Legacy Concrete Works, LLC

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Quick Set vs. Standard Set: What’s the Difference?

Not every building project is the same. Depending on your unique individual requirements, the concrete that would work best for you one instance can change from the next. Luckily, there are specialized supplies made for the job! While the differences between quick set and standard set concrete are few, they affect the outcome of our craft dramatically.

Some basic knowledge to remember is what constitutes concrete in the first place. Many people mistakenly interchange the terms concrete and cement. The truth is, cement is simply an ingredient in concrete. Concrete is made up of water, a mixture of aggregate material, such as rocks or gravel, and cement. Cement is a bonding agent that reacts when mixed with the other two components in concrete.

The main difference between quick set and regular set concretes is the addition of more cement to quick setting options. More cement causes a stronger bond, faster. Compared to regular concrete’s 24-48 hour set time, quick set concrete gains that desired hardness in just about twenty to forty minutes. While all concretes continue the process of curing virtually forever due to the water in the air, setting time is made up of the pivotal moments where the mix reaches the point where it is generally safe to step.

With quick concrete’s reduced set time, certain building projects work best with its use. Smaller jobs that don’t require complex designs or movements are our safest bet when it comes to quick set. Installing fence posts, for example, would be an ideal situation for us to use quick concrete, as it needs very little extra attention to set. The thing to watch out for with quick setting concrete is exactly in its name. If you have a project where we need a lot of concrete in several areas, it’s important for us to look out and ensure the workspace will not be disturbed, otherwise we can end up with an error set in stone, fast.

Rather than go through the woes of restarting the build from the beginning, regular set concrete is a great way to go for most projects. With this concrete, we have more freedom to fix mistakes as they come up, and therefore it’s the better choice for larger builds. When we have time to check on every area with concrete applied, your project has more insurance against bubbles and uneven spreads drying too quickly.

No matter what concrete we use, a basic tip we remember is to keep every application at an optimal temperature. If you know rain or heavy winds are due in the forecast, strongly consider waiting until extreme weather passes to call on us for work. Otherwise, happy building awaits!

2 Comments

  1. Hey,
    I did not know that quick set concrete would cure itself so fast. I haven’t seen many concrete contractor using this yet. I wonder whether there are differences in durability later on? I could see the quick set concrete having a bigger likelihood to developing air pockets in to the molds as it cures so fast. Correct me if I am wrong.

  2. Michelle Freeman

    January 22, 2019 at 11:19 pm

    I have a flange that needs to be replaced under my toilet. But, the concrete where the flange screws will be bolted is no longer there and have over the 20 years disintegrated So, I contacted a Plumber who indicated that he can fix the problem by using 10 minute Quick-set so the flange bolted screws will have something to adhere to. My concern is the PVC pipe where the water is goes when flushing…can concrete be poured around it. In other words will it damage the PCV pipe if concrete surrounds it over the years?

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