Q: As a contractor, I often have to dig and pour concrete footings. But after long spells of dry weather, the soil at the bottom of the excavated holes can be super dry. How does the moisture content in the soil affect how bagged concrete cures?

A: Bill Palmer Jr., an engineer and the editor-in-chief of Concrete Construction a sister publication of responds: Concrete gains strength through a reaction called hydration, which means that water is consumed as it reacts with the mix and forms the crystalline structure that makes the concrete strong. If the concrete dries out before the...

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