Drying time for Sakrete in cool weather?

michauxii(East Texas)January 22, 2007

Putting in some 6" treated corner posts.I want them solid;so I'm using (3) 80# bags of Sakrete per post.

East Texas ground is pretty damp with day temps only in the mid 50's.

How many days to a good,solid working set up?

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Pooh Bear

This past Saturday I made up some regular concrete.
Daily highs have been in the high 40's and lows in the 20's.
I poured some molds I had made up. 12x12x3.5inch blocks.
Let them sit for a few hours to firm up a bit.
then stacked them all in the shed cause of the rain on Sunday.
Then weather was still damp today. I got one of the molds
and tried to remove the block. It still felt wet.
I couldn't get it out of the mold. It was crumbly.
So I put the mold back in the shed with the others.
Gonna let it sit a few more days and try again.

I should say this wasn't really concrete.
I used a sand/gravel mix that I scooped up from a sandbar
in the river that forms the eastern border of our property.
So the ratio to sand and gravel is unknown.
Also it probably had some dirt and debris in the mix.
I mixed it at 1:4 or maybe 1:5 with concrete.

Probably none of this answers your question.
But it has been damp and cold here for the last few days.
And I'm still hoping my concrete is ok.

Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 9:23PM
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Pooh Bear

Just an update on my concrete pavers.
I have taken 3 out of the molds so far.
The first one was crumbly, but got better the second day.
The next two were a lot better.
Nice sunny day here today so I set them in the sun.

I'd say give your concrete a week at least.
Concrete doesn't dry, it cures. Process known as
hydration of lime. Takes 30 days to cure to 98%.
Takes 30 years to cure that last 2%.

Hydration of lime is an exothermic chemical reaction.
Too cold outside and the heat from the reaction is
stripped too quickly for the reaction to properly take place.
Too hot outside and the water evaporates before
the reaction can properly take place.
That is why for cold weather pours a retarder agent is added
to slow down the reaction. And for hot weather you just
spray it with a mist of water to keep the surface damp.

Pooh Bear (aka Fluff for Brains)

    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 3:08PM
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