men power washing and clean the slab
Photograph: Charles Harris
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Thorough Cleaning

A traditional terrazzo job like the one at the Ewells' house consists of a cement and aggregate mix spread over a concrete slab to a depth of about half an inch. To prepare for the pour, workmen cut inch-deep grooves, called control joints, into the slab to guide the inevitable cracking as the concrete cures and shrinks.

Then comes a thorough cleaning as, from left to right, Jimmy Stewart, Walter Miller, James Crowder and Jason Aycock power-wash and sweep the slab to get rid of loose debris. The cleaning is followed by a scrubdown with dilute muriatic acid to kill algae, which can weaken the bond between the concrete and the terrazzo.

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