Concrete Insider answers frequently asked questions, submitted by our customers across the country. Our goal is to increase your expertise in concrete products and installation. Have a question of your own? Consult our technical team to identify the best products or discuss application techniques.
Top 5 Most Asked Questions about Using Concrete
1. How long does it take for concrete and mortars to cure?
It typically takes 28 days for most concrete and mortars to fully cure. Temperature, humidity and other factors can affect cure time. Always consult your product package for details.
2. What is the minimum temperature for using cementitious products?
The minimum temperature should be 40°F, which applies to air, mix and substrate. This temperature should not only take place during the application, but up to 24 hours after application.
3. Does it matter when water is added when mixing concrete?
When mixing concrete, you should always add water first in your mixing container, and then the bagged product.
4. How should you properly prepare your surface before pouring concrete?
Proper surface preparation is just as critical as choosing the right product. For new concrete slabs, excavate the area to remove grass and debris. Ensure that the excavated area is pitched in a direction where water will run away from the building. Mark the perimeter of the new slab with stakes and string a level line between them. This will help ensure the forms are level. Lay a gravel base in the excavated area (1 to 2 inches in depth) using Sakrete All-Purpose Gravel. This will help with any water flow or substrate movement and prevent the concrete from buckling. Remember to allow enough depth for both the gravel bed and a minimum of 4” inches of concrete. Place forms in the desired area using 2×4’s, assuring that they are level, square and all corners are sealed so no premixed material can escape once placed. Nail the forms together and remove the string. Now you’re ready to pour!
5. What time of year is best for laying concrete?
If you’re in a mild, year-round climate, you can lay concrete at any time as long as it meets the minimum temperature of 40 – 90°F. If your area experiences a more seasonal climate, the Spring or Fall are the best times of year for application.