Ensure communication between the ready-mix operator/GC/finisher/applicator/ manufacturer’s representative. Hold a pre-pour meeting.
Communicate F(f) and F(l) requirements with your ready-mix operator and concrete finisher so that they can make adjustments for proper finishing time. An F(f) rating of 50 should be used as a minimum benchmark.
Insist on 4,000 psi, non-air entrained concrete whenever possible.
Discuss finishing requirements – hand trowel vs. power trowel, metal or plastic blades, curing procedures.
Any areas that are hand troweled require special attention! Hand troweling normally leaves a very porous and un-flat finish. All hand troweling must be a “burned” tight finish.
Educate your general contractor, ready-mix operator and finisher as to your customer’s expectations.
Make it absolutely clear to the GC the importance of a proper cure, preferably a wet cure. The curing process is extraordinarily important, and unfortunately, is often times overlooked or performed poorly.
Educate the owner about the natural variations in concrete and its ingredients.
Educate the owner about the variations of materials in different geographic regions.
If fly ash is being used, Type C is best for polished concrete. The amount of fly ash relative to cementitious content should not exceed 5%.
Educate necessary parties about the potential for carbonization in cold climates. Only properly vented heaters should be utilized. The main reason is to eliminate any carbon dioxide in the air. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air and will mix with the surface of the concrete creating carbonic acid that in turn will give you carbonated concrete. The surface will never cure out to its specified psi.
Specify protection of the slab prior to and following the polishing application.
Be specific with regard to the desired outcome. How high of a polish level does the client need and desire?
Consider control joint placement in regard to both form and function.
Remember to include the proper joint filler in the specification.