Caring For Your Concrete Surfaces
Are you planning some home renovation of building a new structure? It is import to understand how, the mixing, setting and also how you care for your concrete plays a hefty role in the continued quality of your concrete walkway or sculptures. We have put together a few tips to ensure that you get the best out of your concrete, and many, many years of enjoyed use.
The curing of Concrete influences the durability, strength, permeability, abrasion resistance and volume stability of concrete. Timing is important and for concrete slabs on the ground and structural concrete, the curing period should be a minimum of 7 days for in an environment with a maximum temperature of 5 degrees above ambient temperature. Ambient temperature being room temperature, between 20 and 26 degrees Celsius (68 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit). There are several methods of curing:
- Flogging. A fine fog mist that is applied over the surface of the concrete to keep it wet.
- Ponding. When a small hedge/bank is made about the perimeter of the slab and then flooded with water. The bank is usually made with sand.
- After wetting the concrete surface, a plastic sheet can be placed over it to prevent water loss due to evaporation
- Curing components are sprayed on the concrete surface soon after.
These are compounds that are applied to the concrete surface that act as a barrier to prevent an ingress of potentially harmful liquids and gases. The concrete should be laid for at least 28 days before applying any sealant. The surface area of the concrete should be cleaned and allowed to dry for at least 24 hours before application.
It is important to keep your concrete surface clean. Use soft brooms to sweep your concrete surface. Always spread plastic to cover any areas of your concrete surface that may be exposed to oil or grease spillages when doing work on your vehicle. If a grease/oil stain occurs, quickly apply any absorbent powder e.g. sawdust and leave for 1-2 hours to absorb most of the stain.