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Community and Q&A

Concrete – Drying Time

Joe_Adams | Posted in General Questions on

Hello everyone,

I have recently poured my slab, and I intend to apply a vinyl cover when the conditions are right. 

However, I found it confusing to understand from the literature the curing process of the concrete. 

Is there any difference between curing and drying? 

I am conducting a wet cure, meaning that I am wetting my slab several times per day. 

What happens to that water? Is it forever embedded in the concrete? It dries out after accomplishing the goal? 

When can I consider my slab dry enough to apply my vinyl floor cover?

Thank you so much to everyone in advance.

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  1. Expert Member

    Hi Joe,

    I'm glad to hear you're keeping it wet! Your concrete will thank you. It's often skipped by most people.

    People use drying and curing in somewhat of an abusive "common use" way. They really mean the same thing - the continuation of the chemical reaction that takes place as the cement and other cementatous materials undergo over time.

    As for what happens to the water, much of it evaporates, but a crucial part of it keeps the chemical reaction going, otherwise it will stall out, and be weaker than it otherwise would have been, had it been kept moist.

    Keeping it moist for three days provides most of the benefit of wet curing. If you can keep it wet for seven days, it's going to be somewhere in the high 90's percentile of strength, compared to it's theoretical max strength.

    I would wait until it has been without water for a few months, not only to allow it to fully cure, but also to watch for shrinkage cracks or other blemishes that you can fix before putting the floor down for good.

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