Will Concrete Set In The Rain?

Check your forecast before you start your next concrete project. Do you see rain in your forecast? Is a thunderstorm on the horizon? If so, you might want to rethink pouring your concrete patio or shed foundation.

Although water is a prominent ingredient in mixing concrete, too much is a bad thing. To get the most out of your concrete, it’s recommended to wait until after it has finished raining to begin the process.

Avoid Having Your Concrete Cure in the Rain

Weather can come out of nowhere with little warning. While concrete can be poured in the rain, it is recommended that you pour and set it during drier weather conditions. Concrete can handle a little bit of rain without having it affect the concrete curing. This is because the concrete doesn’t get technically dry; it cures. A chemical reaction occurs when the concrete cures, leading the mixture to harden.  

The rain’s effect on the concrete is dependent on how far along the concrete is in its curing process. 

  • The first 2 – 4 hours must maintain as dry of conditions as possible for the concrete to cure properly.
  • After the initial 4 – 8 hours some light rain will not have a large impact on the concrete.

These are the minimum standards required for maintaining your concrete in adverse weather conditions. If you choose to ignore these suggestions then you are susceptible to damaging the surface of your concrete or creating a weak concrete slab.

How Long Does Concrete Take to Cure?

Concrete can take anywhere from 2 to 19 hours to set depending on the concrete mixture and the outside weather conditions. What does that mean for Kansas City residents looking to pour their concrete? 

  • In the Summer where temperatures range from 95 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit it will take anywhere from 2 – 5 hours. 
  • In the Winter where temperatures range from -5 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit, you could be looking at freezing your concrete mixture or extremely long cure times up to 20 hours.

Sometimes rain is unavoidable and you have to make some quick decisions to make sure all your new hard work doesn’t go to waste.

How to Protect Concrete from Rain

Rain happens, so it’s essential to know how to protect your freshly poured concrete when it does. When you experience unexpected rain when pouring your concrete, make sure to follow these simple tips:

  • Use a plastic sheet or tarp that more than covers the entire area of the freshly poured concrete. You want to cover the concrete completely so that the water never hits the freshly poured surface. 
  • Make sure all the crevices of the slab are free from any water. Cover them as much as you can, but if it starts raining before that’s possible, wait until the rain has passed, then push or pull any excess water off.  
  • Choose the best season to lay concrete based on the weather conditions in your area. Choose the warmer drier season like Summer to pour your concrete and avoid unwelcome weather and precipitation. 

How to Maintain your Concrete in Rain or Shine

Just because you avoided the rain and laid down the perfect slab of concrete doesn’t mean you are in the clear. Concrete takes some maintenance. Concrete can get worn out over time and need repairs. There can be small cracks or chips in your concrete that you will want to keep a close eye on and repair as they come up. Those small cracks can let additional moisture in and cause those weak spots to increase in size which ultimately compromises the integrity of your entire concrete slab. 

Avoid the Trouble and Work with the Experts at KC Concrete

If you want to make a concrete addition to your home, don’t be afraid to reach out to us as KC Concrete. Whether you need a cleaning, repair, replacement, or new patio addition, we are the people for you. We are in the Kansas City area, so we know how to plan around the ever-changing weather of the Midwest. Let us help you get the very most out of your concrete. Work with the very best in concrete installation and repair, work with KC Concrete today

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