The Secrets to Smooth Concrete Surfaces
When working with concrete it is imperative to always have a smooth and consistent surface at the completion of any job. While this seems like an evident and completely self-explanatory truth, many people simply do not have the right knowledge to make sure that this becomes an actuality. That is why we are here to help enlighten and inform our readers about some of the expert tips and processes that can be used to ensure a pristine finish every single time. With just a few inside tips and the best machinery, you can be producing flawless concrete areas in no time at all.
Screed the Area
After laying down your cement, the first step in the process is to immediately screed and darby the surface area. Screeding is done with any instrument that has the features of a 2 x 4 plank, however it is recommended that it is completed with an actual screed. Screeding is done to roughly level out the surface and begin the process of creating smooth concrete, while also condensing the area.
Directly after leveling out the cement, you should next use a darby to sweep the area to fill small holes and level out marks left by screeding. Be careful not to overwork the surface area as this will create a weak surface.
Edge the Concrete
After using a darby to smooth out the surface you will observe water rising to the top of the surface where it will sit. This is completely normal and is called “bleeding out”, however you should wait until it dries before continuing on. If you were to continue before this process commences, the surface will ultimately end up weaker. You can test to see if the bleeding out has stopped by pressing your, gloved, thumb on the cement. If it creates only a quarter inch impression then you are ready to go. Once ready, use an edger to trace the perimeter of the slab and compact the corners.
Float and Trowel the Surface
Floating and troweling the cement will decide if your surface will ultimately end up smooth and consistent, or rough and porous. The penultimate step is floating the surface to remove marks created from edging the surface. For best results purchase a magnesium float for this stage. Sweep over the area to further compact the surface and remove marks left from earlier work. Make large arc motions with your float to reach the largest portion of cement and create the best finish.
The final step in creating a perfect surface is using a steel trowel to create even and smooth finish. You should first let the slab partially harden before holding the trowel almost flat, elevating the edge just a little bit, and swing in large overlapping arcs while applying pressure. You should lift the edge of the trowel after each complete movement across the entire surface.
Contact Vetner to receive more expert advice on how to complete perfectly smooth concrete finishes. With an amazing wellspring of knowledge and a wide range of different cement mix and tools, you will be sure to improve your concrete game in no time.