Concrete work can be quite challenging if you have little experience. The tools that are required and the composition needed to create a real professional finish can be quite tricky. If it’s a complicated situation, there are numerous experienced concrete contractors in Buffalo where you can seek help or advice for your concrete work.
Here is an in-depth discussion of how to achieve a professional concrete finish and tips from professionals.
Some basic tools and materials that you need to purchase for starting any concrete work include the following:
- Concrete Mix: There are different types of concrete mixes. Each mix has a specific grading and use.
- Bucket: Look for a five-gallon bucket as this is preferred to mix the concrete evenly.
- Concrete Mixer: Electric concrete mixers will help you get the job done. For larger jobs, a towable concrete mixer or wheelbarrow mixer is more preferred.
- Concrete Trowels: A long trowel for leveling or a straight one measuring 2×4 is preferred. However, it should be long enough for the job.
- Bull Float: Flattening the edges requires a bull float or darby.
- Hand Float: For a perfectly smooth and flat surface a magnesium float works best
- Edging Tool: Edging tool makes the edges more finessed.
- Straight Edge Or Snap Line: It is used to create straight lines before making edges.
- Grooving Tool: Grooving tool helps prevent concrete cracking and gives a finished appearance.
- Concrete Dye: Depending on your preference, you can get the concrete dye.
- Concrete Or Broom Brush: Smooth concrete surfaces can cause you to slip or fall. Creating texture with a concrete brush helps prevent accidents.
However, getting the right tools and equipment is the first part of the process; doing the job well is the next step. Here are some tips from professionals to help you with your concrete project:
Choose And Prepare The Concrete Mix
Concrete has different grading which determines its strength and composition; hence choosing the right mix is very important. Some concrete can handle higher temperatures than the others as some will have more weight. For example, a concrete mix labelled with 3,000 PSI is used for sidewalks or driveways, but for heavier loads, 4,000 PSI is a better option. Measure and mix the concrete carefully as instructed for you to enjoy the best results. Excess water in the concrete mix can cause cracks in the future as it will evaporate and cause shrinkage. Here is a guide for making home-made concrete.
Choose The Right Trowel Size
The concrete trowel has different types. They may vary in size and have a specific use. You need to be fast while working with concrete; hence the right type of trowel will allow you to achieve a professional finish. For small projects or corner poured concrete, a manual towel is preferred. For concrete slabs of up to 1000 square feet, a concrete trowel of 24 to 26 blades is preferred. However, for smoothing the surface, you can use a combined blade. For projects with a surface greater than 1000 square feet, a ride-on concrete trowel is preferred. It will do a quick job and will leave you with enough time before the concrete hardens.
As a beginner, knowing when to trowel is very important. You can ruin the concrete job by trowelling in the wrong way. These mistakes will cause the water to rise above the surface, creating a dusty, tainted and cracked surface. Weather also plays a huge role, as concrete sets quicker in the hot weather of Buffalo. So, working at a speed that is appropriate for the weather is important.
Water in the concrete can rise to the surface, causing the surface to become dusty, white and cracked. Work the water into the concrete with the right-sized trowel to incorporate the water right back into the mixture. It will prevent the water from evaporating, which will reduce the chances of cracks in concrete.
Protect Your Concrete
Applying a sealant will help restore the finish. It should be applied right after it is dried and cured. A high-quality sealant will protect the concrete for at least three years. It will protect the concrete from surface damage, corrosion, and staining. Sealant blocks the pores in the concrete from absorbing water and salts, which will stop these materials from passing and cause damage.
Home improvement projects with concrete are not difficult when you have the right tools and the right professionals to guide you through the work. After conducting the necessary research and following some important tips, you can also achieve a professional concrete finish.