It may only be March but, for most of the country, unseasonable weather means Summer is practically here. For concrete finishers, that means two things. First, it’s time to start working. Second, it’s going to get hot and finishing is going to get more difficult. It’s ironic – conditions that allow you to place and finish concrete make it harder to place and finish concrete. DAY1 exists to save your tired back and ease your worries when the slab starts getting crusty.
To understand how DAY1 works, you need to understand the reaction that is taking place inside concrete. Basically, Calcium silicate hydrate (C-S-H) reacts with water to harden and bind the materials. A byproduct of this is Calcium Hydroxide, known as lime. DAY1 introduces colloidal silica – a very pure form of silica particle suspended in liquid – that hooks up with the lime to form more C-S-H. Simply put, DAY1 turns the byproduct lime into more cement paste. This has a number of effects we will discuss below.
It’s not often you’ll find us talking about non-decorative, uncolored concrete. However, DAY1 is a great tool in your arsenal for flatwork. The single biggest benefit of DAY1 is easier finishing, which is something anyone can appreciate! All that extra cement paste slicks off the surface of the concrete, reducing drag and making it easier to move your trowel, float, and other finishing tools. Some finishers say it’s like motor oil because it lubricates so well. This extra cement paste also gives you a little extra time to finish, which comes in handy when it’s hot, windy, or you just get behind schedule.
Added water can make colored concrete blotchy. Some admixtures can also negatively affect your color. Even when it’s still flatwork, adding color means you have to be more careful with how you treat your concrete. DAY1, will not adversely affect the color. That means you can use DAY1 for all of the same reasons as you would with gray flatwork – easier finishing and extended working time – without worrying about what will happen to the color.
Stamping is all about timing. Poor timing – too early or too late – can ruin your stamp job. DAY1 gives you a bit more flexibility because it extends that working time. If your slab starts crusting up too soon and you haven’t started stamping yet, DAY1 can give you the little extra time you need. DAY1 also helps when using Color Hardeners. It can help wet out the hardeners, even in low bleedwater environments.
Power Troweled Surfaces
DAY1 makes an excellent aid for power troweling and hard steel troweling. By lubricating the surface and creating more C-S-H, DAY1 makes it easier to trowel the surface and reduces wear and tear on equipment, tools, and operators. The additional cement paste also makes for a smoother, denser surface. For this reason, DAY1 is also great as a precursor to the polishing process. Use DAY1 when placing and finishing concrete, prior to polishing. By increasing the density of the concrete, you are also creating a harder wearing surface that is less prone to checking, crazing, and scaling and has a higher surface compressive strength.
Apply DAY1 during the finishing process for easier finishing. Even if you don’t plan on using it on a job, keep some DAY1 on the truck as a safety net, just in case the slab starts getting away from you. With effective application rates, as a finishing aid, between 500 and 1000 square feet per gallon, it costs next to nothing to use, but it can make all the difference.