What is Concrete Cure & Seal?
The estimates are in. Your Contractors listed several items that are included in your bid and you don’t even know what they are. This is the first of several blog articles to help you understand these items and decide if they are important to you. They will also help you to make a list of questions to ask Contractors with estimates that are vague and leave you wondering what is actually included.
Curing of the concrete is basically the time between mixing and when the concrete reaches it’s maximum strength. For 4” of concrete this is normally a 28 day cure. There are several different ways to assure proper curing of the concrete in the first few critical days. Here are just a few that are common around Tucson.
One method is to cover with plastic sheeting. This is a great way to assure the slow cure required to reach maximum strength. It is unfortunately impractical in most residential scenarios. The plastic leaves marks that are not exactly appealing to the eye. For a commercial scenario where strength overrides aesthetics it may be ideal.
Another way is to spray water on the slab with a hose or sprinkler. As long as timing is right this is a great way to cure. Unfortunately I have also witnessed what the wrong timing can do. If water is sprayed on the concrete when the surface is hot, the thermal cracking ruins your day pretty quickly. I’ll never forget that day. Water will also leave efflorescence stains which are particularly problematic in a colored concrete scenario.
The way we and many others choose to cure is with a clear cure and seal that is sprayed on right after finishing. The cure creates a breathable film at the surface of your slab that slows the evaporation of water. It hold the moisture at the surface just long enough to keep it from crazing
and paired with the moisture in the soil below assures proper curing of your project. As a rule of thumb we only find it completely necessary to apply cure & seal when the high temperature is over 85 degrees.
I hope this helps to clarify your estimate. Please check the blog for more articles that may be helpful. https://www.tucsoncustomconcretecontractor.com/blog/