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Understanding Different Concrete Curing Methods

Curing refers to the process that controls the moisture loss from concrete after it has been poured into place. There is a long duration for the hydration of cement so curing needs to be done carefully and with supervision to ensure that the concrete can achieve the maximum durability and strength.

You can find out more about how you can keep concrete looking new by reading construction blog posts and watching videos to see how the construction process is carried out for different projects. The curing process is determined by several factors such as the purpose of the concrete installation, specifications for concrete properties and ambient conditions prevalent at the location which include humidity and temperature. With curing, we aim to keep the concrete moist and this is what will allow it to gain its strength. There are several ways that this can be done such as covering the surface of the concrete with an impermeable membrane after the formwork is dismantled and keeping the surface moist by constantly wetting it. The latter is done by spraying the concrete surface with water or ponding.

Ponding is one of the most common methods of curing concrete and it is recommended for concrete floors or any flat concrete surface. This is done by creating a ledge around the boundary of the surface with soil or sand and then pouring water into the enclosed area created by this boundary. This way you can maintain a constant temperature in the concrete as well. This method is mostly done in smaller projects. You can also sprinkle water on the concrete surface continuously. If this is carried out at intervals of time, you need to monitor the dampness of the concrete between the intervals. This spraying method will allow you to avoid cracking of the surface that can occur due to wetting and drying cycles that the concrete is subjected to in other methods. But spraying can be quite an expensive method as it needs a sufficient supply of water and continuous supervision.

Another method that is common for curing is the use of wet coverings. You can use any fabric that retains moisture such as hessian and place them on top of the concrete right after there is sufficient hardening of the concrete. You need to make sure that the entire surface is covered by the fabric. The fabric will need regular intervals of spraying to ensure that they are kept moist throughout the day. With this method, you will see a thin film of water on the surface of the concrete all the time. Sheet curing can be done on both horizontal and vertical surfaces. Usually, a polythene sheet is placed on the surface of the concrete once the formwork has been removed. You need to start doing this half an hour after the removal of formwork when it comes to vertical surfaces. On concrete slabs, when the concrete has sufficient hardness to avoid any damage to the surface, the polythene sheet should be laid. The edges of the sheet have to be fixed down to prevent any wind from travelling through.

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