When it comes to framing concrete, it is important that you consider several factors before carrying out the job. These factors include the time it takes for concrete to cure, the concrete’s cured strength, environmental temperature, the type of concrete mix, and much more.
Therefore, it is important to consider these factors when it comes to determining how long a concrete slab will need to cure before it can begin supporting weight.
If you want to learn more about framing, concrete cutting and how long after pouring concrete you can begin doing so, then feel free to explore this topic with us below.
How Long Until Concrete Is Strong Enough For Framing
Poured concrete can take up to 28 days to fully cure. However, while it takes concrete four weeks or more to fully cure, you won’t have to wait this long to start framing or cutting concrete.
Generally, you can start framing on a poured concrete slab seven days after it is poured. Around this time period, the concrete slab will have reached 70% of its fully cured strength. This strength level is said to be adequate enough to support loads such as the framing for a house.
However, there are also expansion joints that need to be cut into the concrete within the first 6 to 18 hours, and shouldn’t be done more than 24 hours after pouring. Timing of this is very important.
If cut too soon, the joints will basically be useless. If cut too late, cracks would most likely have already appeared and will defeat the purpose of the expansion joints. The concrete joints must be sawed as soon as the concrete can take the force of the sawing without dislodging or ravelling aggregate particles.
Further to the cutting of expansion joints, there are around four other factors to consider in determining how long a concrete slab needs to cure before it can support weight.
The first factor is the amount of water present in the mixture. Cement that has a high water-to-cement ratio will cure slower but can be stronger in the long-term. Meanwhile, the second factor is the ambient temperature, where high temperatures can cure faster but lead to less strength over time.
The third factor to consider is the type of mix used. There are actually rapid curing cement mixtures available you should consider. The last factor to consider is the size of the concrete slab, where larger and thicker slabs need more time to fully cure.
During the curing process, it is important to keep the cement moist so that it can cure correctly. Spraying it down several times each day in the first week helps prevent the cement from losing moisture too fast. This is a very critical step that helps prevent the concrete from becoming weak once it is fully cured.
Why Is Curing Important?
There are a number of reasons why it is critical for concrete to cure. However, the underlying reason is that curing helps give concrete both long-term strength and durability.
Another important factor to consider is that you must maintain the right level of moisture in the concrete during the curing process. This can be ensured by ponding, spraying, or covering the concrete. If concrete loses moisture too fast, this can lead to cracks and loss of strength.
Overall, concrete curing aims to retain moisture in the slab to strengthen the concrete; keep the concrete from cracking until it is strong enough to resist cracks; and improve strength, durability, water tightness, and wear resistance in the final concrete outcome.
Of course, wet cement is not able to support any weight, so drying is necessary. Therefore, curing ensures that the concrete dries correctly.
How To Speed Up Curing Times
There are actually various steps you can take to speed up curing times. Time is very valuable when it comes to construction projects, so why not maximise this valuable resource?
Some ways you can speed up cure times are the following:
- Reduce humidity in the air by enclosing the concrete surface and running an HVAC system.
- Use the right amount of water, as less water can speed up both curing and drying times. However, keep in mind that this can make the concrete weaker in the future.
- Avoid applying a sealant to the surface. If it is applied while the concrete is curing, it can retain too much moisture and lead to longer dry times.
- Make use of a rapid-cure additive. These are specially formulated to cut curing times down without weakening the concrete over time.
The important thing to keep in mind is that you should not take out too much moisture from the concrete, as this can lead to structural defects in the future.
When it comes to framing poured concrete, make sure that you consider the aforementioned factors above. This is important if you want to maintain the structural integrity of the concrete structure in the long run. It is vitally important to ensure the concrete is cured correctly.
If you need concrete sawing performed safely and reliably, be it commercial or residential, please call us at MEGASAW. We have over 20 years of experience providing quality concrete cutting services all over Melbourne. Our experience is your guarantee!
Please call us today on 1300 920 419 or leave an inquiry.