Concrete is such a popular material but it can be quite tricky to install. Aside from the fact that the proper ratio of ingredients is mixed well together, it must also be cured and dried in the right way. If it has not been left to cure or dry properly, it could affect its durability and structural strength.
Curing and Drying: What’s the Difference?
Curing is the chemical process that includes the proper hydration of the concrete and the hardening process. The water in the mix blends with the cement and any aggregate mixed into the pour until it hardens and acquires the best strength possible for the slab. It goes hand in hand with the drying process.
Tips on Concrete Curing and Drying
The strength and durability of a concrete slab are dependent on its drying and curing time. There are things you need to take into consideration before and after pouring a concrete mix. Here are some things you need to know according to concrete contractors:
- Concrete installation must be scheduled in perfect weather. Anything dries faster when it is warm so make sure to choose a day when there is enough warmth to speed up the drying process.
- When water comes in contact with the mix, it immediately starts the curing process. If you want the curing process to begin immediately, add warm water to the concrete mix.
- Calcium chloride is often added into the mix prior to pouring to make hardening faster.
- The amount of water you add to a concrete mix will determine the length of time it needs to dry and solidify.
- Avoid hard trowelling as this can put pressure on the concrete, causing air pockets and vents to collapse and making it harder for water to evaporate.
- If the weather suddenly turns glum during drying time, use a heater or any other heating equipment to speed up the drying process.
Concrete is well-known for being a strong, durable, and versatile material. There are different types of concrete and each one feature varying levels of strength so it is important to choose the appropriate one for your project. One cool thing about concrete that most people do not know is that the longer it cures, the higher its strength level. Its sturdiness increases as time goes by, which is why it is as durable as time itself.