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How long does concrete take to dry?

We are often asked how long it takes for concrete to dry. It varies, however as a standard rule
concrete usually is dry enough for you to walk on it after 24 to 48 hours. However, for the concrete
to be at its full strength this takes around 28 days.

The concrete must have the correct conditions to cure. The concrete maybe exposed to elements
which will delay the curing process if the conditions are not right, and the air is too humid.
The length of time it takes for concrete to dry is significant for many projects as delays in the
concrete drying can cause significant delays in the schedule and end date of the project. If the
concrete drying process is quicker, it can save not only time but also money.

When a flooring system is being installed over the concrete it is vital that the concrete is fully dry as
if not the flooring may be damaged causing may problems and lots of unwanted cost.

What is the difference between concrete drying and concrete curing?

Drying of concrete and curing of concrete are two different processes.

Concrete curing:

Concrete curing is the process of the hardening of the concrete. Curing starts as soon as the
concrete is poured. It usually takes around 28 days for concrete to be fully cured. It does continue to
harden after this time also. Once the concrete is cured it will still evaporate excess water and continue to harden.

Concrete drying:

Within 24 to 48 hours your concrete will be dry enough to walk on. To completely dry we say that it
takes 28 days for every inch of slab thickness.

The drying process of concrete does vary dependent on the conditions. A warm temperature and
low humidity in the air will help concrete to dry faster. You can also help this process by using a de-
humidifier if indoors.

You can speed up the concrete drying process by following these simple steps;

– Use the right amount of water in the concrete mix if you use excess water this will in turn
mean that it will take longer for the concrete to dry.

– Use a high cement content

– Use synthetic aggregates which will not absorb water

– Don’t use sealing or curing agents these can slow down evaporation and increase drying

– Try to ensure that you lay your concrete during good conditions

– Use a de-humidifier

We hope this gives you more information on how long it takes for concrete to dry. If you have any
questions or want to find out more contact our friendly team today.

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