What Happens If Concrete Is Not Cured Properly?
What Happens If Concrete Is Not Cured Properly?

What Happens If Concrete Is Not Cured Properly?

Concrete is the backbone of Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) construction. It is widely used to construct residential and commercial structures. While concrete is known for its superior strength and durability, you must have heard that curing helps concrete attain those properties. But is curing necessary for concrete? What happens if it is not cured properly? As an individual home builder, it is important for you to understand the role proper curing of concrete plays in ensuring a strong and durable construction for your house. In this blog, we will look at the effects of improper curing of concrete and how you can avoid them. 

What Is Curing and Why Is It Necessary for Concrete?

The curing of concrete refers to the process of maintaining adequate moisture levels and temperature inside the concrete during the early stages. After its placement, to obtain proper strength gain at the initial stage and long term, it also eliminates the cracks (Plastic and drying shrinkage) formation on the concrete surface thus ensuring durability.  Curing of concrete is undertaken in various methods such as (i) simple water ponding or horizontal structural members like slab and beam, spraying for vertical members like column, (ii) covering the concrete surface with Gunny bags and wetting it continuously (iii) Covering the concrete surface with Tarpaulin or white curing sheets and (iv) spraying curing membrane compound. All these methods are to be followed after the final setting of concrete. Curing plays a vital role in developing the dense microstructure and pore structure of concrete from the proper chemical reactions between cement compounds and water. It is crucial to prevent or control the moisture loss of concrete during cement hydration to ensure it attains the desired properties. If the moisture is lost too quickly from the concrete, it could lead to the development of cracks and loss of strength. 

Ideally, you should keep the concrete damp until it becomes strong enough to resist cracking and acquires a sufficient level of toughness. It is recommended to let your new concrete slab and beam cure properly for at least 14-21 days after pouring for a long-lasting and solid construction. It is very important to cure the concrete elements for at least 21 days if blended cement (PPC, PSC) is used for making concrete, to gain proper strength gain in the concrete.  However, in most cases, good curing practices might not always be followed, resulting in a weak structure. Poor curing of concrete leads to reduced durability, strength and abrasive resistance. 

When it comes to your dream home, the last thing you will want is to end up with a weak structure after putting in so much money, hard work, and time. So it is best that you work closely with your contractor and ensure that proper curing practices are being followed at your construction site to avoid the effects of improper curing of concrete.

Effects of Improper Curing of Concrete

Simply put, improper curing of concrete affects the long-term durability, strength and lifespan of the building. But that’s not all. To understand the importance of curing, let’s look at the effects of improper curing of concrete below. 

These effects of improper curing of concrete are more clearly visible in those parts of the building that are either directly exposed or have large surfaces compared to depth, such as roads, canals, bridges, cooling towers, and chimneys. This is why it is essential to protect the large exposed surfaces of the structure even before setting, otherwise, it may lead to a pattern of fine cracks.

How to Cure Concrete Properly?

As soon as the concrete is poured, exposed surfaces should be kept damp by spraying water, ponding or covering with sacks, canvas, or other similar materials. Ideally, you should keep the concrete wet continuously for at least 14 days from installation in the case of Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC). However, when blended cement and mineral admixtures are used, it is recommended to extend the minimum curing period to at least 21 days. 

One of the most popular methods for curing concrete is to hose it down frequently with water at regular intervals for the first seven days. This allows the moisture in the concrete to evaporate slowly. Nevertheless, if you can’t spray the concrete as many times as required, you can use a cover to trap and slow down the evaporation of the moisture in the mix. Be sure to dampen the concrete thoroughly, and then cover it with the sheeting using bricks, rocks, or other heavy items to hold it in place. 

Ponding is another commonly used method for concrete curing. It involves making temporary shallow ponds on the top of a new concrete slab and then filling the area with water. Just make sure that the water level remains above the concrete slab. If it drops, you will have to refill it. 

Buy Superior Quality Cement for Your Home Construction 

This was all you needed to know about the effects of improper curing of concrete. Curing helps improve the structural integrity of your house and ensures a solid, durable and long-lasting construction for years to come. Just like the curing process, the quality of raw materials also plays a crucial role in determining the construction quality. 

As a leading manufacturer of green cement in India, Dalmia Cement provides an exclusive range of high-performance Portland, blended, and specialty cement for various construction needs. We offer Dalmia DSP Cement, a specialised product formulated especially for concrete applications that require high strength. You can also consult a Dalmia Cement RCF Advisor  who will visit your construction site and recommend the best cement and construction practices according to your needs, location, and budget. With our extensive network of distribution channels, Dalmia Cement ensures on-time delivery. If you want to buy cement for your next construction project, call us at 1800 2020 or for more information, visit Dalmia Cement Website.

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