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#1
Old 07-05-2011, 11:15 PM
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freshly poured concrete slab--how to keep it wet in summer heat?

I'm building a house, and the contractor will pour a concrete slab just before he leaves for the weekend.
I will hose down the slab with water for the next couple days till the concrete cures.
It's summertime--temperatures are in the 90's (35 C).
I dont live at the construction site--but I can be there a couple times a day. How often should I spray water over the slab?

How much water do I need to use?--is it enough to keep the surface slightly wet, or do I need to keep a deeper "pool" of water covering the slab? (it's 1200 sq. feet--120 sq meters)

The contractor's forms are built to the exact level of the concrete surface, no higher. Should I tell him to add an extra inch or so, to make it possible to flood the surface of the slab and leave it covered with enough water that won't evaporate quickly in the heat?
#2
Old 07-05-2011, 11:34 PM
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Cover with damp burlap or straw. I've never seen a pool of water on a slab, but the only large slabs I've poured were after the first floor of the house was built.

I'm surprised the forms are exactly level all the way around. I'd expect the concrete to be leveled to a chalk line below the lowest section of form. I'm also surprised the concrete guy doesn't have specific instructions for you.
#3
Old 07-05-2011, 11:50 PM
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burlap or straw that you wet a couple times in the day. the shade and moisture will aid it to cure evenly.
#4
Old 07-06-2011, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Cubed View Post
I'm also surprised the concrete guy doesn't have specific instructions for you.
Me, too. Or, for that matter, what kind of a contractor makes the customer responsible for finishing his job? Who's going to pay for re-pouring the slab if it cracks because the customer didn't know what to do?
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#5
Old 07-06-2011, 10:32 AM
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Did the contractor *tell* you to do this? If so, why not ask him the followup questions, when he's standing right there?
#6
Old 07-06-2011, 01:01 PM
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I've seen clear Visqueen, a clear plastic sheeting used to hold in the moisture. You can pull it back to wet the concrete each day. Secure the edges with brick, big rocks or even lumber. Anything with weight to hold down the plastic.

Last edited by aceplace57; 07-06-2011 at 01:02 PM.
#7
Old 07-06-2011, 08:25 PM
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Yep, the previous posters have it.

- Straw, burlap, etc. to keep it damp.
- plastic sheet or tarp over the top to hold the moisture in.
#8
Old 07-06-2011, 09:02 PM
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Here is a link that gives pretty good "layman's terms" reasons and methods, for the "wet curing" of concrete slabs.

http://tkproducts.com/Curing%20Concrete.PDF
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#9
Old 07-06-2011, 11:44 PM
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I'll second Visqueen. I had a slab poured in 100 degree weather, and the plastic kept things wet.
#10
Old 07-07-2011, 12:45 AM
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I've seen highways poured in the dead of summer. There were sprinklers going continually with a light mist over the poured concrete. If you can't do the Visqueen, which is also an effective method, try a light sprinkler. It's not so much a matter of how much water, it's a matter of having it dry slowly. That's what "curing" is all about. You don't want the surface to dry faster than the underlying mass. You want it all to be one piece.

BTW, concrete is amazing stuff. If handled properly it will dry and harden even if it is completely submerged in water. That's why it is used to build footings for bridges.
#11
Old 07-07-2011, 01:06 AM
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Umm, I don't get it, don't you WANT the concrete to dry?
#12
Old 07-07-2011, 01:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
Umm, I don't get it, don't you WANT the concrete to dry?
the water chemically becomes part of the solid structure and it is needed for it to be strong.
#13
Old 07-07-2011, 03:17 AM
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Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
Umm, I don't get it, don't you WANT the concrete to dry?
Umm, did you not read the last sentence in the post directly above, yours?
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#14
Old 07-07-2011, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by JBDivmstr View Post
Umm, did you not read the last sentence in the post directly above, yours?
About the footing for bridges?
#15
Old 07-07-2011, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
Umm, I don't get it, don't you WANT the concrete to dry?
Technically, no. You want it to cure.
#16
Old 07-08-2011, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by R. P. McMurphy View Post
it will dry and harden even if it is completely submerged in water. That's why it is used to build footings for bridges.
(Bolding by me)

The harden under water, part. Which is analagous to curing, IMHO.
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