So you bought a new home and everything was going well. Then one day, or evening rather, it is raining heavily outside and you just come back from work. You walk into the kitchen and notice that your freshly polished concrete is already soaked in water! What happened?
You open your front door to find out not only the floor of the entranceway is wet, but also the hallway leading to your bedroom and even in some cases, in your room itself! Oh no! Your nightmare begins. This is because there was so much rain in such a short period of time that water leaked through all parts of your house soaking almost everything inside. All this mess could have easily been avoided if only you had waterproofed the concrete before polishing it.
What is water damage?
Water damage is when moisture/water gets into your home, office, or building causing it to deteriorate. It also brings in unwanted guests like molds which can cause illnesses to the people living in that space. This happens because not all the walls are properly waterproofed and cracks have appeared, letting water in.
So why should you waterproof concrete before polishing?
Concrete is porous in nature so when left untreated, it will easily absorb whatever it comes in contact with including water. Water mixed concrete results in a higher chance of having cracks on your floor which would then lead to leaks. Leaks are the reason for most instances of water damage which cause permanent harm to your property if neglected.
Should you water fresh concrete?
It is not advisable to water fresh concrete for at least 3 days. However, it really depends on the mix design and its compressive strength. Also, the curing method and weather conditions should be considered in order to ensure that there’s no risk of ‘rainout.’
If you absolutely must water your freshly poured concrete, then wait 48 hours after finishing the pour before completing any kind of surface finishing work such as brushing or polishing. If you want to add color to your concrete flooring, then add only 5 percent by volume of thin-set or curing compound when you add water during watering-in procedures. This will help prevent potholes but don’t expect a lot of color depth contribution from the thin-set if using darker colors; we recommend using a color hardener for deep color contribution.
Only water your freshly poured co-concrete if absolutely necessary, like seepage of water up to 2 feet (0.6 meters). If there are excessive rains before the curing process is completed, you have no other choice but to air-dry the concrete by covering it with plastic or tarps that allow for maximum airflow. You can also use fans to speed up the evaporation process if you don’t want to cover the entire area being air-dried. However, not everyone has this luxury so be sure not to pour concrete during rainy seasons if possible.
Is it OK to rain on new concrete?
No, never. You should not pour concrete if it is raining heavily. The reason for this is that rainwater contains high levels of calcium which reacts with the cement paste and forms gypsum within 24 hours of exposure to water (wet curing). Gypsum is white or pink, with powdery spots on your concrete’s surface.
Please watch out for these signs during the pouring process to avoid water damage:
Excessive steam coming out of moist concrete Does not cure evenly even after 2 weeks Water oozes up from porous areas of the newly poured floor
Contact a water damage restoration professional immediately if your home/office has experienced flooding because it will be much more difficult to remove excess moisture in places that have been flooded. Flooded surfaces are very fragile because of the pressure exerted by the accumulated volume of water.
Please be safe and protect your home/office from any type of damage! Follow these tips to avoid water damage in concrete structures.