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How do I get my concrete to cure faster!

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Polyethylene will show condensation only if the moisture coming from the slab is able to condense on a cool polyethylene surface. Calcium Chloride tests involve sealing a plastic dome on concrete and measuring the amount of water absorbed by a dish of CaCl crystals. Many times the concrete will not pass the CaCl test, but how many times have you seen moisture condense on the inside of the dome?

First be sure your test probes were properly installed, at the proper depth, hole vacuumed and cleaned correctly and the probes have acclimated at least 24 hours. After that is verified you can trust the results you are seeing.

Also verify that the slab is constructed properly for the planned flooring. If the flooring is moisture sensitive (such as the floor coating you are contemplating) a properly installed and functioning sub-slab moisture retarder is necessary. Without that, or if it has been compromised with punctures and cuts, slab moisture can be subject to extreme variation over time.

Insure no slab curing or sealing compounds have been applied.

Assuming all the above conditions have been met, Jason is spot-on with his recommendations for accelerating the drying of concrete. Concrete is a sponge, in your case a wet sponge. To dry it you will need low ambient relative humidity (dehumidifiers will help), air movement, and heat will help (warm air holds more moisture than cool air).

An open porous slab will dry much faster than a steel-troweled, hard, dense surface slab. If your concrete is burned black with a steel trowel it may never dry. You may consider opening the surface with a coarse grinder or light bead blast. To check the porosity of your concrete, drop a single drop of water on the slab (about the size of a dime) and time how long it takes to absorb into the concrete. If it takes over a minute, your slab is relatively non-absorptive.

Ultimately you may have to change your flooring finish and go with something that can be installed on wet concrete. There are many finishes that breathe and perform quite well.

As a last resort, the floor could be mitigated using an epoxy sealer that permanently locks in the moisture and alkalinity. These systems provide a warranty against failure for 15 years, but of course there is an additional cost to install them.
JD Grafton
Concrete Answers for Flooring Problems
[email protected]
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RE: How do I get my concrete to cure faster! - CC Solutions - 09-01-2013, 08:44 AM

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