After your concrete construction has cured adequately, the next step is to finish the concrete and then seal it. These two processes go a long way in determining the appeal of the final construction, and its durability. That is why we look at the finishing and sealing process for concrete and how they are done.
There are several ways in which concrete can be finished in different ways beyond the natural dull grey that we find in abundance everywhere. There are two ways concrete can be cured; it can be done during the curing process when the concrete is still wet or after the concrete has cured and has already dried. The finishes can be in the form of colors, stains, patterns, textures, etc.
Color Finishes: color can be added to the concrete at the mixing stage or as a finish after the curing. When it is added as a finish, it can be in the form of stains or paints. When Stains are applied to cured concrete, the concrete still retains some of its dull look on the background, and the stains are just superimposed on it. But for paints, the dull concrete color is covered. Although any paint can be applied to concrete, there is special abrasion-free paint that is designed for concrete.
Clear Finishes: you can also go with clear transparent finishes that will not change the color of the concrete, although they might change its texture, shade, etc. Clear polyurethane spray is an example of finish that is commonly used for the finish in concrete construction. It gives the concrete a wet, slightly shiny look. Mineral oil is also used as a finish in some cases, and it gives the concrete a darker shade that can be exceptionally beautiful.
Why you should finish your concrete
It makes the concrete more even and smoother.
Finished concrete is easier to maintain and less vulnerable to damages.
It prevents dust from entering into the pores.
Concrete finishes are used to beautify concrete.
Finished concrete is more durable.
A more important type of clear finish material for concrete is a sealer. The essence of sealing concrete is to give concrete a wet look and is prevent staining and abrasion. This is because the concrete is porous and will absorb contaminants and stains and then release dust into the atmosphere. Two types of sealers are commonly used – topical and penetrating sealers.
Topical sealers usually improve the appearance of the concrete and also protect it. They are applied on the clean, dry surface of the concrete and often need reapplication after about five years. On the other hand, Penetrating Sealers are applied on both wet and dry surfaces and chemically bond with the concrete. They do not modify the concrete appearance.