We tend to associate construction development with seasons such as spring and summer. Who knew concrete pouring could be a winter project! Naturally, concrete pouring professionals must make adjustments to the concrete pouring methods due to climate change. Many questions surround this process. The main message is yes, it is possible that winter concrete pouring can be done successfully. We will address the main concerns, how concrete pouring is managed during winter months, and the concrete curing process.
There are a few methods of practice when pouring concrete during colder winter months. As the degrees in temperature drop, this will add the length of curing time. Did you know, for every 10° drop, the length of setting time doubles? The main goal is to prevent the concrete from freezing before it is cured. The fluctuation of temperature will create contraction resulting in cracking. Taking note of the temperature and weather conditions before commencing is crucial to map out which direction the project is headed, and which methods will be needed. A general rule of thumb, if the weather should fall to -40° degrees for three consecutive days, this is a clear indication that extra steps of precaution need to take place. Depending on the weather condition and state of temperature, a variation of materials is considered to thaw the subgrade. The foundation of which concrete is being poured must not be frozen and free from snow and ice. Materials may consist of heaters, insulation blankets, hot sand, or steamers. The method used will depend on the depth of the frozen ground. Additional steps may need to be incorporated, such as using hot water to add to the cement mix. Concrete pouring professionals may use chemical accelerators. Heating aggregates within the mix are also some standard methods. These will allow for proper curing.
Leading up to the next concern, will concrete cure correctly? If the measures mentioned in the above are taken into consideration, yes. The freshly poured concrete will have the optimal chance of curing during cold temperatures and obtain protection from excessive moisture. Covering the concrete during the curing process is also essential. As the concrete releases heat, the concrete blanket will ensure insulation. Concrete strength and durability are reliant on the curing process. Freezing will have a severe impact on stability. Protecting the curing process will allow the concrete to set without freezing and safeguard against potential frost damage. As time passes, the colder it gets, the worse it is for setting time; therefore, delays must be kept to a minimum.
The five main steps to concrete pouring during winter:
- Thaw the foundation
- Implement weather condition methods
- Remove excess water/ moisture
Now that methods and essential practices are highlighted, possibilities are endless. If there are concerns about which projects can or can not be done, always resort to a professional. Stouffville Mobile Redimix has all the answers and will provide the best advice to ensure concrete pouring can be a successful winter project.