Water should always be sprayed on concrete after it is poured. If this is not done, it can cause the concrete to crack and settle unevenly. Concrete is made up of cement and gravel, with water added to create the liquid solution that is poured into the forms. The water causes a chemical reaction which makes the cement harden and bind to the gravel. Too little water added to the mix will not allow for this chemical reaction to take place and this is a fact that your concrete contractor should know.
Spraying water on newly poured concrete is a common practice of most contractors and homeowners to prevent the concrete from drying too fast. When the top layer dries out before the rest of the concrete, it produces a weak surface layer called scaling. This can be prevented by spraying the surface with water, which is called curing.
Details about the importance of keeping concrete wet
When concrete is poured in forms, the sides of the forms must be kept wet so that they do not absorb any of the water from the concrete mixture or else it will reduce its overall strength. Once the concrete has been poured, you must add additional water to prevent it from drying out as it cures. The curing process takes about four weeks before you can remove the forms and go on to other aspects of construction.
In addition to spraying water over freshly poured concrete, a layer of burlap soaked in water should be placed over top of it as well by your concrete contactor. This prevents direct sunlight from drying out the surface too quickly and causing cracking to occur. Some contractors use a layer of plastic sheeting instead but this does not allow for enough evaporation which can also cause cracks in your fresh pour.
Water is necessary in the concrete curing process
The curing process should start as soon as the finishing process is complete. This means that your concrete contractor should start curing your driveway soon after he finishes troweling it out. He will spray the surface with water, then cover it with a white plastic sheet or burlap.
If you’re pouring a sidewalk or patio yourself, make sure you keep water on the concrete for at least three days. You should replace any water that evaporates during this time. You can also use commercially made curing compounds that you spray or roll onto the surface.