The concrete curing process - How to prepare new polished concrete for sealing
Curing is a process whereby one controls the loss of moisture from concrete after it has been put in place. Not curing your concrete properly is the solution to why concrete cracks when drying. There are 3 basic ways of curing concrete. The first way is by keeping the surface of the concrete moist. The second involves preventing the loss of moisture by covering it with polythene sheeting. The last way involves using a spray or roller to apply curing compounds.
Water curing can be divided into three categories. Ponding, sprinkling, and wet coverings.
Flat surfaces like floors can use this technique of curing whereby earth or sand dykes are placed around the perimeter of the concrete surface forming a ‘pond’ within that enclosed space.
Continuous sprinkling of water to keep your concrete moist is a very effective but somewhat labor-intensive way to keep your concrete moist. The water application should be in a fine mist and continuous - it should not dry out between applications to prevent crazing or cracking caused by concrete drying out.
1.2 Wet coverings
Wet hessian coverings are also a popular way to keep your concrete moist and should be put in place as soon as your concrete has hardened sufficiently so as not to cause any damage to the surface. Make sure you cover the entire surface, right to the edges. The wet covering should be perpetually moist so that there is a constant film of water on the surface of the concrete and can prevent premature concrete drying times.
Another simple and very effective way to cure your concrete and prevent loss of moisture to the surface is to use a 500 gauge (125-micron) polythene sheet. Make sure it’s fixed properly in place so that air and wind don’t get underneath and dry out your concrete. Once again, put this in place after the concrete has had enough concrete drying time so as not to cause any surface damage. This is not a good method for patterned or stamped concrete flooring though as it could discolor the surface.
Applying a curing compound like our eco-friendly Pentra-cure (MH) is also a great way to cure your concrete before the application of your polished concrete sealer. This unique solution forms a membrane on the surface that retains moisture for proper curing–while the densifier penetrates and creates an abrasion-resistant surface. Pentra-cure (MH) is an all-in-one treatment to not only cure your concrete but also harden and densify concrete with just one application. Pentra-Cure™ (MH) can save time and money during placement by replacing multiple products and processes with one, easy to use application. It is specifically designed for use on commercial and industrial concrete floors that need long-term protection against heavy wear and abuse.
Polished concrete sealer - Preserving the color, elegance, and quality of concrete flooring
To preserve the color and beauty of your concrete flooring we recommend Pentra-Finish HG after curing. It forms a protective microfilm that is hard yet breathable and so it won’t peel or flake–thus reducing maintenance and cleaning costs. The high gloss shine adds the perfect finish to any concrete floor.