Watering Concrete: Using the Moist Curing Method

Watering Concrete: Using the Moist Curing Method

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If you are pouring your own concrete, then something that you might not know all about is the curing process. When it comes to curing concrete, moisture is extremely important. Sure, moisture does have to dry out of the concrete eventually, but it also requires some of it to cure properly.

Therefore, today we are going to teach you all about watering concrete and what it means to use the moist curing method.

What Does It Mean to Water Concrete?

Watering concrete means that you spray water on the top layer of the concrete after having poured it. To be specific, it means watering your concrete several times per day while it is still curing.

Here, you would use a watering hose or something similar to spray a thin layer of water onto the surface of the concrete, up to ten times per day, and for up to seven to ten days after it has been freshly poured. Once the concrete has hardened and cured, it then no longer needs to be watered.

Do You Need to Water Concrete After Pouring?

Although watering concrete is not always necessary, generally speaking, the recommendation across the board is that you do want to water your concrete after pouring it.

If you want the concrete to end up being as strong, durable, and waterproof as possible, it is absolutely recommended that you spray your concrete slab with water several times per day, or as often as possible, for a week or longer after it has first been poured. Indeed, there are many benefits that your concrete will reap if you constantly keep it moist.

Why Is Watering Concrete Important?

Watering concrete is indeed very important because it helps to increase the overall durability, strength, resistance, and waterproof qualities of the concrete over a long period of time. Concrete that has been regularly watered before it totally cures is much stronger, more resistant, and longer lasting than concrete that has not been watered after pouring.

The reason why this is so important is that the concrete curing process requires moisture to work properly. The particles contained in the cement require water to cure, which means hardening.

If there is no moisture left in the concrete, then the curing process will end, and your concrete may not be as strong as it could have been if the curing process lasted longer. Watering your concrete will actually slow down the curing process, which results in a more thorough and stronger cure, and therefore more durable concrete.

Can You Water Concrete in Cold Weather?

If the weather is just a bit cool, then yes, you can water your concrete. However, if temperatures dip to the freezing mark, or below the freezing mark, then you do not want to use water to cure concrete.

Concrete takes much longer to cure in cold weather anyway, so you don’t really need to increase the curing time by adding water. The curing time will already last for more than long enough in cold weather. Moreover, additional water may actually freeze, which will end up damaging the concrete instead of providing you with the desired benefits.

Can You Water Concrete in Hot Weather?

Yes, you can water your concrete in hot weather, and it is actually recommended that you do so. Hot weather causes concrete to cure much faster as water evaporates out of it much quicker. You don’t want water evaporating out of your concrete too quickly, or else it won’t cure properly.

Therefore, you absolutely want to water your concrete in hot weather to prevent it from curing too quickly.

How Soon After Pouring Should You Start Watering Concrete?

You should wait at least four hours after pouring concrete to put any water on it. The concrete needs to settle and begin curing before you can add more water to it. If you add too much water to the concrete before it has gotten a chance to settle, you might saturate it and thin it out to the point where it will be weak and brittle once it has cured.

On that note, if it is going to rain within four hours of pouring the concrete, you want to cover it with something waterproof.

How Often Should You Water Concrete?

Depending on the conditions, you want to water your concrete anywhere between 5 and 10 times per day. On a hot summer day, you should water the concrete at least ten times per day, or as often as possible. If you can, put a slight layer of water on the concrete about once per hour or once every 90 minutes, from sun up until sundown.

How Much Water Should You Put on Your New Concrete Slab?

You don’t need to create a swimming pool on top of the concrete slab. A slight water mist, just a couple of millimeters of water, will do just fine. Remember, you don’t need to soak it, you just need to keep it moist.

How Long Should You Keep New Concrete Wet?

For the best results when curing concrete, you should keep it wet for at least seven to ten days after pouring. This will allow the curing process to happen for long enough to result in very durable, long-lasting, and waterproof concrete. You could extend this to up to 14 days, especially if the weather conditions call for it.

What Should You Do If You Forgot to Water Your New Concrete?

If you have forgotten to water your concrete, and you only have so much concrete to work with, you can always just start watering it once you remember. However, as professionals would recommend, as the top layer has already lost too much moisture, it might be a good idea to remove about the top inch of concrete, add new concrete, and then begin watering it right away.

Common Concrete Watering Mistakes to Avoid, Tips & Tricks

Let’s go over some tips and tricks to help make this process as easy and successful as possible:

  • Remember that the best temperature to cure concrete at is 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Make sure to pour your concrete in warm and dry weather, although it is best to keep it out of direct sunlight.
  • Remember that the ratio of water to concrete is going to affect the curing process as well.


There you have it, folks, you should now know everything there is about the moist curing process for concrete.