How Long it Takes Concrete To “DRY”

Amazing! How Long it Takes Concrete To “DRY”

Information about How Long it Takes Concrete To “DRY”

Phil Puccio

The correct term for “drying” concrete is curing. Concrete hardens as it hardens and does not dry.

After the concrete has been poured, at 70 ° F it usually takes about 8 hours so that the concrete hardens sufficiently to support pedestrian traffic and not leave any footprints in the concrete.

As soon as the concrete is allowed to “dry” for 24 hours, it will support normal pedestrian traffic.

After a hardening time of 48 hours, you can start building or you can put more stress on the concrete.

You can drive on the concrete with smaller vehicles or larger trucks between 3 – 7 days of hardening time.

After 7 days of curing, most concrete will have reached around 70% of its full strength and sometimes even more.

After a hardening time of 28 days (or drying time), the concrete has reached its full strength and is considered fully hardened.

How long does it take 4 “concrete to dry?

I pour and make lots of 4 “thick concrete floors, slabs, and patios. The time it takes 4” concrete to dry (or set) really depends on the temperature.

This garage floor took about 30 minutes to pour and level. Then it took about 1 to 1.5 hours to start finishing & puttying.

The filling process took about 2 – 3 hours from start to finish. We started watering at 7am and finished smoothing around 12pm. It was 70 ° F when we started and 80 ° F at noon.

At normal temperatures (70 ° F), such a garage floor will be hard enough to walk on in 8 hours. By “go” I mean you don’t leave a footprint, but it is easily scratched or damaged. It’s still what we call “really green”.

Normal pedestrian traffic can be done after 24 hours of curing time, although 48 hours would be better.

For colder temperatures below 60 degrees F ° I would double the times above.

How long does it take for concrete driveways, patios and pool decks to harden?

It takes between 24 and 48 hours for a swept concrete driveway, patio, or pool deck to harden before you want to walk on it.

I would recommend waiting a full 48 hours before trying to walk on new concrete that has a broom surface. 72 hours would be even safer.

The reason for this is that the surface of swept-clean concrete is less dense than hard-leveled concrete. In other words, it is “softer” and more likely to be damaged by pedestrian traffic.

Allow 2-3 days for the concrete to cure to ensure the surface is hard enough to accommodate pedestrian traffic and not be scratched or scooped out by shoes and boots walking on it.

I would wait 7 days to drive on a new swept concrete driveway. The vehicle weight combined with spinning tires could leave some damage if you try earlier.

How long should concrete harden before it is stressed?

Concrete should harden for at least 24 hours before placing any stress on it. I would keep the weight under 100 kg. in this timeframe.

Be careful though, the concrete will only have a small fraction of its strength after 24 hours and could crack or break if too much weight is placed on it.

You’d better wait 48 to 72 hours if you really need to load your new concrete. After 3 days of curing, most concrete casts can withstand a small car popping up. (Better to wait 7 days for cars and trucks if you can)

@ 7 days at 3000 psi. Concrete mix should reach approximately 2500 psi. strength

@ 28 days at 3000 psi. Concrete mix should reach 3000 psi. Strength (or full strength)

How long does it take before concrete can be walked on?

The walking time depends on the type of concrete mix used and the outside temperatures. But in general, here are the walk-on times for some different types of concrete mix designs.

  • Sakrete High Strength Concrete Mix – 24 hours on foot on time
  • Sacrete quick-setting concrete mix – 6 hour walk for a time
  • Sakrete 5000 Plus concrete mix – 12 hour walk for a time
  • Quikrete High Strength Concrete MIx – 24 hour walk on time
  • Quikrete Fast-curing concrete mix – 2 hours on foot on time
  • Quikrete Crack Resistant Concrete Mix – On Time 24 Hours On Foot
  • Quikrete 5000 concrete mix – 12 hour walk for a time
  • Rapid Set Concrete Mix – 1 hour walk on time

All of these specific “walking times” are based on use at temperatures of 70 ° F.

If you ask the question Can I walk on concrete after 12 hours?, the table above shows you what concrete mix to use to do this.

How can I let concrete dry faster?

If you need to “speed up” the setting time of your concrete, there are a few things you can do to help the concrete dry faster.

  1. Use an accelerator additive – Sacrete has a chloride-free accelerator They add concrete, which shortens set times and increases early compressive strength.
  2. Use Calcium Chloride – You can add some calcium chloride flakes to a concrete mix to help the concrete dry faster. Adding a 50 pound bag to 10 yards of concrete cuts the set time by an hour or two. (depending on the intrusion and outside temperatures) Remember that CC can cause your wire mesh or reinforcement to corrode faster than normal.
  3. Use the right amount (or a little less) of mixing water. Too much mixing water increases the drying time.
  4. Use warm mixing water to speed up the drying time. Warm (or hot) water accelerates the “heat of hydration” and ensures that the concrete sets more quickly.
  5. Add warmth and air movement to the room. Warming the air and adding a fan will help the concrete dry faster. If there is concrete in a room, garage, basement, or building, add some heat and some fans to reduce drying time.

How long does it take for concrete to dry out after rain?

How long it takes for concrete to dry after it has rained depends on when it rains on it and how long it rains.

If it happens during the pouring process, it will increase the mixing water as the rain mixes with the fresh concrete. If it’s a quick shower, the drying time may only be an hour or two longer than normal. If it rains for an hour or more, the dry season can be 2 to 6 hours longer, depending on the length of the rain.

If it rains after you’ve poured the concrete, but the concrete is still very soft:

  1. A brief rain storm 15 minutes or less – wait for the water to evaporate or wipe the surface if you can walk on it. Let the concrete surface dry as much as possible before finishing. Depending on the temperature and sunshine, drying can take 1 to 3 hours longer.
  2. A long rainstorm of 15 minutes to 1 or more hours – the concrete is still building, but the surface is very slimy and wet. Let as much of the water evaporate as you can, but you may need to wipe the water off with a squeegee if you can walk on it. Let the surface dry as long as possible before filling. This can take 1, 2, 4 or more hours depending on external conditions and the duration of the rain.

If it rains after the concrete has just finished plastering, you’ll need to cover it with some plastic to protect it. Then you may have to touch up the broom finish if the plastic leaves unsightly stains.

If it rains 2 to 4 hours or more after a broom cleaning, the concrete should be hard enough to withstand the rain at 70 ° F without damage.

If it rains after you’ve finished a very smooth trowel, by this point the concrete should be hard enough not to be damaged.

The drying time of concrete after rain is different in each case. It all depends on when it rains, how long it rains, how hard it rains, whether the concrete is covered or exposed, whether the rain is damaging the surface, there are so many factors to consider.

It is best not to pour any type of concrete in the rain. Another tip is not to take any chances when it rains. Concrete can be damaged and destroyed when it rains on it.

How long does it take for concrete for fence posts to dry?

The drying time for a concrete fence post mix will vary depending on the concrete mix used.

  • Sacrete fence post concrete mix – 12 hour set time (no mixing required for this mix)
  • Sacrete Fast-curing concrete mix – 30 minutes setting time
  • Quikrete Fast-curing Concrete Mixture – 20-40 minute setting time (no mixing required)
  • Quikrete concrete mix – 12 hour setting time

The “no mixing required” concrete bags mean dig your hole, insert and prop the fence post, add the dry concrete mix around the post, and pour some water over it. Fill up and you’re done.

Specific and more detailed instructions for use can be found in the manufacturer’s data sheet.


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