.
First, you should smooth your concrete out with a tool called a screed, which is essentially a board you run across your concrete to level out the surface. Move the screed board back and forth with a sawing motion in order to get a nice smooth finish on the surface. Use a darby to even out any holes or uneven spots.
Next, you need to edge your concrete. Work an edging tool along the edges of your concrete form until they are smooth and round. You may want to wait until your concrete starts to cure and loses it sheen before beginning this process so it is easier to work with.
Smooth out any remaining marks using a float, then finish your concrete with a texture, if desired.
Using a broom to texturize the surface, for example, will add traction. For unique applications, consider utilizing stains and stamps to create a decorative concrete finish.
Curing and Sealing Your Concrete
The “drying” process for concrete is actually called curing, through which the concrete hardens and acquires its strength. Depending on the concrete slab’s thickness and composition, this process can take days or weeks. Give your concrete project an adequate amount of time to cure or it can become brittle and crack prematurely.
Sealants, much like those used to protect wooden decks, are applied to protect the finished and cured concrete surface. While there are many methods that can be used to cure your concrete, the most common is to both seal and cure your concrete at the same time using a process called membrane curing.
Membrane curing works by adding a liquid compound called a cure and seal. You can spray or roll this onto the surface of your concrete as soon as your finish is complete. The sealant will then dry on top of the new concrete and control how quickly it can dry.
Maintaining Your Concrete
Concrete is a notoriously low-maintenance product compared to others, but it does require some maintenance to retain its durability. Whether it’s an indoor or outdoor surface, failing to properly maintain your concrete can lead to stains, abrasions, and cracks if you are not conscientious.
If you need concrete for a new concrete pour, contact the experts at Razorback Concrete by calling 870-455-0700. Our team of project consultants can explain how we use the latest technology in every batch we deliver to promise the best concrete product for your project.