When using concrete, time is always taken up by waiting for the mixture to cure and dry. If you rush and do not wait for the concrete to dry properly, this can result in structural failures and cause further delays. To boost the efficiency of your project, it’s important to find ways of speeding up the concrete drying and curing times to ensure both safety and timekeeping are catered for.
The difference between curing and drying?
Concrete curing is the process of keeping the mixture’s temperature and moisture at optimum levels so that it develops the correct properties whilst it is drying. Both processes go hand in hand, and the tips listed here can assist with both.
Tips for Speeding Up Concrete Drying Time
- Choose the perfect weather: Science tells us that anything dries faster in warmer, drier conditions, which is why sunnier days are prime time for concrete drying. If waiting until summertime is an option for you and your project, be sure to take it.
- Add warmer water: As one of the key ingredients in concrete, water is essential for the curing reaction to occur. The curing time can be hastened by using a slightly warmer water in the mixture as this will encourage the reaction to occur more quickly – do not, however, use blazing hot water as this could be damaging.
- Add calcium chloride: Including this compound into the wet concrete mix before pouring is an easy way to quicken the concrete solidification time – this compound accelerates the process of cement hydration.
- Reducing the amount of water: It’s simple science. The more water you add to the concrete mixture, the longer it will take to set. Using less water will therefore reduce the drying time – however, be wary not to put too little water in either, as this can make the concrete mix too thick and inflexible. To get the balance right, consult with a specialist company who can offer some insight. Another alternative is to add water-reducer – this substance will give the mix greater fluidity without hampering it with excess water.
- Troweling Technique: Hard trowelling should be avoided – the increased pressure can cause several issues. High intensity trowelling can cause densification of the concrete, collapsing air pockets and vents, and therefore preventing the moisture from easily evaporating when drying – thus, extending the drying time.
- Cover with a plastic sheet: Curing requires moisture to be encouraged, and one way of ensuring this is to lay a plastic sheet over the laid concrete mix to prevent the moisture from escaping. This will also stop additional moisture from entering, thus slowing down the drying time even more.
- Use a heater: Weather not working in your favour? Create your own heat by artificial means e.g. a heater, heating mats. If you do choose to use a heater, be careful not to overheat the wet concrete mix – a gentle amount, however, should give your concrete the boost it needs to speed up the drying time.
The key trait of concrete is its remarkable strength. Different types of concrete possess varying degrees of strength, which suit a diversity of applications. An intriguing feature of concrete is that its strength can increase steadily over time, meaning its sturdiness is always growing year by year.
Here at EasyMix Concrete, we make concrete a simple process. Our customers can change the volume and specification of their mix up until the last minute, and you only pay for what you use. To find out more about our top-grade materials, please get in touch with our friendly team today – we serve Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and beyond.