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Concrete FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Concrete

How quickly does concrete set?

Concrete remains workable for a little over an hour, although the exact time depends on the type of concrete mix and the ambient temperature; concrete sets faster in hot weather.

If you are not used to handling concrete it can seem as though one minute you have a workable ‘slush’ and the next there is a hard surface. When concrete starts to set there is little time for remedial action. In special circumstances a retarder can be used and we will be pleased to discuss any particular requirements.

Concrete footings may be ready for the first layer of bricks on the day after pouring but most mixes require two days. It is best to keep off drives or roadways for at least 48 hours and avoid running heavy loads - including cars - over them for seven days (ideally 10 in winter). Concrete reaches most of its full strength by around 28 days.

What does it mean to ‘cure’ concrete?

Curing concrete is the term used for stopping new concrete from drying out too quickly. This is done because, if left to dry out of it's own accord, concrete will not develop the full bond between all of its ingredients. It will be weaker and more prone to crack.

The simplest way to cure concrete is to place a polythene sheet over the slab for seven days in summer and 10 in winter. If there is any risk of freezing leave an air gap by placing the sheet on timber battens.

How Much Concrete Do I Need?

Readymix concrete quantities are calculated by multiplying length x width x depth in cubic metres (m3).To help you work out how much concrete you need for a job we've provided a useful concrete calculator to help ensure you get the volume you need. Alternatively - go through our project selector to help identify your exact requirements.

When do I need to add steel reinforcement?

Any requirement for steel mesh reinforcement will be decided during the planning stage by the architect, engineer or local authority. There may be alternatives, including the use of fibre concrete but this will depend of the specific project and on local ground conditions.

If steel is used it is important to notify the concrete supplier before placing the order as this may influence the selection of certain ingredients in the mix.

What is Concrete?

Concrete is a mixture of aggregates, water, admixtures and cement. Concrete may also contain other additives such as mineral colours, blended cements and blast-furnace slag. Typically its used in construction - including foundations, basements, driveways and various other construction projects.

Are There Health & Safety Risks Associated With Handling Concrete?

There are risks when handling concrete, however, we have put together a health and safety guide and a datasheet to help keep you safe on-site.

How Much Is Readymix Concrete?

A variety of factors can affect the cost - which is why we prefer to talk through your requirements with you to help find the best and most cost-effective solution for you. Typically things that can affect the final price of readymix concrete include distance of delivery, cement content, additions of fibres or admixtures and lead time.

To help understand your requirements we recommend going through our project selection tool to help work out exactly what you need.

How Can I Pay?

We accept all major credit and debit cards or cash.


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Phone: 0345 600 6464
Monday to Friday: 7:00am - 17:30pm
Saturday: 7:00am - 12:00pm