8 Reasons Contractors Rely on DAY1 for Better Concrete Finishing

Experienced contractors are all too familiar with the challenges of finishing a concrete slab. Several factors can affect how quickly concrete cures. Examples include high winds, high temperatures, and humidity levels. These unavoidable hurdles can lead to various surface issues like shrinkage cracking, checking, scaling, or crazing. 

Apply DAY1 using a low-pressure pump sprayer. Use either a fan tip or a cone tip for even spraying. Automatic low-pressure sprayers can also be used for larger projects.

To combat these common finishing issues, more and more contractors are using Brickform’s DAY1 concrete finishing aid. Applied during the floating and troweling stage, this easy-to-use finishing product lubricates the surface, making finishing a concrete slab more efficient. 

Not only does DAY1 improve the finishing process—it also enhances the overall performance of the concrete surface. Here are eight reasons contractors rely on DAY1 for their concrete finishing:

1. Extends workability.

Even when it’s hot, dry, and windy, DAY1 hydrates the concrete, reducing surface evaporation. This gives contractors extended working time to finish their slab before it hardens.

Add multiple applications as needed throughout the finishing process. Spray DAY1 onto the concrete before bull-floating and before your first and second passes. Application rates range from 500-1,000 square feet a gallon. 

2. Easy to apply.

DAY1 can be applied with a low-pressure pump sprayer using a fan or cone tip for even spraying. For larger projects, contractors can use automatic low-pressure sprayers or even apply it using the water tanks of a ride-on trowel. 

3. Doesn’t require removal.

DAY1 is worked into the slab, so there’s no membrane or residue to remove from the surface. It becomes part of the concrete, so using it doesn’t require an additional step.

4. Minimizes contractor fatigue and wear of equipment.

DAY1 produces concrete paste which lubricates the surface of the slab resulting in less wear on equipment. Using DAY1 produces more cream and makes the cream easier to work with. As James Terell of Terrell Construction Services in Charlotte, North Carolina, says about DAY1: “It makes the best cream—it’s easier to finish.”

5. Decreases several common issues that occur during curing.

Since the surface of the concrete doesn’t prematurely set, slab curling, plastic shrinkage cracking, checking, crazing, and scaling are significantly reduced. DAY1 also aids in the prevention of Alkali-Silica Reaction (ASR). 

6. Doesn’t throw off the water-cement ratio.

Because of its colloidal silica properties, which hydrate the concrete, DAY1 eliminates the need for contractors to add water to the surface which often leads to surface failure. Using this product does not alter the water-to-cement ratio. 

7. Enhances the overall performance of the slab.

In addition to reducing surface failure, the improved finishing process leads to a stronger concrete slab, increasing surface compressive strength by 20 to 30 percent.

Here’s the DAY1 test data:
Scaling Resistance: 70% improvement, 50 cycles (ASTM C672)
Freezing and Thawing: 85% resistance improvement (ASTM C666)
Abrasion Resistance: 35% improvement (ASTM C779)

8. Minimizes efflorescence.

Due to DAY1’s hydrating properties, the evaporation of bleed water is controlled during the curing process. DAY1 helps retain moisture in the slab resulting in improved curing of the concrete. 

FAQs About Finishing Concrete and DAY1

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about the basics of how to finish concrete.

What is concrete finishing?

Concrete finishing is the final step in the process of pouring a new concrete slab. First, the contractor will screed the concrete to remove excess concrete and create a level surface. Next, they use a bull float to level any ridges left by the screed. And to “close up the surface”, they will give it a smooth trowel finish, add a texture or broom finish, or apply decorative patterns.

Typically, they also use an edging tool to clean up any necessary edges. They may use other concrete finishing tools during this step.

There’s a lot to do during the finishing process, which is why DAY1 comes in handy for so many contractors. It gives them more time to properly complete their concrete finishing techniques.

How long do you let concrete sit before finishing?

Timing depends on many factors. But often the concrete finishing process begins almost immediately after the concrete is poured and the bleed water has dissipated. 

Is concrete finishing easy?

Although it’s a straightforward process, finishing concrete is not considered an “easy” task—mostly because you need to complete the work while the concrete is still plastic enough to work with. That’s why many contractors turn to DAY1 to maximize their working time. Plus, DAY1 aids in the bull-floating process by lubricating the surface, making it easier to close up. 

Can DAY1 be used with color?

Absolutely, DAY1 is perfect for integral colored concrete as it does not alter the consistency or shade of the color. DAY1 can also aid in the application of shake-on hardeners like Brickform Color Hardener.

When do I apply DAY1?

Apply DAY1 anytime during the finishing process. This includes before you bull float and during the finishing process. 

Are there any downsides to using DAY1?

If you do not work DAY1 into the concrete while it is still in its plastic state, it can leave a white residue on the surface. If you run into this problem, spray some more DAY1 onto the surface and work it in. This will eliminate the white residue. 

What makes DAY1 different than a traditional evaporation retarder?

DAY1 is meant to be worked into the surface while evaporation retarder is designed to be left untouched. Evaporation retarder leaves a membrane on the surface of the concrete reducing the amount of evaporation and is not designed to be worked into the surface. 

DAY1 is designed to be sprayed and worked into the concrete during the finishing process. As it’s worked in, DAY1 produces cream which lubricates the surface allowing for extended workability and ease of finishing.

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