Recently, concrete contractors have started using a colloidal silica-based compound as a finishing (or ‘troweling’) aid for flatwork. It makes the surface denser, and increases the quality of cement paste. Additives in the compound help the surface slow evaporation though hydrophobic properties, protecting the concrete from a range of moisture loss-related defects. It also makes it unnecessary for contractors to add water to finish the concrete. The result has implications for buildings, pavements, roadways, bridges, and even precast structural and architectural concrete.