How Long After Footing Concrete to Cure (And Why)?

Exact Answer: After 3 to 7 days

Footing is one of the important parts of construction as it supports the foundation. The builder should ensure that the amount of time spent in the footing process meets the requirement. The size of the footing always varies according to the structure of the building.

Initially, after pouring the concrete, it does not gain its full strength; it has to undergo the curing process for at least a minimum number of days to gain enough strength.  Heavy objects should be avoided completely during this period. As time passes, the concrete gets stronger. There are different types of footing such as strip footings, individual footing, and raft footings

How Long After Footing Concrete to Cure?

Initially, when concrete is placed, it seems to be very sensible and there are high chances of being ruined. It will turn out reliable and strong, only after the curing process. This complete process takes a little longer time around a month, but it can be used nearly after a week. Every mixture will have its tendency and time varies depending on the weather conditions and other techniques. Concrete is allowed to cure as, a good amount of moisture is allowed to remain in the slab which makes the concrete stronger as time passes, and also helps in drying shrinkage. 

Usually, people proceed further on the footing immediately after 3 days if there is a suitable temperature whereas less temperature takes more amount of time to cure. In most cases, around a quarter of the strength is gained on the third day and half of the strength on the 7th day of the curing process. For the first layer of bricks, the footing will be ready after 48 hours, but it is necessary to keep off all the heavy loads and roadways over them for at least 10 days.

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You must keep track of proper temperature and dampness during the curing process to gain enough amount of strength as soon as possible. Few people even choose to skip the curing process; it does not seem to be risky initially but could have a great impact later at the finishing stage. Because, it will be very hard to rectify, once the damage has occurred.

No. Of days (After Footing Concrete)Amount Of Strength gained
3 days 25-30%
7 days60-75%
28 days100%

Why Does It Take That Long To Cure After Footing Concrete?

Curing is a well-known process, which takes place soon after pouring concrete. It is one of the important chemical processes and the way it is cured depends on some known factors like quantity, application, and type. Footing is considered the most required step in the building process. Various factors affect the curing time of footing concrete. The quantity of water (moisture) plays a very important role in determining the time to cure the footing concrete.

In the case of less availability of water, the footing concrete will get cured sooner, but it will not gain the required amount of strength, whereas if the quantity of water is high, it may lead to flaking and also reduce the strength of the top layer. The most suitable condition for a faster curing process is a hot temperature with proper windy weather. It will help to speed up the curing process.  You have to use other ways to protect your concrete if it starts raining after pouring it.

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It is always recommended to check the forecast of weather before starting the process. Always use a good protective cover to prevent the concrete for the first few hours. Avoid pouring concrete in the rainy season or during rain, as it may reduce the strength.

Once the surface seems to be dry and when the forms are removed, apply sealants immediately to the concrete, as it helps to maintain the proper amount of moisture for the entire curing process. You could also opt for other options like wrapping it using waterproof papers. These would help to make the foundation stronger.

Conclusion

The contractor or builder should take maximum care during this process. It is important to choose the required foundation and foot depending on the soil and climate. To attain maximum benefit, several factors should be followed during the curing process.

Try to hose the concrete with water as much as possible during the day at least for a week after pouring it. Pond curing is one of the best ways to cure concrete sooner. Avoid pouring concrete during the rainy season. It is worth pouring concrete if the temperature remains high for 7 days.

Reference

  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.3141/1740-03
  2. https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/45815
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