One thing that you need to know about concrete is that it is extremely durable, but it needs to be dried and cured properly in order to reach its full potential. One of the most common questions that new concrete owners have before hiring a concrete contractor is, How long someone should wait on concrete after it has been poured.
The time when it’s safe to walk on concrete without damaging it
The best time to walk on fresh concrete is when it has just started setting but has not yet hardened completely. This is when it is firm enough to support your weight without sinking into the mix but soft enough that your boots will not damage it by leaving marks on the surface
The period concrete should be given before it is walked on
The answer to this question depends on a few different factors. The most important ones are the weather and the type of concrete that was used. If you live somewhere warm, then you will be able to start walking on your new sidewalk or patio as soon as it’s dry to the touch. However, if you live somewhere cool, you may have to wait up to a week before walking on freshly poured concrete.
Keep in mind that concrete can take up to 28 days before reaching its full potential strength and durability as every concrete contractor will tell you. If your newly poured concrete was done correctly, then walking on it too soon will not cause any damage. However, if there were any mistakes made during the pouring process, then premature use could cause cracks or other forms of damage that will be expensive and time consuming to repair. If you are unsure whether or not your new concrete slab has been properly cured and dried, ask an expert
Concrete needs time to set
A good concrete contractor will tell you that concrete varies in its setting time, depending on its composition and the weather conditions. In good conditions, most concrete starts setting within 30 minutes of being poured and takes about a week to reach 90% of its strength. This point is known as final set.
However, final set and maximum strength are not the same thing. For example, if you pour a slab with an air-entrainment admixture, the slab will be strong enough to walk on in 24 hours but it will still be gaining strength over the next month or two. On average, concrete takes 28 days to reach 95% of its maximum strength