As a consumer when you think of concrete, you consider the pros like the ability and strength that it provides as a new driveway or the foundation for a new home. However, do you know what concrete is? Concrete is a composite material that is made up of fine and coarse aggregate that is bonded together with the fluid cement paste that hardens over time. Many different types of concrete exist between lime, hydraulic cement, such as calcium aluminate, and even asphalt that used on road surfaces is also concrete. Water is one of the leading components used to mix the ingredients and also helps form a strong bond of the materials together.
There is a widespread misconception about concrete however that most people have. Consumers think that once the concrete has been poured and 24 hours has passed by that the new surface is good to go. After 24 hours it is OK for foot traffic or pet traffic to walk across a freshly poured concrete slab. A car should wait at least ten days before driving onto the slab, anything heavier like a big pick up, a boat or piece of equipment should avoid driving on the concrete slab for at least 28 to 30 days.
Water is an essential part of mixing concrete, but it’s also super necessary for the curing of concrete too. Most contractors cure concrete with what they call pond curing. Temporary beams are formed around the concrete slab and in the area around them is flooded with water. The reason for curing or hydration is so crucial in concrete is to ensure that the new slab can adequately stay hydrated while the product hardens to create a more uniform look.
Weather can also play a significant factor in the finish of concrete. Temperatures must remain above 50° in order to pour concrete and allow time for proper curing. Unfortunately, the weather is unpredictable, so if a cold front were to occur, you could cover the pavement with a tarp to hold in the necessary warmth. Cloudy days can also affect the concrete from hardening correctly by creating cooler spots and uneven colorization to the slab. Concrete should also not be painted or stained for the first month due to this kind of cause an adverse effect by changing the chemical mixture in the pavement.
A good rule of thumb is the 30-day rule when it comes to concrete. Since it takes 30 days for the concrete to properly cure you may see some differences in color as the days’ progress, there is no need to worry; this is a part of the curing process.
Can dark spots be removed from a cured slab? Yes, there are many different ways that you can help reduce the look of dark spots.
1. Sandblasting the finish, this must be done to the entire surface and should not be used for spot treating.
2. Acid wash can help remove oils and can help eliminate the spots caused by efflorescence. An acid wash should not be applied more than one time, due to the power of it.
3. The use of a scrub brush and power washer can also help removed simple stains caused by dirt and build up over time.
As a consumer, I hope you found this blog helpful in knowing what to expect for your upcoming concrete project,
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