Concrete Drying Time: How long does concrete take time to dry?

how long does it take concrete to dry

If you want any durable and robust construction materials for your garage or basement concrete is one of them. But it needs to “dry” steadily, to achieve its full intensity. 

If you ever questioned why concrete gets better over time or why it can be poured underwater. That is because concrete isn’t dry – it cures

On the other hand, there are two differences between the concrete curing and drying process. Curation is the hardening process which starts immediately after the concrete is poured but drying, which takes months.

Sand, crushed stone, few other ingredients and cement is the primary materials of concrete. The Portland cement starts a chemical reaction when water is applied to the concrete mixture and cures concrete into the hardness. So we are clear that drying is not a physical reaction, its a chemical reaction.

By the way, the real question is how long concrete takes to set enough. This article will show you the factors that will inform you of the perfect pouring time with perfect process and tips to speed up your drying time. 

Without any further a due Let’s get started.

How long does it take concrete to dry: The Factor That Affects Concrete Drying Time

how long does it take concrete to dry

How long concrete does take to dry it is entirely dependent on some factors. There is some important fact that affects concrete drying time. Some of these are included….  

  1. Moisture: The strength of concrete is improved as long as hydration is done, so it is necessary to preserve moisture during the initial curing process.
  2. Hot Weather: Concrete cure quickly when the weather is hot. Because in the hot season sun rises hotly which produced heatwave and that make it happen soon.
  3. Cement ratio: Composition of cement and their rates also affect the setting period and hardening of the cement. There are many types of the mineral component which reveal different characteristics when reacting with them.
  4. Mixing Water Content: The increase in the mixing water content would increase the amount of capillary porosity, which decrease cement paste strength and increase the setting time.

Some Tips To Speed Up The Drying Time: Before Pour And After Pour

If you think about concrete in your basement or garage, you need to wait for a long time to let concrete set properly. After then if you rushed and want to

 use your concrete in a short time after pouring and do not wait for concrete to set correctly, Structural failures could occur, and more delays can be caused.

Here we put some after pouring and before pouring tips to help you make maximum efficiency and concrete strength.

Some Tips To Speed Up The Drying Time Before Pour And After Pour

Before Pour:

  1. Choose perfect weather: Summer is ideal for the concrete to dry it quickly. Science tells us that hot season is a mercy for all of us because everything dries soo fast in warmer conditions. So not for concrete construction try always to build all types of structures in the hot state to get more strength and efficiency.  
  2. Use a perfect ratio of water: It’s clear to all of us that if you add more water in your concrete mixture, as usual, it will take more time to dry. By using a low amount of water reduce the drying time. However, don’t use low water in the cement ratio; it can make the mixture too thick. So use a 0.45 to 0.60 water-cement ratio for higher strength concrete.
  3. Use Admixture: Admixture like calcium chloride will help the concrete to attain enough moisture. This admixture hydrates the mixture quickly, which reduces the drying time. So when you add cement in the mix add calcium chloride as a chemical to accelerate hydration. 
  4. Use Hot Water: Hydration is an essential part of making any concrete strength and long-lasting. Hot water speeds up the concrete mixture to hydrate, and it also hastened to dry time. However, do not use blazing hot water; it can damage your mix.

After Pour:

  1. Avoid Hard Troweling: Hard troweling increased inside pressure which can cause some several issues and hard troweling hampered the ability of the concrete moisture to let dry. So always avoid hard troweling for your concrete.  
  2. Use Plastic Sheet: Using a plastic sheet over the laid concrete mix can prevent the extra moisture from escaping. These plastic sheets stop the additional water from the concrete and slow down the drying time.
  3. Use Dehumidification Process: Dehumidification is mostly known as the natural drying process of concrete. It is so simple process you have to reduce the dew point of the air surrounding the concrete slab. This process helps to evaporate the moisture through the surface of the concrete.

Some Important FAQs

These are some questions and answers which may help you to understand the discussion above. 

  • How long should concrete cure before removing forms?

To ensure that the concrete is arid, the shapes or “mould” that keep the concrete until it dries should be left alone for at least two days. The concrete will begin to sink, crack, and collapse when the shapes are removed too early, significantly if conditions like temperature affect its strength.

  • Is it OK if it rains after pouring concrete?

The dusting and scaling tendency of concrete in the sediment can compromise its strength. If the harm is done, the appearance of the finished surface can also be challenging to rectify. On your parade, don’t let it pour.

  • Can you drive on concrete after three days?

After seven days, your car can be driven and parked on your new concrete surface. It takes extra time to use your freshly poured concrete to drive or park heavy equipment or machinery, to wait for at least 30 days.

  • Is rebar needed in the concrete driveway?

For such things as houses, bridges and roads, this strength is essential. For each particular project, Rebar is not required. The thumb rule is that you want to install some rebar to help support the whole structure if you add more than 5 centimetres in width.

Final Word:

If you want efficient and robust concrete, natural drying time is not enough. However, for most construction projects concrete drying time is a significant factor because you want to see your concrete quickly, and for this, you have to follow the rule to short that time. 

Meet the Author
Walter Johnson Concreteily
Walter Johnson

I’m a concrete contractor by trade and have been working in the industry for over 25 years now. I’ve seen (and done) it all when it comes to concrete, and I love sharing my knowledge and experiences with others who are interested in learning more about this amazing material. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, fishing, and watching NASCAR races.

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