Concrete pouring and drying are the two most vital processes in any construction project.
For long term strength and durability of the concrete, appropriate curing and drying is essential. If you do not allow appropriate time for the slab to dry, the floor might get seriously damaged by the excess moisture. Therefore, these processes should be carried out with maximum precision.
The drying of the concrete mix not only determines the strength and durability of the concrete, it also significantly affects the time and costs of the project. The longer your concrete takes to cure and dry, the more time you will require to complete the project. By shortening the drying time, you can quickly move to the next step of the construction process and potentially save a lot of money.
In this article, we have mentioned some incredible tips that can help you speed up the concrete drying and curing process, all while maintaining the proper consistency of your ready mix concrete. These tips will help you boost the efficiency of your project and save a significant amount of time and money.
Pre & Post Pouring Tips For Reducing Concrete Drying time
1. Choose the Right Weather
It is no secret that concrete mix dries up faster in a warmer, humidity-free environment. Dry and sunny days are ideal for drying. Therefore, if possible, you should plan your construction timeline in a way that the concrete pouring is carried out in the summer months.
In the drier months, the concrete mixture will dehydrate quickly without compromising its strength and texture quality.
2. Add Warm Water
All the concrete mixes are prepared using three main ingredients, i.e. water, cement and aggregates. Out of the three, water plays an essential role in the drying process. To speed up the process, one can use slightly warmer water, which will hasten the curing reaction and ultimately reduce the drying time.
Tip – Always use warm water and not blazing hot. Boiling water can negatively affect the quality of your Ready-mix concrete.
3. Self Desiccation Agents
There are certain chemicals, such as calcium chloride, that can accelerate the curing process. Using these chemicals is one of the easiest and the most effective ways to dry the mixture quickly and maintain appropriate moisture. These desiccation agents cause the reaction to occur more rapidly and reduce the drying time to a great extent.
4. Reduce The Amount Of Water
It is a straightforward concept that the more water you add to your concrete mix, the longer it will take to evaporate and the longer it takes for the mixture to set. Therefore when you keep water’s proportion less in the water-cement ratio, it will dry up quickly. However, please keep in mind that the proportion of water is not too less; otherwise, the mixture will become too thick and inflexible.
To get a perfect balance, consult a ready mix concrete specialist. They will offer you insights about getting the right balance according to your project’s unique requirements.
Post Pouring Tips
1. Trowelling Technique
In the trowelling technique, power trowels are utilized to level and smooth the concrete surface. These trowels are like large fans with blades sitting directly against the concrete.
While trowelling is necessary to ensure that the concrete is adequately levelled, you should avoid hard trowelling as it extends the drying time. If the intensity of trowelling is high, it can densify the concrete by decaying the air pockets and vents, which traps the moisture and disrupts easy evaporation and leads to increased drying time.
Dehumidification is a popular process in the construction industry that is used for minimizing the concrete drying time. This process is especially beneficial in humid months.
You can either install a central dehumidifier on your construction site or rent a portable one for specific areas. These machines reduce the dew in the air surrounding your concrete and help in evaporating the moisture faster.
3. Artificial Heating
If the weather is not acting in your favour and disrupting the drying process, you can use artificial heating tools such as heaters or heating mats. These heating tools can give your concrete a boost and speed up the drying process. However, while applying artificial heat, make sure that the intensity is not too high. Overheating the concrete may end up creating more problems.
At RMS Concrete, we cater to all your concrete needs. We offer top-quality concrete in London, Essex, Kent and surrounding areas. For more information on ready mix concrete laying, concrete pumps, personalized concrete mix, contact our team today.