Generally speaking, the entire curing period of concrete takes about a month, but your concrete will be ready for use sooner. Each project will vary slightly due to differences in the weather, concrete mix and placement and finishing techniques.
- 24 to 48 hours – after initial set, forms can be removed and people can walk on the surface
- 7 days – after partial curing, traffic from vehicles and equipment is okay, as concrete has enough initial strength to support these activities
- 28 days – at this point, the concrete should be fully cured and will have reached its design strength
Using high early strength mixes can allow quicker strength gain and curing… some mixes can get you completely operational in hours or a day.
- It retains moisture in the slab so that the concrete continues to gain strength.
- It delays drying shrinkage until the concrete is strong enough to resist shrinkage cracking.
- Properly curing concrete improves strength, durability, water tightness, and wear resistance.