How Long Does It Take For Concrete To Dry? | All The Info on Concrete
Now that you’ve estimated your concrete needs and done your home improvement job, it’s time to let it dry. But how long does it take for concrete to dry? In this article, I’m going to answer that question, plus a few more useful information you may need.
How Long Does It Take For Concrete To Dry?
First of all, let’s clear up the terms here. Concrete does not “dry”, per se. Instead, it hardens and cures. You can expect freshly applied concrete to gain most of its compression strength within 3-4 days. On the other hand, concrete will cure for 28 days; a point where it should reach its designated strength.
If you’re applying multiple layers of concrete, you have to wait 2-3 days in between applications in order to achieve the desired results. It takes time for the mixture to harden and achieve the best form, and you need to be patient with it, just like with grout sealers.
Furthermore, concrete will continue to harden for the next few years.
When Can I Walk on The Concrete Surface?
If 1-3 days have passed since you applied the concrete, I’d say that it is safe to walk on without damaging the structure. However, you shouldn’t use bicycles on the concrete within the first week.
On the other hand, regular sized vehicles can drive on the concrete after the one week period without damaging it. After a month, you should be able to drive on the concrete with bigger vehicles.
What Factors Affect Concrete Drying?
If you’ve done the concrete project outdoors, its drying and curing processes are affected by sunlight, rain, and humidity. After applying your concrete, you still need to take care of it in order to prevent quick drying and cracking.
Generally, I recommend covering your concrete with a sheet of plastic if the weather is just right. However, if it is too hot, you have to pour water on the concrete regularly to prevent drying. Drying can cause cracking and poor curing of the concrete, which we definitely do not want if we wish for good results.
Furthermore, if the weather is bad and the rain is constant, you can also cover the concrete with a plastic sheet to prevent overhydration.
On the other hand, you can buy curing compounds or accelerator products from a home improvement store or hardware store. These chemicals can serve as catalysts for the curing process and make the concrete hard in less time.
Curing and hardening of concrete are both important factors in order to achieve strong and durable concrete. In this article, we’ve highlighted all the information you need to know on concrete “drying”, and hopefully with these tips, you can achieve good results on your home improvement project.
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