Top Tips After Laying Concrete

June 6, 2024

You’ve measured the area, mixed your concrete, compacted the earth, and poured your new concrete floor. 

But, the question is, how do you care for your newly laid concrete flooring? From whether you need to water your concrete, to preventing cracks, the top tips from our team of concrete contractors are here to help you keep your concrete floor looking brand new. 

How do you care for newly poured concrete?

Whilst you might think that freshly poured concrete flooring requires minimal care, taking the proper steps to look after your new flooring is essential to ensure its longevity and durability. As concrete specialists, we understand the importance of proper care and maintenance to avoid cracks and damage, as this will save you time and money in the long run. 

One of the first key steps in caring for your newly poured concrete floor is allowing it sufficient time to cure. Curing is an important process where the concrete mix hardens and gains strength - essential for keeping your floor level and sturdy suitable for building structures. This process typically takes around 28 days for concrete to fully cure, but the first 7 days are critical. 

During the first week after laying your concrete mix, it is very important to protect it from extreme weather conditions, such as freezing temperatures or excessive heat.

Another crucial aspect of caring for newly poured concrete is to avoid placing any heavy objects or applying excessive pressure on it during the curing period. Whilst the concrete may look dry to the untrained eye, this can cause cracks or damage to the surface that will ultimately lengthen the process of waiting for your new floor to be ready. We’d also avoid walking on the concrete for at least 24 to 48 hours after pouring, to allow it to set properly.

How do you protect concrete?

To ensure further protection, it is recommended that you apply a sealer once the concrete floor has fully cured. The right sealer will protect the concrete from stains, moisture, marks and any other potential damages. It will also make it stronger, ensuring longevity. There are a number of different types of sealants available on the market, so it’s important to choose one that is suitable for the specific needs of your concrete floor. 

If you’re not sure which sealant is best for your concrete floor, our team of concrete specialists offer a grind and seal service for concrete floors - with commercial services offered both locally around the North West, and across the rest of the country including London. 

Proper cleaning and maintenance are also essential in caring for your newly poured concrete floor. Regular sweeping or vacuuming of the surface will help to remove dirt and debris that can lead to abrasion or stains. When cleaning your concrete floor, make sure to avoid using harsh chemical cleaners, as they can damage the concrete. Instead, opt for a mild detergent mixed with water for routine cleaning. 

Should you water concrete after it is poured?

One commonly asked question we get is whether or not concrete should be watered after it is poured. The answer is yes, watering your concrete floor after it has been poured is beneficial, as it slows down the drying process, which allows for better curing in the long run. 

Watering your concrete is especially important in hot and dry weather conditions where the concrete might dry too quickly, leading to cracks and weakened structural integrity.

In warm conditions, we’d recommend watering the concrete for at least seven days after it is poured. This can be done by lightly sprinkling water on the surface two to three times a day. 

When watering your concrete floor, avoid overwatering, as this can lead to other problems such as surface scaling. We’d also recommend ensuring that the water penetrates evenly and does not create puddles or standing water on the surface, as this can cause damage.

How do you get a perfect concrete finish?

Not poured your concrete yet, and looking for top tips for getting that perfect finish? 

To achieve a professional finish, the first step is to ensure that the concrete mix is of high quality and is properly proportioned. Take care to use the right amount of cement, aggregates and water and mix thoroughly, to achieve the desired strength and workability from your concrete.

After pouring your concrete, use the right tools and techniques to achieve a smooth and even finish. Using a bull float will level the surface and remove any excess water - and further smoothing can be achieved by using a darby or a magnesium float. 

To achieve a perfect finish, pay attention to the finer details, such as the edges, and ensuring that any joints or seams are properly sealed. We’d also recommend protecting your concrete from drying too quickly by covering it with plastic sheeting, or using curing compounds. 

As you will want to ensure the longevity and visual appearance of your concrete, regular cleaning and sealing is also necessary to prevent the surface from stains and damage. If your concrete does crack, make sure to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage that can impact the structural integrity of your floor. 

How do you stop concrete from cracking?

A simple way to prevent your concrete floor from cracking is to make expansion cuts in the concrete. These are purposefully created cuts that allow the concrete to expand and contract in response to changing weather conditions and temperature. By making expansion cuts, the stress on the concrete is minimised, reducing the risk of cracks occurring. 

If you’re looking for diamond drilling contractors near you, look no further than our team of specialists. We offer expansion cutting and concrete grinding and sealing to help maintain your concrete floor and achieve a professional finish easily. 

Our team of professionals is experienced in handling commercial concrete cutting, diamond drilling and sawing projects. With our expertise and state-of-the-art equipment, we can ensure precise and accurate expansion cuts that will help to prevent your concrete from cracking. 

Though we’re based in Warrington, North West, we’re proud to offer our commercial services nationwide, and our domestic services across the North West, East Midlands and North Wales. 

So, please don’t hesitate to chat to us today if you’ve got a project in mind.