Find out simple tips on how to prevent concrete discoloration.
Concrete discoloration can impact the overall appearance of any sidewalk. An inconsistent concrete color can project an impression of poor maintenance and reduce the curb appeal of a commercial property. Understanding why concrete can change colors and learning tips on how to resolve this problem can keep your property looking great while also saving you a lot of time.
Here are some tips on how to avoid concrete discoloration.
The initial step towards preventing discoloration in concrete is maintaining consistency from batch to batch. Any variations in the setting time, materials used, or water-cement ratios can lead to discoloration.
For example, when laying a concrete slab, it’s critical to avoid swapping cement from a different source or using a different brand of fly ash or recycled material. These issues can all lead to disparities resulting in a darker color. The ASTM standards can be a helpful guide for maintaining a consistent mix.
Steer Clear of Calcium Chloride
The practice of adding calcium chloride to your concrete mix may be the cause of dark spots. A simple way to avoid dark spots is to opt for non-chloride accelerators that won’t compromise your concrete’s appearance.
Timely Finishing is Crucial
One common mistake is rushing or prematurely starting the finishing process, which can result in lighter-colored concrete. It’s recommended to allow at least 15 minutes after the bleeding water has evaporated before you start the finishing process.
Smart Use of Curing Compounds
Using a curing compound can result in a uniform concrete color. But if you choose to use plastic sheets, make sure they’re made of non-staining material. These compounds help to retain the necessary moisture for correct concrete curing, thereby reducing the risk of discoloration.
Stick to Proper Mixing Procedures
The right concrete mixture is instrumental in preventing discoloration. Overmixing can lead to segregation and eventual discoloration. Following correct mixing procedures is vital, which is why it’s a good idea to work with a professional. It’s worth noting that concrete discoloration often happens due to the wrong mixture.
Use Admixtures with Caution
Admixtures such as calcium chloride and diammonium citrate can lead to color inconsistencies in the concrete. Always seek professional advice before using any of these products.
Balance Water to Cement Ratio
An imbalanced water-cement ratio is a significant contributor to concrete discoloration. A high ratio can cause a lighter color, while a low ratio can result in a darker shade. Striking a perfect balance is crucial for color consistency.
Why Keeping Your Concrete Well-Maintained is Important
Successful business owners and managers realize the value of maintaining visually pleasing commercial spaces. Taking the additional time to make sure that your concrete and asphalt surfaces are in prime condition showcases your commitment to quality and attention to detail.
Final Thoughts: Discoloration of Concrete Causes and Remedies
Discoloration typically occurs due to inconsistent batching and suboptimal curing practices. Environmental conditions and the use of calcium chloride can also lead to varying shades of concrete.
Consistency in the concrete mix is key to avoiding problems. An accurate water-to-cement ratio is also important to limit the chance of discolored concrete. The concrete should be cured appropriately using a curing compound or non-staining plastic sheets.
Why You Should Hire Professionals for Concrete Installation
Trying to prevent concrete discoloration on your own can often be difficult, especially if you don’t have much experience. Working with a local paving and sealcoating company that provides concrete installation and maintenance is always recommended for the best results.
PLS offers concrete services for businesses and commercial properties throughout the Tampa Bay area. Our team can easily install concrete while making sure you are pleased with the results. We also provide asphalt sealcoating, parking lot maintenance, and drainage services.
The PLS team is always here if you have any questions or need professional services. Whether you require concrete installation, maintenance, or asphalt paving, our experienced team will bring years of expertise and exceptional professionalism to your project. Our sealcoating services are also an ideal solution for preserving the appearance of your asphalt parking lot.
Feel free to contact PLS to learn more about using our concrete services for your business or commercial property!