Home FAQs Curing & Finishing Concrete How long should I wait before I start wetting my new concrete patio to allow it to cure properly?
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How long should I wait before I start wetting my new concrete patio to allow it to cure properly?

Q: I'm preparing to install a 30'x30' patio in my backyard. After I have the patio finished and it's beginning to set, how long should I wait before I start wetting the concrete to allow it to cure properly? Do I let the newly poured concrete set 24 hours and then start covering it with burlap and continually misting with sprinklers or what? How long should I keep the burlap on and how long should I keep it wet, 3 days, 7 days???? Step by step curing instructions for the novice is what I'm looking for.

A:  I would recommend using a cure-n-seal product on your new patio. This can be applied as soon as you can walk on the concrete without marking the surface. Look for an acrylic cure-n-seal product with at least 15 - 18% solids. There are several brands available. They can be applied with either a sprayer or roller, but I would not recommend spraying them through a cheap unit that has a plastic tank and wand (acrylics tend to gum up these kinds of sprayers).
Water curing is a great way to cure your slab, but it is hard to do it well. It is very important that the entire surface of the slab be kept wet continuously, and this is hard to accomplish without the use of burlap. If you want to do this, I would recommend continuous curing for 3 days - more is better, but 3 days should be sufficient.
If you water cure, I would still recommend the application of the cure-n-seal product after the surface of the slab is dry.