What does concrete curing consist of?
Why concrete curing is important
As you’d expect, some projects require different strengths of concrete. Concrete is used for sidewalks, roadways, parking garages, buildings, etc. If concrete is poured and not properly cured, these materials will crack and break down over time. Curing will help make sure that these structures remain strong and sturdy.
What does curing concrete mean?
Curing is the process of controlling moisture after the concrete has been poured. If concrete dries too fast, it won’t be as strong as it should be. Depending on the size of the area where concrete is being poured, curing can take a anywhere between a week and five months. That all depends on whether or not the concrete is still wet.
Factors That Affect Concrete Curing
Obviously, when concrete is poured, its environment should controlled. Temperature, relative humidity and wind will end up affecting how moist concrete is.
Temperatures fluctuate over time. Especially in North Texas, it can be hot at one point in the day and cold at another. Concrete is not normally observed 24 hours a day; thus, specific remedies need to be carried out for the parts of the day where the concrete is left unattended.
Typically speaking, concrete is cured when temperatures are guaranteed to stay above 50° F. While that isn’t much of a problem in the Dallas area, temperatures above 85° F aren’t ideal either. That’s why you end up seeing most construction in North Texas being done during the spring.
How to Ease Concrete Curing
During the curing process, concrete is usually covered after it’s poured to avoid it being disturbed by the wind because wind makes more moisture evaporate from the concrete. Construction workers will either use polyethylene sheeting or insulating blankets. The sheeting/blankets are kept thin, so that they don’t increase surrounding temperatures.
Ponding is a technique that has become more popular in order to help with the curing process. In ponding, the concrete should first be surrounded by some sort of sturdy, but temporary walling. Water is then poured within the walls and on top of the concrete. A pond, or a pool or water serves to keep the concrete hydrated. While the water will evaporate, as long as about a foot of water is poured, the concrete should remain hydrated by on its own for at least 24 hours. Once the pond evaporates, this process can be repeated.
Curing can also be aided by curing compounds. Curing compounds can be found at your local home improvement store. If you can’t find them there, then try contacting a ready-mix concrete company. A curing compound essentially creates a seal over the concrete, keeping moisture in and external factors out. It basically helps make the curing process more simple.
Remember, all concrete should be poured and cured by professionals. If anything isn’t done properly, the entire structure can be compromised.
For your all your ready-mix concrete needs, contact T&T Redi Mix LLC. Please visit our website—www.tntredimix.com—to learn about our products and services and check out our blog to learn more about handling and protecting concrete.