How Long Will My Concrete Take to Cure?
Domestic concrete is reasonably cured 24-48 hours after being laid.
That means, although it is strong enough to walk on, the slab will not be ready to accept heavy vehicles and machinery. This is important if you are laying a driveway or patio, for example.
After 7 days of curing, most concrete mixes reach 70% of their strength. Typical industrial concrete reaches its full workable strength after 28 days approximately. If you are unsure about using your concrete slab, always ask your trusted concrete supplier for advice.
Concrete never stops curing
Concrete never stops curing. This is because the chemical reactions that are forming in the concrete never cease, which means that bonds are created infinitely between the oxygenating cement and aggregates.
However, as you may know, concrete is not invincible. Though bonds are being formed in concrete constantly, it is prone to damage from frost and freeze-thaw attacks. Reinforced concrete can also be vulnerable to water penetration. This causes a freeze-thaw effect but more importantly it causes the steel reinforcement bars within the concrete to corrode, thereby weakening the structure.
What affects the speed of concrete curing?
There are a few factors to consider when laying concrete and looking for the perfect curing method. For the best results, it’s ideal to employ a professional for the task.
Water plays a critical role in curing concrete.
Too much moisture and the top layer of your concrete will be permanently weakened and will flake away. Too little moisture and the initial curing phase will be too quick to reach its optimum strength.
Hot ambient temperature, as can be had in extremely sunny UK weather, accelerates the evaporation of moisture from the surface of the freshly laid slab. Combine this with a strong breeze and it will be imperative that the concrete be protected in some way to slow down the curing process.
There’s more than one way to cure a slab
Professional results that last many fault-free years can be had by employing a professional in construction or hard landscaping. There are many methods used in the industry to cure concrete to perfection, including:
- Wet coverings
- Sheet curing
- Membrane curing, and
- Air drying
It all depends on what your concrete is being used for as well as the weather condition if pouring outside. So, if you are unsure about your concreting skills, make sure to consult the experts for results that are guaranteed to satisfy and purchase only top quality concrete.
We recommend ready mix for its timely delivery, ease of working and savings in labour and time.
For competitive rates in on-site mixed concrete and screed, look no further than Sussex Ready Mix Concrete. We’re the leading concrete supplier in the county with reliable and timely deliveries available for ready mix, volumetric concrete, screed and specialist services such as concrete pumps.
Whether you are a home or business looking for the perfect pour, contact us today for more information.