25 Oct 2019

How Long Does Concrete Take To Set? | Colson Transport 


Concrete needs a period of time to set before it can withstand significant loads of weight, such as the weight of a person, a vehicle, or further building materials. It is crucial to allow concrete the correct curing time, so as not to damage its structural integrity. In this article we will reveal how long concrete typically takes to set (as it can sometimes vary) and we also go into detail about what factors impact the length of time it takes for concrete to harden. 


How long does concrete take to set (harden)? 


The true answer to this question is that concrete never actually stops hardening. The billions of cement particles continuously mix with miniscule water bubbles, meaning that concrete is essentially forever setting. However, once full strength has been achieved, this ongoing process is not noticeable, nor does it have any significant effects.  


How long does it take for concrete to reach full strength? 


So, if we were being technical, the question you should be asking instead is “how long does it take for concrete to reach full strength?”. Well, we are glad you asked…


Generally, concrete reaches full strength after around 28 days. This is strong enough for the weight of people, vehicles, heavy equipment, etc. After this amount of time has passed, your concrete will be ready for all purposes. 


Keep in mind when laying concrete in a domestic area that it will set to a moderate strength within 24-48 hours. This is enough that a few light footprints will not leave a mark in it, but before driving vehicles and heavy machinery over it, it is recommended to wait until the full 28 day hardening period has passed. 


What factors impact concrete setting time?

There are many things to take into consideration when laying concrete to help it reach its maximum strength without cracking. It is for this reason that we recommend always hiring a professional concrete supplier, who can assist you to get this crucial step right. Two key factors are:  



  • The amount of moisture in the concrete mix is the most crucial element which impacts drying time. If there is not enough moisture, the concrete is at risk of setting too fast, resulting in weaker overall strength. If there is too much, it could result in flaking. Getting the right balance is essential!
  • Exposure to sun and hot temperatures will significantly accelerate the drying time of concrete, as it will increase the rate of evaporation, which can cause cracking. A shelter for your concrete may be required in such weather conditions.


If you want professional results for your next job that involves laying concrete, contact an experienced, local concrete supplier such as Colson Transport. We supply high quality volumetric concrete across Nottingham, Derby & Leicester, mixed fresh on your site in our state of the art mobile volumetric mixers. Whether it is for domestic or commercial purposes, for a driveway or an entire new building, call us today for a quote and to speak to an expert member of our team. You won’t receive better quality concrete or a friendlier service anywhere else. Call 01773765720, email info@colsontrailers.co.uk or visit our website to learn more.