If you're going to be pouring a new patio, you'll need to take steps to cure the concrete. Without proper curing, your concrete will be susceptible to cracking and crumbling. Luckily, concrete curing can be a fairly simple process. However, it does take some planning. Here are four steps to ensure that your concrete cures properly.

Keep the Concrete Moist

When it comes to curing your concrete correctly, the first thing you need to do is keep it moist. Without proper moisture during the curing process, the concrete will dry out too quickly. The best way to cure your concrete is to spray it with a garden hose several times a day for at least the first week. Simply turn your hose on and saturate the surface of the concrete. Allow the water to dry, and then repeat the application.

Keep the Concrete Covered

If you don't have enough time to dedicate to frequent watering during the first week, you can utilize the evaporation process to keep the concrete moist. Water your concrete and then cover the surface with a heavy-duty tarp. The tarp will trap the water and help keep the concrete moist longer. Not only that, but the heat that builds up inside the tarp will help produce additional moisture, which will improve the curing process.

Keep the Concrete Warm

If you're going to be pouring your new patio during the winter, you'll need to take steps to keep the concrete warm during the curing process. Cold weather will destroy your concrete, especially if it doesn't cure properly. To protect your new concrete, place an insulated cover over the area that's curing. Keep the cover in place until the cold weather passes. If you're going to be using an insulated cover, you won't need to use the heavy-duty tarp to keep the concrete moist. The insulated cover will serve both purposes—warmth and moisture.

Keep the Concrete Free of Heavy Objects

If you're want your new concrete patio to retain a smooth finish, you'll need to block it off from foot traffic for about 24 hours. You'll also need to block it off from vehicle traffic for at least a week. It will take at least 24 hours for the concrete to cure so that foot traffic doesn't leave marks. The additional time will be needed to avoid damage caused by vehicle traffic.

Don't take chances with your new patio. The tips provided here will ensure that your concrete cures properly. For more information, reach out to companies like New England Paving.