How Long to Wait Before Walking on New Concrete?

How Long to Wait Before Walking on New Concrete?

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If you're like most people, the first thing you want to do when a new concrete patio or driveway is installed is walk on it! After all, it's so tempting to see how your new surface looks and feels underfoot. But before you take those first steps, there are some things you need to know. We will tell you how long you should wait before walking on new concrete and give tips for keeping your surface looking great for years to come!

Why Should You Wait to Walk on Your New Concrete?

Walking or driving on newly-poured concrete too soon can cause irreversible damage. Here are some reasons why it's important to wait before walking or driving on your new concrete:

1. Foot traffic can cause indentations in the surface of the concrete, creating a rough texture. If you walk on the concrete too early, your feet may sink into the soft material and create an inconsistent surface. This can lead to cracks and chips down the line.

2. Heavy vehicles, such as cars and trucks, can put too much pressure on the surface of the concrete before it has fully cured. This can cause cracks in the slab and leave you with a rough ride.

3. The curing process is essential for the optimal strength of your new concrete—walking or driving on it too soon can cause the material to weaken and become vulnerable to damage.

Timeline To Wait Before Walking on Concrete

Concrete is a hard, durable material used in construction for various applications. Knowing how long you must wait before walking on newly poured concrete is essential to allow it to cure and set properly.

The amount of time depends upon the type of concrete mix used, environmental conditions, and the thickness of the slab. Generally, wait 24 to 48 hours before walking on a new concrete surface that’s four inches or thicker.

If you plan to apply any coating on the concrete, such as sealer or paint, wait at least seven days for the surface to dry completely before applying it. This will prevent it from bubbling, peeling, or cracking.

If the concrete is used for a driveway, it must be allowed to cure longer and harder before vehicles can drive on it. Allow at least 28 days of cure time and then wait an additional three to four weeks before driving any vehicles over the newly poured concrete surface.

For example, driveways are usually six inches thick and require at least 28 days of curing time before you can drive on them.

The longer the concrete is allowed to cure, the harder it will become and, therefore, more durable for any activity or weight placed upon it.

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