A Guide to Curing Ready Mix Concrete
Once ready-mix concrete has been installed to the desired site, it needs time to harden, or ‘cure’, in order to reach its full strength. This means that nothing should be placed on the concrete until it has had time to cure properly or you risk damaging it and threatening its structural integrity.
How long does ready mix concrete take to cure?
Concrete doesn’t actually ever stop curing as it gets harder and harder as time passes. However, for most ready mixed concrete combinations, it will have cured enough for nearly all purposes within 28 days. It’s important to bear in mind however, that there are a number of different factors that can affect the time it takes for concrete to cure.
The reason why ready mix concrete gets stronger over time is because of a process called hydration. Hydration refers to the concrete mix retaining its moisture content which then facilitates a chemical rection between water molecules and cement. It is because of this clever chemical process that concrete’s curing time can be affected by adverse weather conditions.
Weather conditions that affect concrete curing time:
Hot or dry weather – if the weather it too hot or dry, the concrete won’t have enough available moisture to set properly which means it can be prone to cracking.
Cold and freezing conditions – if possible, avoid pouring concrete in the winter months as exposure to freezing temperatures can have a detrimental effect on the concrete’s strength and, just like when exposed to hot temperatures, it can then be subject to cracks.
How to protect ready mix concrete
We understand that the ever-changing British weather is out of your control and predictions cannot always be relied upon. If you are caught out by extreme weather therefore, we recommend erecting a shelter over the fresh concrete in order to protect it from the heat or cold and therefore maintaining optimal moisture content.
With years of experience successfully delivering quality, bespoke ready mix concrete in our fleet of over 45 concrete pumps, including one the UK’s largest and smallest, Wright Minimix is your number one choice for ready mix concrete. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact the team today on 0117 958 2090.