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Concrete Curing

Curing concrete will make your concrete stronger and better, but only if you do it right—timing is key

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What Is Concrete Curing? Understanding the Basics

Curing Methods

How do we cure: The three basic methods

When do we cure: Timing it right

Methods for Curing Colored Concrete

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Find Local Suppliers: Decorative Concrete Stores

Bill Palmer

Author Bill Palmer, Columnist

When concrete is born—when you place fresh concrete where you want it to live out its life—it's like a baby: very sensitive and easily ruined. If you take good care of it, when it's young it will grow up to be a strong and reliable adult; neglect it, and you'll be sorry!

Curing is all of the things that we do to keep our concrete baby happy during the first week or so of its life: maintain the proper temperature (neither too hot nor too cold) and dampness (I know, most babies prefer to be dry—concrete likes being difficult). Curing is easy to skip in the instant but that will have a major impact on the quality of your finished work. While curing is important for all concrete, the problems that arise from not curing are most obvious with horizontal surfaces. An uncured slab, whether decorative or plain gray, is likely to develop a pattern of fine cracks (called crazing) and once it's in use the surface will have low strength that can result in a dusting surface that has little resistance to abrasion.