Concrete usually takes around 24 to 48 hours to dry for you to walk or drive. But does concrete cure within this time interval?
Dry concrete curing is a continuous task that usually gets stronger with time. It reaches its full strength after 28 days, but it will be ready to use quickly.
Timeframes of concrete curing are as follows
- 24 to 48 hours – After setting initially, people can walk on the surface and remove forms.
- Seven days – After curing partially, vehicles and equipment traffic is fine.
- Twenty-eight days – At this day, concrete must be cured completely.
Technically speaking, concrete never stops curing because it gets more robust with the going time. It is because water and cement get mixed to create concrete.
During this, the particles of cement start mixing with water and form bonds. It makes the mix hard and robust as long as the moisture is available.
Factors That Affect The Process Of Curing
Cure depends on moisture. When retaining the hydration/moisture content, the chemical reaction between cement and water molecules will continue.
It develops strength as long as hydration occurs, and so for the initial curing time, maintaining moisture is essential. But also, a high amount of water can result in weaker concrete. Some more factors affect the process of curing dry concrete –
Hot And Dry Weather
Concrete starts to crack when it is too hot or in dry weather. You must erect your shoulder and keep it damp to mitigate the effects of arid weather conditions.
The interaction of water with cement causes the curing process. If there is less water, curing begins quickly due to the few bonds to create.
It means that your concrete may not be as strong as you need or expect. If there is a large amount of water, it will take a long time to cure, and you may observe the flaking on the top layer.
A freezing temperature may also interfere in the curing procedure. If you pour concrete in the cold winter days, you must plan so that the temperature does not reach the freezing point in the initial 24 to 48 hours.
Enabling concrete to freeze or cool faster can result in cracking, so consult with the professional suppliers to ensure the curing process appropriately.
The mix design has many things to do with the setting time of concrete where some jobs will need accelerants as the area requires it to be used as fast as possible.
Accelerant will ensure its role and speed up the setting time but can show overall weak strength at the end. It still meets the strength requirements.
How Can We Cure Concrete Faster?
Concrete is a hard and durable substance that produces a liquid mixture of water, cement, and aggregate. When you pour cement once, it requires time to solidify and create the solid chemical bond before upholding weight or force.
Concrete becomes pliable as it dries, so it is recommendable to dry faster to avoid damage during the procedure of curing.
Follow Simple Steps –
Pour the concrete during sunny and warm weather as it will dry quicker than in the cold days.
Add calcium chloride to the concrete before pouring as it acts as the accelerating compound. Follow the instructions regarding proportion to use, but accelerant helps the concrete to solidify quickly.
Place the heater near concrete which will help to increase the temperature and speed up the process.
Position your plastic sheet over the concrete to trap the moisture escaping because moisture is most essential in the curing process. Plastic does not let moisture escape and speeds up the procedure.
Another Way To Speed Up Curing Process
You can use concrete blankets, which are very successful in speeding up the process of curing. They protect the concrete from cool temperatures that alleviate the risk of thawing.
It can negatively impact the integrity of the concrete structure. Such blankets work effectively for the curing process and are portable. So you can take them anywhere, whether it is outdoor or indoor space.
Hence, concrete curing is the most important procedure. So, remembering all tips and ways to speed up curing will give you better results.