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Old 07-19-2010, 05:51 PM   #1
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does outdoor concrete really need to be watered?


hmmm ... i poured my concrete stairs 2 days ago and they are pretty much dry now but someone is telling me i should have watered them to prevent premature drying and cracking. is this true or is it this person who is cracking ? it was pretty hot yesterday.
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:20 PM   #2
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does outdoor concrete really need to be watered?


Short answer, "Yes"... It should be kept damp for at least a week.
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:25 PM   #3
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does outdoor concrete really need to be watered?


OK ... thanks
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:43 PM   #4
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does outdoor concrete really need to be watered?


And also, should I keep the frame on that whole time?
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:03 PM   #5
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does outdoor concrete really need to be watered?


Forms, even risers, should come off shortly after pour. Depending on temp., air movement, water in mix, calcium added, etc.: http://www.nrmca.org/aboutconcrete/cips/14p.pdf

Be safe, Gary
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:39 PM   #6
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does outdoor concrete really need to be watered?


The reason you're probably questioning this is merely because it is seldom done nowadays.

Current protocal is generally applying a curing sealant, which is intended to trap the existing water in so that it leaves the concrete at a much slow rate.

Some folks do nothing at all for curing as well, although it is fairly risky depending on the weather and your climate.

If you were to choose the water route, you really need to keep the concrete wet or damp the entire time, not just a few times a day, to achieve the benefit. That's rarely feasible with most folks' lifestyles though.
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:29 PM   #7
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does outdoor concrete really need to be watered?


what kind of sealant ? i finished pouring 48 hrs ago and have not done any watering or sealing.
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:51 PM   #8
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does outdoor concrete really need to be watered?


Concrete does not "dry", it cures via a chemical change. If concrete gets too hot, it cures very quickly, and is more prone to cracking. If concrete is very cold during the curing process, it cures very slowly, and does not attain full strength.

In the summer, it is typically a good idea to cover concrete with wet burlap bags to keep it cool for a few days, which allows the concrete to cure more slowly, and results in a stronger placement, with fewer shrinkage cracks. If you don't have any burlap, you can use cloth sacks. If you have absolutely no rags, you can just water the concrete, but this is not ideal. You are NOT trying to add water to the concrete to compensate for evaporating moisture, the concrete should have the correct water to cement ratio when it is placed, so you are simply trying to manage the temperature of the concrete during the curing period.

And you can leave the forms on as long as you want, or you can strip them typically after 24 hours if you are in a hurry to reuse them or return them if you rented them. You should use form release (typically oil) to minimize the sticking and make it easy to take the forms off.

Finishing of the surface of the concrete typically takes place when the concrete is hard enough to walk on with plywood squares. Final finishing is usually done when the concrete is reasonably hard. Mostly it depends on the type of finish you want, i.e. smooth, textured, patterned, broomed etc.
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:19 AM   #9
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does outdoor concrete really need to be watered?


all the posts're good,,, we'll use lawn sprinklers to wet cure ONLY after jnt cutting,,, we developed that method yrs ago on the 1st roller compacted concrete job in the us - ft drum in upstate ny,,, in your case, too late for any of this thread, tho

none of the driveways, patios, or sidewalks we placed last week had any type of ' curing done once we finished sawing jnts.
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:30 AM   #10
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does outdoor concrete really need to be watered?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
Concrete does not "dry", it cures via a chemical change. If concrete gets too hot, it cures very quickly, and is more prone to cracking. If concrete is very cold during the curing process, it cures very slowly, and does not attain full strength.

In the summer, it is typically a good idea to cover concrete with wet burlap bags to keep it cool for a few days, which allows the concrete to cure more slowly, and results in a stronger placement, with fewer shrinkage cracks. If you don't have any burlap, you can use cloth sacks. If you have absolutely no rags, you can just water the concrete, but this is not ideal. You are NOT trying to add water to the concrete to compensate for evaporating moisture, the concrete should have the correct water to cement ratio when it is placed, so you are simply trying to manage the temperature of the concrete during the curing period.

And you can leave the forms on as long as you want, or you can strip them typically after 24 hours if you are in a hurry to reuse them or return them if you rented them. You should use form release (typically oil) to minimize the sticking and make it easy to take the forms off.

Finishing of the surface of the concrete typically takes place when the concrete is hard enough to walk on with plywood squares. Final finishing is usually done when the concrete is reasonably hard. Mostly it depends on the type of finish you want, i.e. smooth, textured, patterned, broomed etc.
This curing temperature is considered so important that when I worked for a military contractor and sometimes poured very thick slabs (up to five feet thick) we were required to install internal temperature sensors throughout the depth of the pour. We had to record the internal temperatures for a given period of time to assure that the concrete cured properly.
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