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THERE ARE THINGS YOU CAN DO SPEED UP CURING TIME, BUT USE CAUTION

There are accelerator additives that you can include in your mix to speed up the curing process. Be sure to follow the specific instructions of the brand you use.

Blankets that are either insulated or electrically heated can be used.  If you use blankets, make sure to keep the corners and edges down, as they can wick off heat.  For some cases, the work area or building is tented.  More commonly, cold weather concrete is cured while protected using plastic tarps.

A head's up about curing under tarps:  if you don’t prop it up from the concrete, your cured surface will be spotted.

Wherever the plastic touches the curing concrete, condensation occurs (because curing is an exothermic reaction). At the same time, wrinkles and air pockets can happen where the plastic remains suspended above the concrete. The result is excessive blotchiness once cured.

To avoid this discoloration - and a headache later - the plastic should be tented so it doesn’t make direct contact with the concrete.  A frame can be whipped up with lumber, 1” PVC, rebar you have around, etc.  Use the frame to prevent any buckets, core drills, concrete cutting saws or whatever other masonry supplies and equipment you have on TOP of the tarp from causing either indents or discolorations UNDER the tarp.

Base your cure time on your temperatures, codes and guidelines; monitor your cooling down temps; and take a few extra cold weather steps . . . and you'll have cold weather concrete as perfect as what you make in the summer.