Concrete is a very durable construction material, celebrated for its strength and durability as well as its versatility. But what most people don’t realise is that it’s the curing process and the aftercare that makes concrete so strong, durable and gives it the best chance of lasting for decades and decades to come.
Ensure that your concrete surface cures properly and has the best conditions for it to harden properly. Preserve the beauty and longevity of your concrete — read on and find out the dos and don’ts for your newly poured concrete finish.
The Curing Process
Concrete is a very durable construction material but until it is completely cured and hardened, it remains vulnerable and susceptible to damage in the first 28 days. The idea is to slow down the drying process of the concrete by retaining moisture and preventing shrinkage.
Curing refers to the process that concrete goes through as it hardens. In simple terms, the process requires the environment to support the curing of the concrete with the ideal levels of temperature, moisture, and time. It is an essential step of the whole concreting process—curing plays a crucial role in the sturdiness, stability, and performance of your concrete project.
Curing involves hydrating the concrete by spraying water 5 to 10 times a day on it to prevent water and heat loss as it hardens for the first 2-7 days after the concreter has finished the job. This process is known as moisture-curing. This is especially important in warm climates like Brisbane. Simply spray with a hose or sprinkler the concreted area a few times a day, more if it is a hot summer’s day as moisture would evaporate quickly. This strategy strengthens the concrete better than regular dry-cured concrete finishes in hot climates. Adding moisture simply supplies the right conditions for the concrete to reach the proper amount of moisture needed during the hardening process to prevent cracking.
Your aim is to keep your concrete moist for the first 28 days to avoid issues down the line such as cracking or crumbling.
Let it harden properly
For your concrete to dry and harden properly, try to keep off it as much as possible in the curing stage. Keep your pets at bay, avoid walking on and around it, driving over it, or placing objects on its surface. If you can’t constantly moisten the concrete with a hose, you can trap the moisture by sealing it with a cover like polyethylene sheeting that’s at least 4mm thick or a concrete curing insulating blanket, which are both available at your local friendly hardware. Remove this sheeting daily, wet the concrete, then re-cover. Do this for a week until the results are visible.
Set aside a minimum of 7 days of keeping off the concrete completely, then ideally, 14-30 days at least of minimal stepping, depending on the thickness of the slab and other contributing factors such as the weather and wind, and the type of concrete used. If the concrete is used before it is cured, micro cracks might start to appear on the surface, causing the need for more touch-ups or repairs down the lines, ultimately the main problem is that the structural integrity of the concrete is compromised because it never hardened properly. Be mindful of all the reinforcements needed to be done for your concrete installation before, during, and after the pouring. Have your concrete sealed (usually a day after the pouring process) for further protection and to maintain the aesthetic newness for longer.
Ask your local Brisbane Northside concreting team for maintenance, caring tips, and a warranty for your new investment.
Here are some maintenance tips to follow for your new concreted area once it is cured completely:
- Clean surface regularly to remove build-up of dirt, mould, moss
- Remove stains or spills when and after they happen
- Remove nearby plants and prevent plants or trees from growing nearby by weeding and pruning
- Avoid heavy loads such as trucks or large vehicles
When the whole concreting process — from the quotations to excavations then pouring to curing — is done properly, you can bet that your concrete slabs will be more durable, weatherproof, and stronger. Preventive maintenance is the answer to enjoying your investment into concreting — for a long time. Not only do you ensure top performance, but you also add value to your home, which would last for decades.
With us, professional-standard quality is flexible and attainable, even on a budget. Give us a call today at (07) 3132 3788 for a free quote for your project (and next!) on your property. We offer our concreting services in Caboolture too!