The Art of Concrete Series

We’ve consulted with the client on their photo studio infinity look and prepared the site in earlier posts on the Art of Concrete.  The final phase is pouring the concrete.

While concrete is poured

Color fillers are added on-site prior to the pour.  The bags are literally thrown full into the hopper to fully mix with the concrete.  The additive should not be applied to a single layer or after the pour as that can prevent an even color.

As the concrete is poured, concrete technicians use rakes to distribute the mix and even out temperature. Tools called screeds and floats are used to level ridges, fill voids, and scrape away excess cement.  Masonry trowels are the primary tool to mix and smooth the cement. The concrete can also be shaped, such as to add a slope down to an entrance or provide drainage after cars are washed.  As sections of the floor are finished, a steel finishing trowel can be used for a smooth texture. This trowel helps bring water to the surface.

When the truck goes, the concrete team stays

Concrete is far from done when pouring is completed. Concrete can take from a few to several hours to “finish” after the pour.  Finishing is the process of creating a concrete surface for the desired texture, smoothness, and durability. Finishing time depends on the concrete volume and surface area, the temperature and humidity, and anyadditives like an accelerator.

As the concrete dries, the internal temperature rises.  The concrete crew stays and continues to work the concrete until it’s finished.  They  occasionally mist the surface with water and groom the concrete to maintain consistency, height, and shape.

Finished but not done

While concrete may be finished in under a day, it’s still undergoing physical changes. This process of curing is what determines its final strength and durability.  Concrete should be sprayed with water a few times a day for a week after finishing for best curing.

Concrete sets in 24 to 48 hours at which time you can walk on it.  It’s partially cured within a week and generally fully cured in 28 days.