How to Cure Ready-Mix Concrete

How to Cure Ready-Mix Concrete

Curing ready-mix concrete is necessary for long-term durability. You need to keep concrete as moist as possible for the first 7 days after placement. Also, you must allow sufficient drying time before being subject to freezing temperatures or to de-icing salts. Therefore, we have put together a few steps on how to cure ready-mix concrete.

How to Cure Ready-Mix Concrete

Water Cure

With water curing, you can flood, pond or mist spray the ready-mix concrete. This is the most effective curing method for preventing mix water evaporation.

Also, make sure to allow proper time for water curing. Once your ready-mix concrete is placed, the concrete increases in strength very quickly for a period of 3-7 days. Concrete which is moist cured for 7 days is about 50% stronger than uncured concrete.

Water Retaining Methods

Use coverings such as sand, canvas, burlap or straw that you can keep continuously wet.

The material you use needs to be able to stay damp during the curing period.

Waterproof Paper or Plastic Film Material

Apply waterproof paper or plastic film material as soon as the concrete is hard enough to resist surface damage.

Plastic films may result in discoloration of the concrete. Therefore, do not apply this to concrete where appearance is important.

Chemical Membranes

Make the chemical application as soon as the concrete is finished.

Keep in mind, curing compounds can effect adherence of resilient flooring, your flooring contractor and/or chemical membrane manufacturer should be consulted.

Cold Weather Ready-Mix Concrete Curing

You can place concrete safely throughout the colder months if you take the necessary precautions. During colder weather, the mix requires adaptation to the ambient temperature by heating the ready-mix concrete, adding accelerators and providing protection.

Ready-mix concrete generates heat during hydration. Hydration is the chemical process by which cement reacts with water to form a hard stable paste. The following can affect hydration:

  • initial concrete temperature
  • ambient air temperature
  • the dimensions of the concrete
  • mix design

Since concrete sets more slowly as the temperature drops, the temperature of the concrete during and after placement  is crucial. Cool weather may delay finishing and form removal. Therefore, make sure to take the the necessary precautions to maintain strength development.

Avoid placing ready-mix concrete on frozen ground, on show or in freezing weather. If concrete freezes while in a saturated condition, surface problems such as scaling, spalling or cracking can occur due to the expansion and contraction of frozen water inside the concrete. During freezing weather, terminate water curing of concrete 12 hours before the end of the protection period. Don’t use a curing agent if there is any change that the concrete will freeze during the curing period.

These are just the basics on how to cure ready-mix concrete. Our team here at Navasota Concrete¬† supplies high quality concrete for domestic and commercial clients throughout Texas, including, but not limited to Navasota, Montgomery, Magnolia and College Station. Our highly skilled and knowledgeable team can assist your with finding the perfect mix for your project, no matter the size or scale, and will advise you on pouring techniques in extreme conditions. Don’t hesitate to contact us with the link below for more information!

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