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Will Concrete Cure Under Dirt?

Setting concrete is complicated, and you consider several factors before starting your project. Will concrete cure underneath the dirt? We have the answers to your question.

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Concrete can cure and set underneath the dirt if there is a stable and even surface to pour the mixture. Pack down the dirt and soil to maintain and level the ground to cure concrete.

How long does it take to cure concrete? Does the concrete need water or air to set? We gathered the answers to these questions. Read through this article as we delve more into the topic.

Will Concrete Be Cured Under Dirt?

Wet concrete of a newly laid foundation for a home under construction

Some people use concrete as a foundation underneath the soil. Concrete can cure in seven days under the dirt, but it is best to allow it to harden and settle for up to 28 days.

However, you need to flatten down the dirt and level to cure concrete under the soil, making the slab stable and preventing cracking in the future.

Concrete is a durable and long-lasting material used in building and flooring. Concrete is a mixture of sand, cement, and water. Let it settle and solidify to avoid losing resistance, durability, and strength.

How Long Should Concrete Cure Before Building on It?

Cure the concreted surface at construction site, Will Concrete Cure Under Dirt

Let the concrete set for seven days before letting anything build on it. Avoid running, walking, standing, or placing anything on a curing slab while setting it. However, it is ideal to set the concrete up to 28 days before building or putting anything heavy on it.

Concrete setting varies depending on its surroundings and several factors, such as hydration, air presence, temperature, concrete mixture, and more.

Does Concrete Cure In Winter?

Concrete cures in winter, but it is trickier than curing concrete in a warmer climate. Concrete will become weak once it freezes before reaching its resistance and strength.

  • Ensure that the ground is not frozen.
  • Avoid using cold equipment.
  • Use winter construction heated enclosure to help increase the heat within the work area and leave the cold temperature outside. You can also control the heat trapped inside the tent.

Will Concrete Cure Without Air?

Yes, concrete will cure without any presence of air. Concrete exposed to air is less effective, and it does not need oxygen to set. Concrete needs water and moisture from a well-built, durable slab.

Does Concrete Cure Underwater?

Concrete texture underwater

Concretes do cure better underwater than on the surface with air. The cement hydrates and its chemical components react with water, which binds the gravel and sand.

Concrete cured underwater is heavier than concrete cured in the air. Allow the cement about two weeks to set.

What Are The Dos and Don'ts Of Curing Concrete?

These are the dos and don'ts of curing concrete:

  • Ensure that you keep the concrete's moisture for 28 days to allow it to bind the gravel and sand together.
  • Aside from controlling the moisture, consider the temperature for the first few days of curing. This step is to make the concrete resistant to cracking. Use a cover to trap the heat and slow down moisture evaporation. You can use a 4mm thick polyethylene sheet to insulate the concrete.

Click here to check the polyethylene insulator on Amazon.

  • Don't let the concrete get too cold or frozen. Use a heated enclosure or insulator to trap heat around the curing area. If the construction heated enclosure is not available and an insulator cover is not enough to retain heat, let winter passes by and do your project once it's warmer. Pouring concrete on a frozen floor will also weaken the slab.
  • You can create a ramp around the concrete and pour water on top of the slab, about one foot of water in three days. This procedure is to ensure the water level is intact above the slab. Refill if necessary.
  • You can spray a curing compound on the surface of the concrete. The curing compound acts like a film to protect the slab.
  • As we mentioned, avoid adding weight above the new slab for the first ten days. If the slab is in the driveway or parking space, do not drive your car on it for 28 days.
  • Do not paint or stain any slab in its first month. Chemicals from paints can affect the chemical content and moisture of concrete.

Does Concrete Produce Heat While Curing?

Water merges gravel and sand, and cement reacts to the chemical reaction called the exothermic effect from hydration which emits the slab's heat and increases its temperature.

What To Do When Concrete Cracks?

Cracked concrete on basement car park

Concrete cracks when moisture evaporates, and the concrete mixture dries up after pouring. Concrete hairline cracks are inevitable and common in newly poured mixtures.

You will see cracks forming within 12 hours after pouring the concrete mixture. The environment and weather conditions affect the process and time of curing.

To solve the cracking issues and the concrete is already set, follow these steps:

  • Use a hammer or masonry chisel to dislodge loose material.
  • Remove the debris from the crack. You can clean the remaining debris using a wire brush or pressure washer.
  • Clean up using a vacuum to remove water and debris. It is fine if it is moist, but can an excess pool of water.
  • Use concrete patching compound and mix. Follow the instruction in the packaging.
  • Pour the patching mixture into the crack. Use a trowel to even the filling and remove air pockets. Flatten and smoothen the surface using a trowel. Cure the compound filling as instructed by the manufacturer.

Click here to check concrete patch on Amazon.

Why Concrete Didn't Dry?

According to the discussion in a forum, one member named DJschultz mentioned a specific brand of cement mix, and three weeks passed, but the concrete didn't dry out.

One member named Tuscany said, "concretes don't dry, but they cure. If the concrete doesn't set in three weeks, something is wrong with the mixture. It could be a lack of cement glue that binds the mixture together, or it was too wet."

Another member recommended contacting the manufacturer to address the issue.

What Are The Best Concrete Cement Mix?

Industrial construction machinery workers pouring cement concrete using a concrete bucket

There are available concrete cement mixes you can buy on the market that are easy to use:

Midwest Products Premium Cement Mix

This premium cement mix is a mixture of latex, super-fine cement, and curing agents. This product can withstand elements and heavy pressure of up to 250 pounds.

Click here to check the premium cement mix on Amazon.

Ardex Feather Finish Self-Drying Cement-Based

If you are looking for cement for substrate mix to cover flooring, this self-drying cement-based is perfect for your project. There is no need to add primers or additives; just mix with water and apply directly. See the label for instructions.

Click here to check self-drying cement based on Amazon.

Rockite Pigmented Expansion Cement

Rockite is a concrete mix expansion cement that hardens in just 15b minutes, and the cure time is approximately one hour. Simply mix it with water, and you can use it in buildings, floors, walls, railings, and more.

Click here to check expansion cement on Amazon.

Quikrete Quick Setting Cement

Quikrete is ideal for sculpture projects and repairs of steps, floors, curbs, walls, concrete pipes, and more. The initial setting time is as fast as 10 minutes, and the final setting is up to 30 minutes.

Mix this product with water or an acrylic fortifier to tighten the bond. Follow the instruction manual on how to mix and use Quick Setting Cement.

Click here to check quick setting cement on Amazon.

Rutland Refractory Cement

Rutland is a pre-mixed cement and ready to use. It sticks to any masonry job and fills small gaps. This product needs 500 degrees Fahrenheit to cure. Follow the manufacturer's directions in using Refractory Cement.

Click here to check refractory cement on Amazon.

Summary

Curing cement could be a lot of hard work, but learning how to do it properly before starting the project will make it easier for you.

We hope we have tackled everything you need about curing cement. If you have questions, leave a comment below, and we will respond as quickly as possible.

For more tips about cement, you may read through these posts:

How To Fill Gaps Between Tiles [Using Grout, Caulk, Gap Filling Powder, Or White Cement]

Can You Cement Or Pour Concrete Over Brick?

Kerdi Board Vs. Cement Board: Uses, Differences, & Considerations For Your Project