How Long Does Quikrete Take To Dry? [Factors That Affects The Dry Time]

Blog, Construction

When you talk about common materials for DIY projects, quikrete falls on that list. It is used mostly for small-scale projects, like building mail posts, walkways, fence posts, etc. The main reason for this is because of its fast drying and harder strength. But how long does it actually take quikrete to dry?

The drying time for quikrete is mostly based on the type of mix used, the weather conditions, the temperature, and the amount of water used in the mix. However, the general rule of thumb is that it takes around 5 – 10 days for quikrete to be dry enough for full usage.

In this article, I will highlight the steps involved, how long it takes quikrete to set, how long it takes for light traffic, and how long it takes for it to achieve its full load-bearing capacity.

How long does it take quikrete to dry?

The main reason people fancy quikrete over concrete is the drying time. Even though they have the same major component in their mix, quikrete contains additives to make it dry faster and stronger.

When quikrete is poured, it takes between 20 – 45 minutes for it to set. Once it is poured, you can shape, trowel, and alter it during this time. Once it is set, it is already 40% strong. It can no longer be reshaped else it might be damaged.

Quikrete is dry enough for light-foot traffic 24 hours after it is poured. However, for a heavy object to pass through it, it should take at least 5 days after it is poured. 

So, in general, it is safe to say it takes quikrete between 5 – 10 days for it to dry, afterwards, you can move any object across it. However, various factors may affect the dry time, causing it to take longer than the regular time to dry.

What are the factors that affect how long it takes quikrete?

The time it takes for quikrete to dry is not actually fixed. This is mainly because many factors may eventually affect the time needed to set and cure the quikrete. Some examples include the following;

1. Weather

For quikrete to dry, water has to be removed from it. The fastest way water leaves the mixture is by evaporation. For this to take place, the weather condition has to be favorable. If the weather conditions are bad, moisture will be unable to leave the mix.

2. Amount of water used

Another factor that can affect the dry time of quikrete is the amount of water used in the mixture. The more the water, the longer it takes the quikrete to set and the more it needs to evaporate before it can dry fully.

Many try to bypass this by using a smaller amount of water in their mix. The result, however, will likely be a surface that is weak since the crystal in the quikrete did not expand fully due to lack of water.

The key is to use the recommended amount of water for the nature of the mix you are using. There are different types of quikrete mix, e.g., quikrete Q-max, quikrete 5000, quikrete crack resistant, and so much more.

Each of these types of quikrete has its specific purpose and, with it, instructions on how to mix. Simply follow the stated instructions accordingly to get the best result. There is also a rule of thumb to this: simply mix the quikrete till it is oat-meal-like. That is, till it takes the shape or form of oatmeal. Seems pretty straightforward, ain’t it?

3. The type of quikrete mix used

As I mentioned in the previous section, there are different types of quikrete mixtures, and each of them has its own unique feature. For example, the fast-setting mix is designed to set faster, and after it sets, curing begins. This type of quikrete may dry as fast as 5 days. Whereas, other types may take slightly longer to dry as their main property is to come out stronger rather.

What happens if it rains on quikrete?

Rainfall on quikrete is not what one would wish for; however, it does happen. The effect actually depends on the state of the quikrete mixture. If the quikrete has not been used initially, it may cause the mixture inside to harden and become unusable.

If the quikrete has just been poured, it means it would require more time to set and cure. The rain will introduce more moisture into the mixture, and more moisture means it will take longer to evaporate.

Another effect of rain on quikrete that has just been poured is that the surface may suffer. If the downpour is heavy enough, it could leave marks on the surface of your quikrete pour. However, rainfall after the mixture has been set for some time will not cause any issues. Since it has been sitting for a while, it should be hard enough to withstand the rainfall.


Is quikrete the same as concrete?

Not specifically. Though they are made with a mixture of cement, water, and aggregate, quikrete has additives. These additives make it dry faster or stronger, which differentiates it from concrete.

Is quikrete as strong as concrete?

Yes, it is. Quikrete is as strong as regular concrete and can withstand similar force.

How do you know when quikrete is dry?

There is no actual method to tell if it is dry. The rule of thumb is that after 24 hours, it is strong enough for light foot traffic. And after at least 5 days, it should be dry enough for heavy traffic.


Quikrete is the go-to material when you speak of small-time DIY projects. Knowing how fast it sets, dries, and cures is very important. A typical quikrete mixture will take around 24 – 48 hours till it is strong enough to support lightweight.

After at least 5 days, it should be strong enough to take major weight. However, you should note that this time frame is not fixed. Certain factors can affect the estimated time, as highlighted in this article.

I hope you found this article helpful. Before leaving, you should also see this article on Concrete Poisoning – how can one get concrete poisoning, how to tell if you have concrete poisoning, and most importantly, what to do.

Thanks for reading.

About Samkins

Samkins Construction Inc specializes in custom home building, general contracting, design-build, architectural design, construction management, and real estate services.


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