|Written by Bill Hanks|
I have laid concrete many times. When, I first started, I had to learn how to strike off wet concrete. I always thought that once it was poured. it would automatically smooth itself out because of the water content. I was wrong. This article will explain the skill of striking off concrete. Also called smoothing it out.
To strike off concrete, you need several tools. You need a smooth straight 2 by 4. It has to be long enough to go from one side to the other, of your concrete layout. Usually this is from form to form. You will need an edger, towel,large sponge and bucket of clean water.
When you use the 2 by 4, you will need a partner. Each of you must get on one side of your concrete layout. Starting on the high side, slowly start sliding the board back and forth across the layout. Be sure to use the narrow side of the 2 by 4. As you move the board in a sawing manner, you move the excess from the high to the low side of your forms. The excess might run over at the end. You need to do this process, until you see no rocks protruding through the top of the concrete surface.
Use your trowel to smooth off the corners are fill in low areas of the surface. Use the excess to do this, that is left over from striking with the 2 by 4 board. You shouldn't have to do large areas with your trowel.
Use your edger along your forms. When you remove the forms in a few days, it will make the job cleaner and easier.
The sponge can be used to really make a smoother area, if you need to do so. Just be sure to use a clean and wet sponge.
Use your bucket of clean water, to keep your tools clean as you work.
You can tell when your cement is done. It will have a smooth look to it. Try to avoid any ridges in your final product. Ridges are removed by continuous striking with the 2 by 4 board.
Note; Always make sure that your concrete forms are super strong on the outside, with strong braces. Concrete takes several days to set up. It takes about two weeks to get all the green (moisture) out of it.