The crew has been diligently working to get to this point. The pour went smooth, and they have groomed for far longer than you expected. Now it is finally finished and looks great! Is there anything you should do to make sure it stays that way?
Some Contractors recommend that you wet the surface for a few days to slow down the cure and assure the proper strength. This is a tried and true method for assuring top psi but it comes with risks.
In cooler parts of the year water curing most certainly isn’t required but if you have been instructed, use care when you first spray by sticking to a small section and watching closely to make sure the outermost layer isn’t peeling off or washing away. This is a common problem during the saw-cutting process as well. Concrete is all about timing and it takes years to figure out.
During the hot part of the year is when the big benefits and blunders can come into play. Even though it feels like your new slab needs you to come to the rescue with your spray nozzle in hand, it’s good to know a few rules ahead of time.
The slab should really not be sprayed while temperatures are on the rise. It is best to wait until later in the afternoon when temps are falling so the shock to the slab doesn’t result in thermal cracking. Unless your Contractor places a sprinkler on the slab and tells you to turn it on at certain times and for how long, it’s probably best if you tell them to handle the curing.
Now that you are nervous about the whole situation, here is the million-dollar question: Is wetting the concrete down even necessary at all? The chemicals, at least here in your Tucson AZ concrete, are extending cure times from the normal 28 days for a 4″ slab all the way to 56 days in order to improve strength.
Once the temps get over 80 degrees most reputable contractors will spray a product known as cure & seal on the surface of your concrete. The breathable sealer slows down the rate at which the moisture in the slab exits the concrete. A moist sub-grade below also helps slow things down.
We will never instruct our customers to spray water or anything else on new concrete. As a licensed Contractor it is our responsibility to provide a product with a warranty you can count on. Even if you didn’t hire us don’t hesitate to text me with any questions you have (520)288-2380. We are always looking for more blog material anyways.
Thanks for taking the time.