When Can I Walk on Concrete?

when can i walk on concrete

Most people having some form of concrete work done want to know when is it safe to walk on the freshly cured concrete? You can walk on freshly cured concrete after 24-48 hours, this figure depends on the time of year. In the summer months, the length of time can be less due to the hot weather, whereas the winter has more moisture in the year meaning the concrete can take a little longer.

Concrete is a mixture that requires hydration in the from of water to bond and create the substance, so naturally the hydration levels need to dry out and set. Concrete can be used for many different types of areas in your home or in public spaces, such as driveways and sidewalks. Walking on a sidewalk versus driving on a driveway means different lengths of time for curement to take place. Again, depending on the temperature you can use a driveway 7-10 days after the concrete has been poured. Taking less time if the weather is warm versus a longer period due to cold weather or moisture in the air. However, if it is an area that has heavy traffic, eg a large weighted truck or regular use, then it can be best to wait up to 14 days to ensure the concrete has set properly.

Concrete can also be used as the base for many homes and buildings, be that to create them or to extend them. Depending on what is going on top of the concrete base, will depend on whether there is a shorter or longer period of time to wait before you can stand, walk or use the concrete area without causing damage.

How long does it take for concrete foundations to cure?

how long for concrete foundation to cure

How Long Does Concrete Take To Cure?

The length of time that your concrete will take to cure will depend on several different factors. 

  • How strong the concrete is required to be
  • What proportions have been used in the mixture
  • The size and shape of the area being concreted 
  • What type of weather conditions the concrete will be exposed to
  • What conditions the concrete will be required to endure 

Factoring all of this, curing takes in excessive of a week to achieve a state where it has achieved 70% of its compressive strength. At this point you can start to build on the concrete. By 28 days, your concrete should be fully cured. 

Where the concrete mixtures differ, or temperatures are lower, curing can take up to two weeks. 

What Temperature Does Concrete Cure At?

Concrete slabs that you would likely find being used on pavements, driveways, flooring, and in parking lots will, as well as structural concrete as found in columns, beams, and retaining walls, will need to be maintained at a minimum ambient temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees Celsius) in order to cure. 

Temperatures will impact the speed that the concrete cures at, and colder temperatures will slow down the process. Where there is a risk of frost and ice during the curing process, it is essential to insulate the foundations using a concrete blanket. 

What Happens If It Rains While Concrete Is Being Cured?

You may be concerned about weather conditions while your concrete is curing. Of course, rain is not something that you can prevent. So, if it does rain within the first four hours of your concrete being poured, you will need to protect it. Check the weather forecast before starting as showers can occur on the sunniest of days. Build a protective cover for your concrete so that in the event of rain during these crucial first few hours, nothing will be lost.