Concrete refers to a mixture of cement, aggregate and water. This mixture is used for flooring or making structures like pillars anchoring bridges. Concrete can only perform as expected if it is cured (controlling moisture loss as you allow the concrete to set) effectively. This article discusses why it is important to cure concrete properly. Use this information to be more careful regarding who you award a concreting job on your commercial or residential property.
The Concrete Reaches Its Full Strength
Concrete gains strength when cement is allowed to absorb moisture (hydrate) so that it bonds with the aggregate in the concrete mix. One of the conditions that facilitate this bonding is the presence of water. That is why contractors add water to the concrete mix. Contractors ensure that concrete cures fully by intervening to limit surface moisture loss in case the weather is too hot. For instance, they pour water on the surface of the newly poured concrete so that excessive moisture loss is averted. This allows the concrete to cure fully (to full strength). The resulting structure (like a floor) will be very strong (able to take heavy traffic) once the curing process is complete.
Proper Curing Improves Concrete Durability
Concrete that has fully cured is very durable. This is because the concrete has low porosity due to the limited air pockets within its structure. The moisture content in a concrete mix prevents air from increasing the porosity of the concrete. If curing takes place effectively, air will be kept out of the concrete. Consequently, the concrete will be more water resistant. If water does not get into the concrete, that concrete will last very long since it will not suffer from water damage (freeze-thaw cycles). That is why you should pick an experienced concrete contractor to pour your concrete so that it lasts for a very long time without cracking.
Properly Cured Concrete Is Esthetically Appealing
Fully cured concrete, especially polished concrete, has a shiny surface that is very attractive to look at. This is because the elements within the concrete (cement, aggregate and water) bind so effectively that the finished product has a glossy surface. This is in stark contrast to poorly cured concrete that has a dusty surface that is a visual turn off. If you would like your concrete surfaces to look attractive, ensure that the contractor you hire has the skills to cure the concrete fully.
Concrete only gains its full attributes after curing. It is for this reason that you should be very meticulous when choosing a concrete contractor so that you enjoy the benefits of fully cured concrete. For more information, contact a professional such as Armstrong Creek Concreting & Outdoor Constructions.