Stage I —Rate of bleeding is greater than the rate of drying. Consequently, the surface of the concrete remains wet and no shrinkage takes place.

Stage II —Rate of drying is greater than the rate of bleeding. The surface dries out and shrinkage starts to take place. No cracking occurs because the concrete is still plastic enough to accommodate the resulting volume changes. Drying, and the corresponding shrinkage, proceed roughly at a constant rate.