When concrete begins to cure, you are going to start keeping one eye on the clock. After all, the goal is to begin walking around on the concrete and using it.
However, you have to be careful as it is common for people to step on the concrete too soon causing it to dent or get damaged.
This is the last thing you are going to want when the concrete is curing.
With this in mind, you will wonder, how long should concrete cure before putting weight on it?
Concrete should cure at least 7-10 days before putting weight on it. For high-traffic surfaces, it’s recommended to extend this waiting period by an additional week.
You have to remember, each situation is going to be unique including the drying conditions. Concrete that is under the sun is not the same as concrete that will be hidden in a dark area.
These are small details that are going to play a role in how long concrete takes to cure before weight is put on it.
This guide will make things easier by explaining what to look for when you are figuring out, how long should concrete cure before putting weight on it.
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Signs To Look For Before Putting Weight On Curing Concrete
1. Potential Moisture On The Surface
The clearest sign of cured concrete is through the lack of wetness.
If you ever observe concrete when it’s first set up, there will be a wet sheen on the top surface and it will go all the way down. You will notice it throughout the concrete and that is a sign the concrete is still settling.
When you see this, you will automatically know the concrete is not close to being cured and you are a few days away.
Over time, you are going to start to notice spots that are dryer than others. This is often the “middle phase” of the concrete curing process.
Just wait things out and make sure you don’t see any moisture on the surface. This is when you can begin to consider walking on it.
2. General Timeline
Most people will want to focus on the general timeline.
This means somewhere between 7-10 days as most experts state. Yes, if you are still in the first week then there is not much to consider.
The concrete is going to take at least a week to cure even in the best conditions. You need to wait things out or it won’t work properly.
This general timeline doesn’t change.
What changes is the timeline after the first week is up? Some will be done within 8-10 days, while others are going to have to wait one more week.
3. Even Finish
The finish is going to be a sign that things are working out as you want them to.
You will want to observe different parts of the surface.
This includes the edges and the center. Are there parts of the concrete that are not evenly finished? This is a sign you have a few more days of waiting.
Don’t start walking on the dried areas as they will begin to sag or crack when you do this due to the moisture elsewhere.
4. No Slanting or Gaps
You will also want to look for slanting.
If parts of the concrete are slanted or have gaps in them, this means it is still curing. FOr the most part, this tends to happen early on and you are not going to want to step or put any weight on the concrete during this part of the phase.
This is when you should stay away and only observe things visually.
If you begin to put weight during this phase, you are going to cause the concrete to break apart.
This leads to extensive repairs that you are not going to want to do with drying concrete.
These are the main things to look for when asking, how long should concrete cure before putting weight on it?
You should wait at least seven days for concrete to cure before putting weight on it. However, experts recommended waiting an additional week if parts of the concrete are wet or uneven.
This waiting period is difficult but it’s important to ensure the concrete cures the way you want it to. Otherwise, the results are just not going to be as you want, which takes away from the overall finish.
Let things unfold and keep an eye out on the concrete.
This is all you can do and eventually, the concrete will be ready to go.
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