When you have a concreting service pour fresh concrete on your property, you may not think to ask how to take care of it once it's poured and as the years go by. Concrete is very durable but it's not indestructible, so it's vital that you know how to maintain it and keep its strength from being compromised after being poured. Note a few questions you might have about fresh concrete on your property and then be sure to cover these with your concreting service so your area lasts as long as possible and always looks its best.
What is curing and how long should it be done to fresh concrete?
Curing refers to putting something over fresh concrete to protect it and allow it to set; this might include straw, plastic, special blankets meant for concrete, and the like. This covering keeps out excess moisture that can soften the batch of concrete and also protects the surface from twigs, branches, and anything else that might make a permanent indentation.
The time period for curing concrete will vary according to the mixture, the depth of concrete, and even local weather conditions. Don't assume that the time your neighbor kept the plastic over their new concrete driveway is what your driveway needs, but check with your concrete pouring service for how long this curing should take place on your property.
How long before new concrete cracks?
All concrete cracks over time; it will absorb moisture and then expand, and then contract as it dries, causing cracks. Heavy traffic also puts pressure on it so that the surface eventually cracks. There is no "one size fits all" answer to this, but be sure to ask your concreter about how long fresh concrete should last. If it starts to crack before this, you might need to have your property graded or sloped to keep moisture from collecting under the concrete. You may have also opted for a very cheap mixture and depth of concrete that isn't strong enough to withstand your heavy caravan or other such wear and tear.
Ask how to clean the concrete
Concrete might have an aggregate, which is a material added to the surface to give it texture and color. Cleaning this with a stiff brush or certain chemicals might damage the aggregate, even though the chemicals say they're safe for concrete. Certain cleaning products might also damage painted concrete. To ensure your newly poured concrete looks good for years to come, ask about how to clean it and keep it looking fresh.