Concrete Drying and Concrete Curing – The Difference
The terms concrete drying and concrete curing are frequently used interchangeably with regard to the moisture condition of new concrete slabs. However, curing and drying are two different processes. Wet concrete doesn’t harden by drying. Instead, the water is a chemical component in a curing process. Curing is the process of hardening that begins immediately after the concrete is poured. Even after the concrete is cured, excess water still must evaporate from the concrete. While it only takes around 28 days to cure concrete, drying can take months.
Curing is designed primarily to keep the concrete moist, by preventing the loss of moisture from the concrete during the period in which
it is gaining strength. Controlling the moisture content and the temperature of the new concrete for the first several days through curing take top priority. Curing prevents the loss of moisture from the concrete while maintaining a satisfactory temperature. The purpose of minimising moisture loss is to achieve a high level of hydration of the cement in the surface layer of the concrete and thus improve durability.
How Concrete Cures
Curing may be applied in a number of ways and the most appropriate means of curing may be dictated by the site or the construction method. Cure concrete by continuously wetting the exposed surface thereby preventing the loss of moisture from it. Ponding or spraying the surface with water are methods typically employed to this end.
Drying of concrete is defined as providing the proper conditions to allow the concrete to achieve a moisture condition appropriate for its intended use. The moisture condition of a concrete slab is of significant importance for the application of moisture sensitive floor finishes such as vinyl composition tile, linoleum, wood flooring, and non-breathable coating like epoxy.
How Concrete Dries
Concrete dries as the water inside it evaporates through its surface. As this water evaporates through the surface, water from deep within the concrete moves through the capillaries and up to the surface to replace it. As long as the surrounding air can hold more water vapor, evaporation continues. When the surrounding air can’t hold any more water vapor, evaporation or drying of the concrete stops.
Why use the Cure Tender USA?
The Cure Tender USA automatically releases water required for concrete curing onto the concrete and under the cure blankets, allowing the concrete to be unattended. Self-contained and solar-powered, the Cure Tender can be used on vertical or flat concrete. Hook up the specially designed watering hoses and the concrete will cure for 50 to 60 hours with a constant supply from the 725-gallon tank. This will not only save your time, but money as well.