Although outdoor improvement projects are commonly performed during spring and summer, it’s not unusual for contractors to tackle some jobs in the winter, despite the challenges that the weather might present. Among the most common is pouring ready-mix concrete. While the conditions need to be right for the substance to cure properly, it’s possible to do the job. Here is what you should know.
Practicality of Pouring Concrete During Winter
It’s possible to pour ready-mix concrete during the coldest months of the year. However, special precautions must be taken to ensure proper curing or hydration. This is the process that occurs when the chemicals in the mixture interact with the water to bind as one. The material must cure correctly to achieve a smooth, durable finish that is stable enough to support heavy weight without sustaining damage.
The problem is that reduced temperatures force concrete to cure at a much slower pace. That process only happens successfully when the temperature is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The ground needs to remain above freezing temperature until its strength reaches at least 500 pounds per square inch, or its ability to carry a specific load successfully. If the mixture freezes too soon, the ice could impact the concrete’s strength.
Ensuring That the Concrete Cures Correctly
Specific steps must be taken when pouring ready-mix concrete in the winter. To prepare the ground, it must be completely thawed and warmed. This prevents the mixture from settling in an unbalanced position and causing eventual cracks and other surface damage. Ideally, both the subgrade level and the concrete itself should be similar in temperature to achieve the best result.
Create a heated workspace by enclosing the area with a wind- and weather-proof system to prevent exposure to cold air and elements. You can also use combustion heaters, so long as you include sufficient ventilation. It’s also helpful to place a concrete curing blanket on the surface during the hydration process to ensure that it cures successfully and protect it from moisture and freezing.
If you’re seeking a reliable company to provide ready-mix concrete for your next project, trust in the professionals at Weeks Sand & Concrete. Serving Cameron, NC, since 1984, the company offers a variety of products to residential, commercial, and industrial products. Turn to them for materials such as topsoil, fill sand, sand clay, and washed sand. Visit them online for information or call (919) 499-4272.
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