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Covering Concrete Slab with Plastic

Jul 16, 2021

2 min read

    Construction

Cover the concrete with plastic and you'll see the difference.

So you might wonder why it’s significant to cover freshly poured concrete with plastic? Why can’t we leave it to dry in an open so that it would dry quicker? Maybe you think that the plastic is there to protect the concrete from dust and rain? Lastly, how will it benefit your home after construction?

When Water is mixed into cement to activate the binding agent, it hardens as the concrete mix dries. Freshly poured concrete requires five to seven days to set correctly. In the process, it gradually transforms from a wet, slushy mix to a rock-solid structure. The drying, or “curing,” should be gradual, otherwise cracking may occur.

Curing vs. Drying

Now, these two words are used synonymously sometimes. But they are very different from each other. Curing is the process of preventing the loss of moisture from the fresh concrete while maintaining a satisfactory temperature condition. The purpose of minimizing moisture loss is to achieve high hydration (the process of absorbing water) level of the cement in the surface layer of the concrete and thus improve durability and reach maximum strength.

On the other hand, “drying” is when water evaporates through the surface. Water from deep within the concrete that is not combined chemically within the concrete mix is free to evaporate, i.e., dry. If this process takes place too quickly, the concrete might crack, or in this case, your floors might crack!

Why are we covering the concrete?

You probably already know why this step is essential, just knowing the difference between curing and dying. We always cover freshly poured concrete with plastic because it allows gradual drying to provide adequate moisture, temperature, and time to let the concrete achieve the desired properties for its intended use. The process of covering the freshly poured concrete with plastic will prevent cracks. The plastic is placed over the curing concrete to trap the water inside and regulate its temperature, ensuring gradual curing. Plus, it keeps the concrete dust-free!

Summary

To summarize, covering the fresh concrete mix ensures achieved proper curing is while keeping it clean. Curing is all about maintaining the appropriate moisture content of the concrete to reach its maximum strength while dying is evaporating the water from the concrete mixture. All this to make sure you have crack-free floors. =)

How's your previous construction experience? Did your general contractor do this as well? Are you planning to build another property in Clearwater? or in Safety Harbor? Ensure that you always build your future properties with a trusted home builder.

This article was last updated on Jan 17, 2022

    Construction

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