Concrete is often seen as a simple aspect of any type of construction or remodel project. “It’s just adding water and pouring it where you want it, right?” There’s a lot of planning, prepping, and careful work that goes into laying concrete structures that look nice and last the long haul.
Our professionals go through a detailed process every time we use concrete in a project. The process helps ensure that you get the best looking product that we know will last you a lifetime. Before anything is mixed or poured, we craft a detailed plan for the concrete. The site for the concrete has to be prepared, cleaned, cleared and filled with the proper sub-base.
Once a plan is established and the site is prepped properly, we start the forming process. Forming provides the outline, or mold, for the concrete. In residential projects, forming usually means wood slabs. How these slabs are placed will determine the structure and depth of the concrete. Making sure everything lines up correctly for clean corners and no air bubbles is an important aspect of the forming section of the process.
Most people don’t know how many different kinds of concrete mixes there are to choose from. Different weights per square foot of concrete mix are best for certain projects, functions, and climates. A professional remodeling service can help walk you through the best concrete mix with expert knowledge on what will work best for your home. During the pouring process, air pockets have to be smoothed out for a clean and sturdy finished product. Then the curing begins.
The curing process actually takes around a month (28 days, usually) to be fully completed, with the first 48 hours being the most important. Properly curing your concrete can seem trivial, but it makes all the difference in the finished product and it’s durability. As soon as the concrete is poured and finished to your project’s specifications, a liquid chemical curing agent and sealing compound are applied to help eliminate cracking, curling, and discoloration, as well as ensuring a slow, even curing process. Though the full process takes 28 days, your concrete can withstand light weights like walking (or simple kitchen tasks if you’re using a concrete sink/countertop) after 3 or 4 days. Within a week, concrete is usually hardened enough to drive over or park on.