How To Cure Concrete

how to cure concrete

Curing concrete is the process of maintaining moisture and temperature when you lay concrete so that the concrete is able to reach its maximum designed strength. When you properly cure concrete it makes the concrete more durable because properly cured concrete will achieve a harder surface. Controlling the moisture and temperature while the concrete is curing will make the future durability of the concrete more predictable. This means that if you ordered 5000psi concrete you will have a better chance of actually getting 5000psi concrete.

This article will teach you the steps to properly cure concrete.

brief how to

In this article, you will find information about:

  1. How To Control Moisture To Cure Concrete
  2. How To Control Temperature To Cure Concrete

tools and materials

  • Water
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Concrete blankets for cold weather curing

step 1 How To Control Moisture To Cure Concrete

Keeping concrete moist is critical to proper concrete curing. There are two preferred ways to slow the moisture loss and properly cure concrete: plastic covering or applying a curing and sealing compound.

Curing Concrete By Covering With Plastic

  1. Wait until you can walk on the concrete without scratching the surface.
  2. Lightly spray the concrete surface with water.
  3. Cover the concrete with plastic sheeting.
  4. Secure the edges and center of the plastic sheeting so wind cannot lift the sheeting. This is best done with 2x4 boards laid along the edges of the concrete.

Curing Concrete By Coating With A Curing Compound

A curing compound is a sprayed on liquid that forms a membrane on the surface of the concrete that slows the moisture loss from the concrete. There are two products that are typically used: Curing compound and Cure and Seal compound. The cure and seal compound provides the added benefit of sealing the surface to enhance the concrete surfaces ability to resist penetration of water and chemicals.

  1. Wait until you can walk on the concrete without scratching the surface, as soon as possible, usually about an hour after the concrete is finished and it has stopped bleeding. Do not wait until the day after laying the concrete. Follow the manufactures directions.
  2. Use a sprayer to evenly coat the surface of the newly laid concrete with curing compound. Apply two coats in perpendicular directions to insure complete coverage.

step 2 How To Control Temperature To Cure Concrete

Temperature is the second factor in properly curing concrete. There are severaly ways to control temperature when curing concrete and which one you use depends on the weather.

Hot Weather

Freshly laid concrete produces heat but too much heat is bad for the curing process, it reduces the finished strenth of the concrete. When the weather is hot it is important to keep the temperature of the concrete down.

  1. The temperature can be reduced by using water to cure the concrete as described above in step 1.

Cold Weather

When the weather is cold the curing process is slowed down. If the concrete is allowed to freeze there is an increased chance of scaling and an overall weaker concrete.

  1. Place insulated concrete blankets on the surface of the concrete for at least 7 days after the concrete is poured and finished.

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