Curing concrete in cold conditions


A book I have indicates it's best for your concrete to cure when it's warm. It said over 70 degrees would be good. It had instructions if it's 50 - 70 degrees. However, it's colder than that here right now.
The plumbers who did my trenchless sewer lateral replacement did some concrete work, patching up some concrete where they had to dig holes to do the work. They did this a bit over a week ago and it looks to me like the concrete is curing very slowly. These guys didn't measure when they mixed the concrete. Mostly, they used Quickcrete (or something like that), bags of ready mixed dry to which they added water by squirting water in with a hose. They'd mix it some, and then add some more water or some dry cement depending on how it appeared to them. It was chilly then and it's only gotten chillier, for the most part.
It's been dry and days have had high temperatures from 48 to 55 and nights have dropped to 31 to 34 since they did the work about 8 days ago. Should I be spraying water on the patches to facilitate the curing? Should I cover them? One of the patches looks as though it's virtually not curing - shows no white streaks on at least half of it. The last week has been unusually cold for around here and I can reasonably expect daytime and nightime temperatures to increase 5-7 degrees shortly. Thanks for any advice.
Dan
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If it's been 8 days, then it's done. You'll do nothing to change it now. The temperature is only critical to keep the mix from freezing before it cures. The cure itself is a chemical reaction. And if it freezes before the water is gone, then you have a worthless mess.
--
Steve Barker


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Agreed, low temperatures will not affect it only if it freezes, even then it won't be a problem if you cover it so that it can draw some ground warmth. After all, here in Canada, construction proceeds through winter with concrete pouring in sub-zero temperatures with the aid of concrete antifreeze and heaters.

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