Once you have installed your cement forms and ordered your ready-mix concrete delivery, then it is vital that you know how to properly finish your new concrete walkway. With proper finishing, your path will look wonderful and last for many decades. If you have never finished concrete before, then you should know that it is a fairly simple process as outlined below:
Smooth Out the Cement's Surface to Sink the Aggregate Down and Rise the Sand to the Top
As soon as your cement is poured into the forms for your new walkway, you need to smooth it out using a flat piece of spare lumber. Smoothing out the cement isn't only for cosmetic reasons, it is a necessary step in the process of correctly curing concrete for future durability. As you move the board across the surface of the wet cement, it pushes down the aggregate in the mix and brings up sand to the top. This makes the walkway look nicer and it makes it stronger once it has finished curing.
Cut Regular Grooves into the Walkway
After you smooth out the cement surface, then use a groove cutting tool to cut regularly spaced grooves in to the walkway. The grooves will prevent cracking in the future as the path ages in the elements.
Create a Non-Slip Surface Using a Push Broom
To add a non-slip surface to your new concrete walkway, you can use a push broom. The bristles of the broom are strong enough to cut small grooves in the surface of your concrete walkway that will add adequate traction when the path is wet.
Set the broom down on one end of the walkway and push it gently down over the path to rough-up the surface. When you are finished, make sure you wash the cement out of your broom or it will be ruined.
Cover and Keep the Walkway Moist for the Most Durability When it Cures
Finally, concrete that has a longer cure time will be stronger and more durable over the years. You can increase the cure time of your new walkway by covering it with plastic sheeting and keeping it moist for the first week while it is curing in place. Sprinkle the path twice each day with water from your garden hose and then put the plastic back over it. After the week has ended, remove the cover and let the walkway dry in the sunshine
If you are struggling to do this on your own, contact your local concrete contractors like S&W Concrete before going too far.