Natural Concrete Care
Concrete is a natural material comprised of sand, stone, cement, and water. Much like any natural material such as wood or stone, concrete is a porous material. We have sealed your concrete with a two-part penetrating sealer that will provide active protection against staining. To ensure the lasting beauty of your concrete surfaces we recommend reviewing and practicing the following care and maintenance instructions.
Your CWE product has been sealed for protection against moisture and staining. Once the pieces have been installed we recommend allowing them to remain free of objects on the surface for at least 36 to 48 hours. This enables the full curing process to reach completion before the beginning of regular use. The sealer is a two-part sealing process that hardens the material and protects the surface from staining. You may notice that some moisture from water may soak into the surface of the concrete and darken slightly during the first couple weeks. This is completely normal and is part of the extended curing process.
Cleaning Your Concreteworks East Product
Clean your CWE product using mild soap (such as dish soap) and water. Do not use heavy abrasive, bleach-based, or ammoniated cleansers. Use of such cleansers will wear down the sealer and result in less stain resistance. We do not recommend use of most natural cleansers (which are often citrus based), as the cleaning agent is typically highly acidic and can damage natural materials.
Re-wax periodically. Waxing your product regularly is a quick and easy process that will provide additional protection against staining. Wax once within 2 months of installation of your product and every 2 to 5 months thereafter, depending on use. Recommended wax is Trewax brand, a clear paste wax that can be purchased online and at most hardware stores including Ace Hardware.
Regular food preparation will not stain the concrete as the sealer and wax serve as active barriers. In the event that the coating is knowingly cut, scraped, or damaged, new sealer must be reapplied. Spills should be wiped up as soon as possible. While the sealer performs well against stains from oils and acidic materials, prolonged exposure may cause penetration of the sealer and possible discoloration.
Expect occasional rings to appear from unknown liquids. Oils in particular can penetrate the surface if forced in from the weight of a glass or jar. Wiping up oil spills can minimize staining. Please note that bath oils in particular should not be used as they will cause staining from being left in contact with the surface of the concrete for too long. The first stain is always the worst. Expect the wear of your product to contribute to its uniqueness.
Using felt or rubber feet pads is recommended for the bottom surfaces of all objects left to remain on the surface of your product indefinitely, especially unglazed ceramics such as terracotta pots. Unglazed ceramics compete for residual moisture in the concrete and may cause discoloration. Do not place hot objects on the surface as they may cause discoloration. Using a trivet is recommended. At any point, refrain from putting blue painter's tape or other adhesives directly on the product.
Although not considered a defect, non-structural hairline cracks are possible and may result from shrinkage and the natural curing process. If hairline cracks do appear, immediately apply a thick coat of wax and rub in well to prevent moisture from seeping into the cracks and causing discoloration. Re-wax the area and surrounding surfaces periodically as detailed above.
CWE provides refinishing services for its customers. Your CWE product should provide you with years of enjoyment under normal use. If after several years of wear you wish to have your countertops or other product refinished, please contact our office to make arrangements. We recommend refinishing every 2 to 5 years depending on use. Pricing is based on size and location of project.
CWE will give technical advice and support throughout the lifetime of our products. Natural variation in color, texture, and porosity may occur and are considered inherent and valued qualities of the material. Non-structural hairline cracks are possible and shall not be considered a manufacturing defect. Concreteworks, at its sole option, shall repair or replace a product if it fails solely due to a manufacturing defect during the first year after installation. This does not include reasonable labor charges to repair or reinstall the product and only applies to CWE products that have been handled, fabricated, installed, and maintained in the manner recommended by Concreteworks Studio East.