Sidewalks and small slabs need grooves about every 4 ft. Add grooves every 10 or 12 ft. on driveways and garage slabs. ", "Enlightened me on the basics of concrete pouring. It gains most of its strength in about 7 days, and will be fully cured in about a month. As with previous tools, lift the leading edge of the tool. It's not necessary for sidewalks, but I would. Screeding levels the concrete with the top of the forms and begins the process of forcing the larger aggregate below the surface. I usually just use my hands with plastic gloves on to do this. After smoothing the slab with the darby, water will “bleed” out of the concrete and sit on the surface (Photo 3). You can cut 12" re-bars and embed them (3-4") into your old pad in the center (height) and 2' apart. Use a sawing motion to pull and push the 2x4 across the concrete as you move it down the length of the forms. Wet rubbing is accomplished on green concrete by a slow speed grinding wheel or disc, at the same time applying water. How do I make it smooth? Choose a water-based or solvent-based concrete sealer and follow the manufacturer's instructions when applying it. Test by pressing your gloved thumb onto the surface near the perimeter. The basic steps for finishing concrete are: After pouring the concrete let the concrete firm up enough so you can only press your fingers into the surface about 1/4 of an inch. Fill a bucket with water and 1 tbsp. Roll the stripper on and leave it to work as … Don't use too much water, but at the time same time, work the tool to create a smooth finish. Wait three days before allowing vehicle traffic. mag float helps smooth out concrete when it is softer, it brings a finer cream or paste to the surface and prepares the surface for hand troweling. Lay the concrete … Keep it moist for a week or longer if you can. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer) as we strive to provide site experiences for browsers that support new web standards and security practices. I'd always use it for a driveways or patios. Wet concrete on skin can cause everything from mild redness to third-degree, permanently disfiguring chemical burns. Why the Finish Matters. Your finish affects the texture and durability of your concrete. On your first finishing pass, use a mag float to smooth the surface. Blend in the marks left by the edges of the edger and groover. On each successive pass, lift the leading edge of the trowel a little more. You can use a concrete blade for your skill saw. Typically, common type forms can be removed within 24 hours to 48 hours. Can the finish be fixed? You may have to bear down on the float if the concrete is starting to harden. Dip the broom into a bucket of water, then shake off the excess (not onto the concrete). If you want a rougher, non-slip surface, you can skip this step and do a broom finish (Photo 8). This won’t smooth the surface to the glass like finish that the wet polisher will but it will give the concrete a nice honed finish. Then, use an edging tool to tidy up the edges and corners of your concrete by moving in a back-and-forth motion as this will make the concrete more durable. % of people told us that this article helped them. They're much cheaper than diamond blades. Avoid using a square float, as it will make smoothing out the concrete more difficult. Rinse wet concrete from your skin immediately and remove clothes that have become saturated with concrete. ", "Needed to know about setting and drying out concrete, also sealing it. information is exactly what I need to aid me in this endeavor. Longer darbies may require two handles for better control. Check the forms for level (¼ inch for every 12 feet is sufficient to allow for rain run-off). For a really smooth finish, repeat the troweling step two or three times, letting the concrete harden a bit between each pass.  X Research source Confirm your decision with a professional before tamping. What is the time element between stage 2 and 3 of the finishing process? of dish soap. This can be bought online. The salt finish concrete surface is obtained by inserting coarse rock salt crystals using … Use a medium stiff or stiffer shop broom (the wide rectangular kind). Try to finish this process before any "bleed water" leaks out onto the concrete's surface. A. Patio and … This article received 21 testimonials and 93% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. According to the Portland Cement Association, regular concrete is made up of a mixture of cement, water and aggregates. Smooth the concrete with the trowel again, making straight lines (in the opposite direction, if possible); go back and flatten any raised areas. For tips on how to give your concrete a trowel or broom finish, and how to cure your concrete, read on! You got a contractor who doesn't know how to pour or finish concrete. At first, hold the trowel almost flat, elevating the leading edge just enough to avoid gouging the surface. Polished concrete floors are similar to a basic concrete slab that you might find in a basement or garage, but they have a different finish. Overworking the concrete will draw too much cement and fine sand to the top and create a weak surface. ", "Very informative and concise; to the point.". If the concrete becomes too hard and dry to finish properly, throw additional water onto its surface. Whether you have cracks, chips or just a stained concrete slab, Thinset helps cover the old surface and create a new problem-free area. Very helpful. Slightly lift the leading edge to create a smaller cutting edge of contact, lifting the tool toward you when pushing and away from you while pulling. The groove creates a weakened spot for the crack to form where it won’t be seen. If your concrete has already started to dry and crack, use a dry-cut saw that can cut to the desired depth. If the edger is leaving a path deeper than about 1/8 in., wait for the concrete to set a little longer and apply less downward pressure. After that, start at the edge again and pour the 10' wide section using the freshly poured center strip as one of your guides. Wait until this “bleed” water and sheen disappear entirely before edging, jointing or floating the concrete. Finish by cutting grooves at intervals in your concrete before it dries to reduce the risk of cracking in the future. Move the magnesium float back and forth in overlapping arcs until the whole surface has been covered twice. (Be careful using the freshly poured strip so as not to sink into it and end up with bumpy concrete). Try to find a rental yard that lens out the more expensive tools if you're only doing one or two projects. 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