Concrete is an affordable, effective and relatively hassle-free building block. That’s why it’s used by everyone from professional contractors to first time DIY homeowners. While concrete is relatively easy to use, it does require some know-how to utilize correctly. One of the most common mistakes made by novice concrete contractors is not giving the concrete enough time to dry and cure. So, how long does it take concrete to dry?
Unfortunately, the answer is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no. That’s because the dry time for concrete varies drastically depending on the concrete mixture that’s used. As the name suggests, a fast-drying concrete mixture may take as little as six hours to dry. However, a stronger mixture may take more like 24 hours before it’s safe to walk on.
There are a few ways to speed up the dry time if you’re in a bind. The first (and easiest) method is to add a fast-drying chemical to the concrete mixture before the concrete is poured. The second option is to add a bit less water than usual to the mixture so that it dries out more quickly. Finally, you could artificially heat the space and use fans to blow air across the concrete. The combination of air movement and heat will significantly decrease the time needed for the concrete mixture to fully dry out.
It’s important to point out that there is a difference between dry time and cure time. Dry time is how long it takes before the concrete mixture is no longer wet. Cure time is the time the concrete needs to sit before it’s at full strength and ready for weight to be put on top of it. Cure times are usually between 1-3 days depending on the amount of weight the concrete needs to be able to withstand.
DIY concrete projects don’t have to be intimidating. Take the time to do your research and find the right concrete mixture for your needs. Of course, when in doubt hire a professional concrete contractor. At the very least a contractor will be able to give you a quote so you can weigh your options. To learn more visit www.razorbackconcrete.com.