Ask your questions regarding the exterior of your house - siding, roofing, etc.
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I am wondering if it is necessary to cover sonotubes once filled with concrete in order for them to cure properly or if it is sufficient to place a 5-gallon bucket over the top to keep any rain out. Is there something that the plastic does when it is right on the concrete vs the bucket which is not right on the concrete (allowing it to breathe)?
Curing of concrete is a chemical reaction, not a dehydration process, so covering isn't necessary, unless it's raining hard on barely set concrete, then covering to avoid pitting or marring of the surface is fine.
Thanks-they're looking good. For backfilling the holes does it matter whether I use dirt or gravel? I have about two yards of gravel left over from a patio project - but also lots of dirt left from drilling the holes in the ground. Not to mention that it rained many times before I actually got to the tubes and concrete - so the holes caved in, and I re-dug them. Then I did it again. And again. In the end, I ended up with about 24" holes (diameter) - 42" deep. When I backfill around the cured tubes of concrete I want to be sure they will be stable.
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Just backfill in 6" layers and tamp it in really good, just like setting a post and it will be fine.I'd use the native dirt because it will compact and stabilize the footing. If you use gravel, the gravel gives a place for water to collect, which will soften the ground around and under the footings.