For most exterior flatwork jobs, final finishing involves applying texture to the concrete surface with a finishing broom. When properly done, brooming is a quick, easy way to achieve an attractive non-slip surface. Most driveways, sidewalks, and patios require a broomed finish. Choosing the right broom for each job and knowing how to use and maintain this finishing tool can help ensure customer satisfaction.
Bristle material is an important consideration. Though nylon bristles cost a bit more than polypropylene bristles, they clean more easily and have greater memory (keep their shape better). Horsehair bristles typically don't wear as well as the synthetic alternatives, since they can mildew, separate, and hold water.
The degree of texture a broom leaves in the concrete surface depends on the timing of finishing, bristle stiffness, and broom weight (brooms with wood blocks weigh more than those with aluminum or plastic blocks). Texture should be formed by the sides of the bristles, not the bristle tips. Therefore, the bristles must be soft enough to be angled properly; if they stand on end, they can sweep mortar off the concrete surface and lift up the aggregate that lies beneath the mortar.