How Long Does Concrete Take to Dry?

Usually, concrete takes 24 to 28 hours to dry enough to be able to walk or drive on it which is a process also known as  “Curing”. This is where concrete is provided with an adequate amount of moisture, temperature, and time to allow the concrete to reach its desired form. 

 

At Singh Concrete, we provide concrete for both domestic and commercial purposes. Regarding domestic concrete, we are able to deliver it right to you! It is not an issue whether you want to lay a concrete patio, foundations for an outbuilding or even a driveway. 

 

Commercial concrete is used to build or enhance business facilities such as buildings, warehouses, retail stores and even restaurants. If you want project efficiency and cost-effectiveness, we have the right concrete that will allow your project to become a success and to a great standard.

We have sufficient experience and expertise that will surely take care of every concrete need you may have. Even if you aren’t sure about the amount of concrete you may need, we have a volumetric van available that we can bring to you to create the mix you need for your project, and only make the amount you need which saves both time and money for you. 

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How Long Does Concrete Take to Dry to Walk On?

Concrete is usually dry enough to walk on after 24 – 48 hours. In order for concrete to dry and to be completely solidified, it will take about 28 days for concrete to be fully formed. Differences in weather conditions, a mix of concrete and other factors can affect the time frame of the curing period. Concrete takes about 28 days to dry for every inch of slab thickness is a general rule in the drying of concrete.

When waiting for concrete to dry, keep these stages in mind:

With concrete you may see the visual effects of curing on concrete’s surface. Changes also occur at various depths, down through the concrete’s core. The end result of the concrete is a hard and solid surface we depend on for driveways, sidewalks, foundations and other surfaces. 

  • 24 to 48 hours – People can walk on the surface after the initial set and forms are removed.
  • 7 Days – Traffic from vehicles and equipment is okay after partial curing.
  • 28 Days – Concrete should be fully cured. 

Within the curing process, there are different types of methods that can be used in curing. A few of these methods are:

Water curing involves wetting the concrete slab often with water (5 to 7 times per day) for the first 7 days. In order for concrete slab to be completely strong and durable it is vital this process is used. This is because it allows the moisture to evaporate slowly, preventing cracks and shrinks. 

Membrane curing is sealing compounds applied in a liquid form after water has disappeared from the concrete surface. This method is usually used to cure concrete in motorway construction. A membrane is formed, its purpose is to retain moisture in a concrete slab. If this method is not used, the moisture could evaporate from the concrete.

  • Water Curing: Pouring water, and sprinklers to maintain the moisture levels in the concrete. 
  • Membrane Curing: In order for concrete to solidify, a liquid membrane is applied to it where it then forms into a water-based or oil-based membrane layer to eliminate evaporation.

How Long Does Concrete Sealer Take to Dry?

You may think this is a boring subject, however, these topics must be answered! 1-3 hours is usually the duration of time it takes in order for most concrete sealers to dry. But in some cases, it takes as long as 90 days to complete fully reacting concrete. There are different types of concrete sealers that you should be informed about. Let me introduce them to you:

Acrylic Concrete Sealers

Solvent and water acrylic concrete sealers have an easy application process. Acrylic concrete sealers are optimal for industrial, commercial, residential, and institutional concrete flooring. Some may argue that this sealer is the most popular sealer out there. It is also responsible for that “wet look” that many homeowners look for, alongside the low and high gloss finishes. These sealers usually take around 48 hours to be completely dry. No activity should take place during this time. However, if it is completely necessary, they can be walked on after 12 hours.

Silane and Silicone Sealers: These sealers are designed to prevent the absorption of water. Damage that can be caused by free-thaw cycles, this forms an excellent choice for extreme weather conditions.

In addition to that, they also prevent the formation of mould, mildew and efflorescence. Compared to acrylic sealers, they won’t change the appearance of pavers and work just fine below the surface. To answer your question, this sealer can be safely walked upon as soon as 30 minutes after the application, but they take up to 72 hours to become fully functional.

Factors that can affect sealer drying time.

Temperature and humidity are the main factors that come into play when in regard to concrete sealer drying time. 

  • Temperature: To put it simply, the hotter the environment the quicker the sealer can dry. Applying sealer on a very hot day will not be beneficial for your job as the quicker the concrete sets, the harder it will be to finish the concrete properly in time. 
  • Humidity: Humidity is also very important in the process of applying sealer. It should be made clear that you should wait at least 2 days without rain, for the pavers to be completely dry before applying the sealer.

How Long Does a Concrete Driveway Take to Dry

As stated prior, concrete takes 24 to 28 hours to dry enough to be able to walk or drive on it. Regarding a driveway, typically you will be able to drive and park on a new concrete driveway after 7 days. By that time, your concrete will have obtained approximately 70% of its strength making it suitable for usage.

However, you must be cautious with concrete and heavier vehicles such as trucks, lorries or even caravans as they weigh a lot more than regular-sized vehicles so there is a possibility that it could ruin your work. You should wait at least 28 days to avoid any damage towards your concrete.

Concrete Drying Time FAQ’S

Concrete takes about 28 days to dry for every inch of slab thickness. Concrete will be ready for foot traffic, within 24 – 48 hours. 

If the finishing process is fully complete and the concrete is completely stiffened, rainwater may cause a little damage. However, that being said, rainwater can also be beneficial for concrete in the curing and drying process as it moisturises and hydrates the concrete.

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