The Importance of Curing After Concrete Construction of a Driveway or Patio
When Concrete Construction contractors arrive at a house with the big truck, they are ready to pour concrete for features such as a driveway or patio. To make sure the finished material is as strong as possible and not susceptible to cracks, homeowners should use some strategies to cure the concrete. This keeps the material hydrated so that it dries very slowly. It may seem counterintuitive, but concrete needs to stay moist for several days after it’s poured in order to become as durable as it should be. It also becomes more tightly compacted, which is advantageous for preventing road salt and other harsh substances from filtering down through the concrete. The contractors can show the homeowner how to keep the new driveway at the optimum moisture using a sprinkler.
Another important factor in Concrete Construction for a flat surface is temperature. Cool weather below 70 degrees Fahrenheit is best, but it’s usually impossible to time concrete pouring and drying during a specific range of temperatures over several days. New concrete that is hardening during warmer weather can be kept cooler with sprayed water. If it’s possible to shade the concrete from hot sunshine, that is also beneficial for keeping it moist and cool.
Ideally, these measures should be taken over the course of a week and the sprinkler would need to run continually. If the concrete is occasionally allowed to dry out and then water is added again, the material can be damaged. Unfortunately, leaving a sprinkler running for a full week is not always practical for the average homeowners. They may not want to the water to run like that when they’re not home, and they may not like the extra charge on the utility bill.
A more convenient option would be to use a membrane curing compound that holds moisture in the concrete. This is how property owners typically handle the curing process. The membrane must be applied immediately after the concrete has been poured and finished. Information on these products can be obtained from a concrete contractor such as Becker & Scrivens.