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Old 06-03-2013, 08:23 AM   #16
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Help! Curing new concrete work


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Originally Posted by clambake6 View Post
I laid the towels down after the concrete had set, and I've kept them soaked for the last three days (they seem to retain the water well). Do you think a couple more days with the same method will do the trick?
That should be plenty of time, 3 days is ok, 4-5 is plenty, longer is even better if it's in an out of the way spot like a backyard patio and it doesn't matter if it's covered over with plastic or towels, but you'll be fine with 3-5 days.

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Old 06-03-2013, 10:31 AM   #17
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Help! Curing new concrete work


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Originally Posted by itsreallyconc View Post
... i do like the design of the steps, too - who's idea was that ? ? ?
The idea was mine. I just reproduced in concrete a structure I built when we bought the place 22 years ago.


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...your bride gets to re-towel your home
Yup...as I was frantically raiding the linen closet for towels a voice from the other room was saying that it looked like a trip to Crate & Barrel was in our future.
Come to think of it...that voice sounded pretty happy...
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:13 PM   #18
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Help! Curing new concrete work


Temperature is everything in curing. I used to do a lot of mil-spec work... (think 7 times normal cost)... and many of our slabs (some 5 feet deep with 8 to 10 layers of #8 steel in them) were required to have dozens of temperature recording heads poured into them, and the resulting story of the initial two-week curing time was recorded 24 hours a day on an automatic electronic graph.

If any of the temperatures were above the allowable limits, the slabs COULD be rejected..... and we would have to jack hammer them out, and start all over again.

Trust me... We DID NOT allow those temperatures to rise at all!
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:42 PM   #19
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wolfie, going to bow to your expertise re CO conc but here in GA, we regularly place 9" & 16" conc w/no plastic/wet cure - just curing compound,,, biggest reason there's no random cracking ? proper timing & placement of JOINTS !

IF anyone's thinking wet cure, burlap or straw's best w/lawn sprinklers,,, plastic sheeting's for rain,,, imo, it often ruins the finish & discolors the conc
Curing compound is a whole other ball of wax, Ive never used it.
Proper joints is good, though I have seen cracks between joints, just lousy concrete.
I would never use burlap or straw, those WILL leach out discoloring stains, but one the moisture is gone off the concrete and the surface is firm, laying clear plastic over it is not going to discolor it.

Joints don't prevent spalling, crumbling etc which is another whole issue, if the concrete doesnt cure properly it will be weak and spots that dried out too fast in the sun/wind, corners that were against bare wood forms etc arent going to cure right, and those will be the first to start crumbling or spalling.
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Old 06-03-2013, 02:19 PM   #20
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Help! Curing new concrete work


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I would never use burlap or straw, those WILL leach out discoloring stains,

I've never seen it happen from either, and especially the burlap, which has been used for decades, if not more than a century with good results.....

but one the moisture is gone off the concrete and the surface is firm, laying clear plastic over it is not going to discolor it.
It happens all the time with clear poly. How much concrete have you poured and actually covered with poly??
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:14 PM   #21
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Help! Curing new concrete work


Visqueen usually messes up concrete. Something about the way it lays seems to transmit lines and marks.

All I've ever found Visqueen good for with concrete is for lining the inside of forms. If you stretch it tightly and smoothly, stapling it on the backside (outside), the resulting concrete pour will come out almost like you polished the concrete. It works beautifully on white concrete on exposed lintels.
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:45 PM   #22
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It happens all the time with clear poly. How much concrete have you poured and actually covered with poly??
Ive always covered all concrete with clear plastic- a clean new sheet not one that was hanging around in the shed or once used to tarp over a firewood pile. Just citing flat slabs not footings or foundations I did the entire floor in my 1000 sq ft house (it was all dirt before) and the dog yard is about 24' x 15', and "sidewalks" around the house, and I cast concrete sculptures which are bagged in black palstic garbage bags for several days to cure. I've never seen any discoloration from even those garbage bags on the concrete casts.

I've poured enough concrete and work with it enough to justify having bought an electric mixer, that doesn't make me a concrete slab guru but I'm no amateur.

I don't see how clear, uncolored plastic can discolor anything, there's no dyes, printing, soy ink or anything else on it to transfer to anything.
Using burlap or straw certainly does contain substances that can disolve and discolor, so can leaves, but leaf stains I've seen on concrete usually wash away after a bit.
Obviously if one lays plastic over concrete that still has a trowelable surface you are going to get some odd surface smooth/rough and lines in it, that's why one has to wait till the water is gone off the surface and the surface has set- several hours to the next morning wait, but contractors can't sit around for 6-8 hours nor will they come back the next morning.
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:50 PM   #23
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the only time we used plastic was hgwy paving & those rolls were 26' wide mounted on a powered cart which straddled the pour & followed the paver,,, thankfully we never had to use it often as its a pita to saw contraction jnts then the cart guys get all bent out of shape the next morning picking up all the 20' x 26'pcs & trying to reroll them f 'em - they got paid to do just that

never saw a dot worry about plastic tracks, either
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:18 PM   #24
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Ive always covered all concrete with clear plastic- a clean new sheet not one that was hanging around in the shed or once used to tarp over a firewood pile. Just citing flat slabs not footings or foundations I did the entire floor in my 1000 sq ft house (it was all dirt before) and the dog yard is about 24' x 15', and "sidewalks" around the house, and I cast concrete sculptures which are bagged in black palstic garbage bags for several days to cure. I've never seen any discoloration from even those garbage bags on the concrete casts.

I've poured enough concrete and work with it enough to justify having bought an electric mixer, that doesn't make me a concrete slab guru but I'm no amateur.

I don't see how clear, uncolored plastic can discolor anything, there's no dyes, printing, soy ink or anything else on it to transfer to anything.
Using burlap or straw certainly does contain substances that can disolve and discolor, so can leaves, but leaf stains I've seen on concrete usually wash away after a bit.
Obviously if one lays plastic over concrete that still has a trowelable surface you are going to get some odd surface smooth/rough and lines in it, that's why one has to wait till the water is gone off the surface and the surface has set- several hours to the next morning wait, but contractors can't sit around for 6-8 hours nor will they come back the next morning.
Well if you've poured an entire 17 yards of concrete for yourself, then I'll have to step back and allow you to continue to offer your outstanding, highly experienced opine. You've obviously seen far more than I ever will, even though I've done this for a living for discriminating customers for more than 20 years................
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:48 PM   #25
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Well if you've poured an entire 17 yards of concrete for yourself, then I'll have to step back and allow you to continue to offer your outstanding, highly experienced opine.
Very good, I shall.


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You've obviously seen far more than I ever will, even though I've done this for a living for discriminating customers for more than 20 years................
The number of jobs or time spent making the same mistakes or carelessness because that's how it's always been done doesn't make something better though.
If you've gotten stains using poly and I have not, then obviously you are not doing it right and I must be, since I have never seen the stains on concrete I have poured.
There's things done at work that are wrong, but they don't change it because as someone is sure to say "We've always done it this way"
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:49 AM   #26
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Very good, I shall.


The number of jobs or time spent making the same mistakes or carelessness because that's how it's always been done doesn't make something better though.
If you've gotten stains using poly and I have not, then obviously you are not doing it right and I must be, since I have never seen the stains on concrete I have poured.
There's things done at work that are wrong, but they don't change it because as someone is sure to say "We've always done it this way"
Yeah, you're right, just disregard the experiences of four other contractors in this very thread that have all witnessed issues from laying poly first hand........
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:57 AM   #27
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maybe i'm wrong - you think wolfie's waiting till the conc has taken its initial ' set ' while many other guys cover when there's still bleedwtr showing/puddling ? if i'm reading his posts correctly, 1 cy's a big pour so i'd have him in the ' artisan ' group rather'n flatwork/vert contracting
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:48 PM   #28
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I don't see how clear, uncolored plastic can discolor anything,
http://indecorativeconcrete.com/?page_id=903
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:00 PM   #29
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another job for ' thinfinish '
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:01 PM   #30
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I don't see how clear, uncolored plastic can discolor anything,

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Point well made Oso.... but I caution everyone to remember the quote:

"You can't believe everything you read on the internet'' George Washington / President

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