Before installing a concrete driveway, most people want to know how long it takes to dry. Driving on it before it dries completely can ruin it. This means you have to wait and though the waiting period is not, it’s worth every second.



Approximate Concrete Curing Time

Typically, industrial concrete takes between 24 hours and 48 hours to dry. This means pets or children will not leave footprints on it, but it’s not ready for heavy vehicles. 7 days after installation, concrete reaches around 70% strength, and its full strength is achieved after 28 days.



What affects concrete setting?

Several things must be considered when applying concrete. They determine how it cures and the results after applying the concrete. One of the things that affect how a concrete floor cures is moisture level. It also plays a vital role in the concrete’s strength after it dries up. When there is a low level of moisture, concrete will cure fast. But this is not good for the concrete as it weakens the top layer causing it to flake.



A lot of moisture is also not good for your concrete floor; it decreases concrete compressive strength and lowers its durability. Besides, water creates a good environment for microbial growth leading to bacteria, mold, and mildew growth, affecting concrete’s strength.



Hot weather like the scorching heat, which is common during sunny weather in Britain, accelerates water evaporation causing the concrete to crack. When combined with strong winds, the drying process is even quicker. Therefore, building a shelter to guard the concrete against the dry breeze and too much heat is essential.



Difference between drying and curing concrete

Concrete drying and concrete curing are different processes. You cannot use the terms interchangeably. Curing happens more quickly than drying. This process refers to concrete hardening, which starts taking place as soon as the concrete is poured. It is also the most crucial process for a driveway as the concrete has to be strong enough to hold the weight of a vehicle.



Curing takes around 28 weeks, but the concrete will still have excess water, which must evaporate. It takes up to 30 days to dry a slab with a one-inch thickness. Here curing is our primary interest. However, in some applications, including concrete used in subflooring, drying is crucial, and work cannot move to the next level step until the concrete dries to a certain level. How different are these two processes?



  • Curing Concrete

Concrete contains water, cement, and aggregate. When this mixture goes through curing, the cement turns into a strong and hard substance that improves your space instead of paste full of rocks. Curing is triggered by a chemical process that begins when cement and water are mixed. A chemical reaction occurs and causes the mixture to cure, which results in a hard and solid substance. But, some water remains in the concrete, and the reason it has to dry properly. The extra moisture has to evaporate for a perfect concrete floor.

  • Drying Concrete

Only a small percentage of the water added to the cement is chemically transformed in the formation of the hard surface. Concrete can cure and still contain excess moisture. Drying takes longer than curing, and reason concrete cures while some water is still trapped in the hard substance. Drying stops when the air around the concrete cannot hold more water vapor, but as long as water vapor has escape routes, evaporation continues until the concrete is completely dry.


A concrete driveway or house floor has to be installed by a professional concrete contractor. Talk to us at San Bernardino Concrete via (909) 435-0788 and offer exceptional concrete-related services. Contact us now.