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Use Concrete Guard as a curing agent for new concrete! Print E-mail
When concrete is 'drying' it is a chemical reaction that provides the strength of the concrete, not the evaporation of water.  Curing is the maintaining of satisfactory moisture content and temperature in concrete.  Curing begins after placement and finishing so that concrete may develop the desired strength and hardness.

If concrete dries out too quickly, the water required for the chemical reaction will no longer be present and as an end result the concrete will be too weak.

Temperature is also a factor in the curing of concrete.  This is not only because the rate of evaporation depends on the temperature, but also because it alters the speed at which a chemical reaction can occur.  For this reason the fresh concrete can not be too cold (as it will take too long to cure) and can't be too hot (water evaporation occuring before curing takes place).  In desert regions it is not uncommon for tradesmen to only place fresh concrete in the evening to slow down the rate of evaporation.

An additional factor is the level of wind, as it can also cause the rapid drying of the concrete.

Why cure?

Concrete needs to be cured to achieve its maximum strength.  Concrete in a dry environment can lose as much as 50% of its strength compared to concrete which is moist cured.   Also, concrete placed under dry conditions will gain early strength quickly, but will suffer from a reduced final strength.  Concrete placed in cold weather takes longer to gain strength, resulting in a delay before form work can be removed and construction continuing.

Cured concrete has improved durability, especially for non-air-entrained concrete that has been exposed to cold conditions during construction.  It also has a better surface hardness and is much more water tight.

It also has better serviceability and appearance, with reduced crazing, dusting and scaling.  Concrete that has dried too quickly will have a softer surface that has poor resistance to wear and gives off dust too easily.

How to Cure

There are a number of methods used to ensure the moisture and temperature are correct for the proper curing of concrete.  These include thermal blankets for colder climates, coverings to protect from excessive wind, continuous sprinkling with water (not allowing the concrete to dry out between sprinklings) or the use of damp earth / sand / sawdust to cover the concrete.  Liquid membranes may also be used to trap in moisture.

A lot of these methods should not be used for concrete where appearance is important.  Sawdust can result in tannin stains, using earth/dirt is self explanatory and plastic sheeting will make dark streaks wherever a wrinkle or fold mark touches the concrete.

Concrete Guard can be used as a curing agent for concrete as it can be applied on the same day as the concrete has been placed.  No additives are required.  As soon as there is no bleeding or pooling of water on the surface of the concrete, you are ready to apply.

Same day application makes Concrete Guard better choice than other sealers available on the market.  By applying straight away you minimise the chances of surface contamination by on-site materials such as timber off-cuts.  Most other sealers require you to either wait anywhere from 14 to 28 days or perform alkalinity or moisture level tests before application.

Apply Concrete Guard in the usual manner with a slight moistening of the surface with water, followed by the application of Concrete Guard itself.  Do this in accordance with the instructions on the label.

Concrete Guard will give a penetrating seal of the surface whilst still allowing the concrete to 'breathe', meaning that moisture can still escape from the concrete.  This rate of evaporation, however, is much lower compared to unsealed concrete and this in turn allows the concrete to cure properly.

The application of Concrete Guard is touch dry in as little as 20 minutes and heating blankets (to assist curing temperature in colder climates) can then be applied if required.

The Concrete Guard benefit

By far the best benefit from using Concrete Guard for curing is that you capture the look of your concrete in its most pristine condition with minimal preparation work required before sealing.

One of the exceptional properties of Concrete Guard is that it can be applied the same day to fresh concrete.  (Just make sure that any surface water is no longer present.)  When Concrete Guard is applied at this stage of the concrete curing process, it then additionally acts as a curing agent.