Skip to Content

How Long Does It Take For Quikrete To Dry

When working with concrete like Quikrete, it’s essential to understand the process of how concrete dries and cures fully. Concrete “dries” relatively quickly as the water evaporates from the surface, usually within 24-48 hours, depending on conditions. However, for most concrete mixtures, concrete takes much longer to cure and reach maximum strength – around 28 days fully.

The curing process continues as long as water is available for the concrete to cure and harden. Methods focus on keeping water in the concrete for as long as possible. Proper curing is essential for the concrete to gain abrasion resistance and durability. When water is added to make the concrete mixture, the concrete grows stronger over time through a chemical process while setting and hardening.

New concrete requires proper curing to set and completely dry. Concrete time to cure depends on how much water is used in the mixture. Too much water can weaken the concrete and cause cracking as it dries. Hotter air temperatures make the concrete cure faster. There are also fast setting concrete mixes, like Quikrete, to set and reach full strength quickly.

Quikrete concrete mixtures

It needs to be properly finished before concrete has dried and cured fully. Finishing work has to be done while the concrete is still setting and the surface is hard enough but not completely dry. In our guide, you can learn more about using concrete of this type and how long a concrete mixture takes to dry and cure.

By the end, you’ll better understand how long fast setting Quickrete concrete “dries” compared to regular ready-mix concrete. (Read What Is A Group Of Butterflies Called)

Understanding the Drying and Curing Process for Concrete

To understand how long does it take Quikrete to dry, it’s vital first to understand the difference between dry concrete and cured concrete.  Concrete “dries” when the surface is firm enough to withstand foot traffic and resist damage. This initial drying process is usually between 24 and 48 hours after pouring, that it takes concrete to dry.

However, concrete takes much longer to fully cure and reach its maximum strength through a chemical process of hydration, where it is hard and dry enough to hold activity on top of the surface. 

The curing process for concrete takes approximately 28 days in normal conditions. This is how long it takes for concrete to fully set, harden, and gain its intended strength. During this curing time, the concrete mixture chemically reacts with water to hydrate the cement, and the concrete will dry to create strong bonds between the aggregate materials like sand and gravel.

While drying happens relatively quickly on the surface, curing occurs throughout the poured concrete’s entire thickness. So even when concrete feels dry to the touch, the curing process continues for weeks as water in the concrete mixture reacts with the cement.

How Long Does Quikrete Take to Dry?

The typical drying time it will take Quikrete to dry ranges between 24 and 72 hours before the concrete products surface is dry to the touch. However, the total time to dry depends on the specific Quikrete product and other factors:

Quikrete Concrete Mix:

This premixed concrete product is designed for general concrete work. It will be dry enough to walk on within 24 hours. The concrete mix will be fully cured and reach its full strength in 28 days. (Learn How Long For Car Paint To Dry)

Quikrete Fast-Setting Concrete Mix:

This concrete mix is designed to set faster, in 20-40 minutes. It will be fully cured in just 3 days instead of the typical 28 days for standard concrete. The fast-setting mix allows projects to be completed much quicker.

Quikrete Crack Resistant Concrete Mix:

This concrete mix contains additives to create high-strength, crack-resistant concrete. It takes about 24 hours to dry enough for foot traffic and 7 days to be fully cured. 

Quikrete High Strength Concrete Mix:

This concrete mix is designed to produce extra-strong concrete with a compressive strength of 5000 PSI. It will be ready for foot traffic within 24 hours and reach full strength in 28 days.

Quikrete Fast-Setting Cement & Concrete Repair:

This fast-drying cement product is designed for concrete repairs. It sets in about 20-40 minutes and cures fully in 1-2 days.

Quikrete Vinyl Concrete Patcher:

 This product is designed to quickly patch holes and cracks in the surface of the concrete. It will be dry to the touch and set in 20 to 30 minutes.

Drying and Curing Time For Quikrete

Factors that Affect Drying and Curing Time

While Quikrete products have an estimated drying time, several external factors can speed up or slow down the drying and curing process regardless of the kind of concrete you use, including:

Air Temperature: 

The hotter the air temperature, the faster the curing/drying process, as warmer temperatures accelerate curing while colder temps slow the process. Drying and curing takes longer in winter than in hot weather. (Learn How Long Does Behr Paint Take To Dry)

Mixing Water Temperature:

Using warmer water in your mixture of cement when mixing speeds up concrete hardening compared to cold water, thus giving you a shorter time to work before concrete sets. 


Humidity levels can cause the concrete to crack after you pouring the concrete. Drier conditions allow faster surface drying, while higher humidity slows water evaporation from the surface. On regular concrete, too dry an atmosphere is as bad as one that is too wet, where you’ll need to keep the dry concrete damp while the concrete is setting.

Wind and Sun Exposure:

Direct sun and wind will rapidly dry a concrete surface compared to shaded areas. A concrete slab may dry fast, yet the sun can make concrete crack.

Concrete Thickness:

Thicker pours take longer to fully cure and dry than thinner applications.

Use of Curing Compounds:

Applying curing compounds or sealers slows moisture loss, extending curing time. Quikrete Acrylic Concrete Cure can penetrate the concrete surface to waterproof your concrete.

Amount of Mixing Water:

Using excessive water increases drying time compared to a drier mix. 

Type of Concrete:

As outlined above, products like fast-setting concrete and cement dry quicker than standard mixes. 

Amount of Air Entrainment:

Air bubbles intentionally created in the concrete slow the curing process. 

Tips for Proper Concrete Slab Drying and Curing

While you can read the instructions on the concrete bag, here’s more tips to promote proper drying and curing when working with fast-setting Quikrete:

  1. Allow the concrete to initially set undisturbed until dry to the touch before finishing or walking on the surface.
  2. Avoid excess troweling or finishing while concrete is still very wet. This can bring extra water to the surface and cause scaling.
  3. Use curing blankets or plastic sheets to retain moisture while curing if drying conditions are very sunny, windy, or dry. 
  4. Mist the concrete surface with water if it is drying too quickly before curing is complete.
  5. Avoid adding extra water to the concrete surface during finishing, which weakens the surface.
  6. Allow 7 days minimum until the concrete is completely cured before exposing concrete to freeze and thaw cycles.
  7. Seal the concrete after full curing to prevent moisture loss and strengthen the surface. (Read Leach Field Blasting)

Quikrete Drying Times

Estimated Fast Setting Quikrete Drying Times

Here is a summary of approximate drying times for common Quikrete products:

  • Quikrete dry mix concrete – 24 to 48 hours to dry for foot traffic, 28 days for full curing.
  • Quikrete fast-setting concrete mix – 20 to 40 minutes to initial set, 3 days full cure.
  • Quikrete crack-resistant concrete – 24 hours initial dry time, 7 days full curing. 
  • Quikrete high-strength concrete – 24 hours before foot traffic, 28-day full cure.
  • Quikrete fast-setting cement products – 20 to 40 minutes initial set, 1 to 2 days final cure. 
  • Quikrete vinyl concrete patcher – 15 to 20 minutes to become dry to the touch.


Concrete is one of the most common building materials you will ever find. In short, some factors determine how long concrete takes to dry and cure. 

The type of concrete used, like standard Quikrete mix or fast setting Quikrete, affects the drying time, like the environmental conditions such as dry weather or rain.  

While concrete may feel dry within 24 hours, the curing process takes 28 days to fully complete. Proper curing means keeping the concrete moist and protected while the chemical reactions take place to gain strength. 

With the proper drying and curing, Quikrete concrete can deliver maximum durability and longevity for the project.

FAQs: How Long Does It Take Quikrete to Dry

How long does a bag of Quikrete 4000 PSI concrete take to dry?

When you want to know how long does Quikrete take to dry? A standard 80 lb bag of 4000 PSI Quickrete concrete mix will be dry to the touch in 24-48 hours. It will take a full 28 days to fully dry and reach maximum strength. 

Can I walk on Quikrete after 24 hours?

Standard Quikrete concrete mix is designed to be dry enough to walk on after 24 hours without damaging the surface. However, wait longer for heavy foot traffic, vehicles, or furniture placement.

How long does Quikrete take to cure?

Quikrete concrete mixes take about 28 days to cure and bond unless it is a fast-setting formula fully. Curing continues well past the initial 24-48 hour dry time.

What is the difference between curing and drying with concrete?

Drying occurs on the concrete surface, while curing is the chemical process that continues for weeks as concrete gains strength. Drying happens much quicker than full curing.

How Long Does It Take For Quikrete To Dry