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RE: Have you heard of watering your foundation?

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I am a small general contractor who has been lurking on the list to learn all I can. It is my turn to share something I know. My guess is that the watering of the concrete slab/walls is during the curing process so the hot Dallas climate doesn't dry out the slab/walls due to evaporation. Concrete cures thru a process called the heat of hydration. It must be kept moist as long as possible to allow the concrete to cure at the specific design strength. I have done concrete forming in Florida and Massachusetts. While this process should be followed it usually is not.

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-----Original Message-----
From: Trobridge, Bruce [mailto:Bruce.Trobridge(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Monday, November 18, 2002 11:47 AM
To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)'
Subject: Have you heard of watering your foundation?

I was asked this question by my brother who is building a house in the Dallas area. I am a structural engineer in New York state and my response was- What? Why? I have not heard of this practice and neither has anyone I work with. The people he has spoken to (who are not engineers) say that if you don't water the concrete it somehow loses strength and cracks. The only thing I can figure is that the clay soil there has not been preconsolidated by glaciers as it has here and the moisture is kept up to prevent consolidation and settlement of the house. Am I on the right track?

Bruce C. Trobridge PE
Senior Building Structural Engineer
NYS - Office of General Services
(518) 486-1749