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At the first sign of some sunshine, it’s always tempting to take on those construction projects you’ve been putting off all winter. It’s clearly a good time to get work done while conditions are dry and more comfortable to work in, but can you lay concrete in hot weather?

The answer is yes, but you’ll have to keep a few things in mind.

It’s roughly around this time of the year that we start to see temperatures start to soar, and since the year 2000, we’ve had six of the hottest days on record for the UK. With heatwaves more common – we hit 40°C for the first time on record last year – it’s important to understand how the heat can impact your concrete, and therefore the progress of your project, to keep things on track.

As we’re likely to have more intense heat this year, we wanted to provide expert tips on pouring concrete under these conditions. If you’d like to know more, just give us a call at EasyMix Concrete or, to calculate your order, check out our concrete calculator.

Tips for pouring concrete in hot weather | EasyMix Concrete

How hot weather can affect concrete

There are a few important things you need to know about how hot weather can affect concrete, since it’s likely to impact your plans and alter your timings. Here are three important ways that your concrete may be affected by extreme heat:

  1. The consistency may change. The flow or slump of your concrete can drastically reduce in hot weather, and adding water to address this will likely decrease the compressive strength of the mix. This can also lead to less durable structures as the set concrete is more permeable.
  2. The setting time may be reduced. With the heat comes a shorter setting time for concrete, meaning you get less time for placement, compacting and finishing.
  3. The risk of plastic shrinkage increases. Because the heat speeds up how fast moisture is lost from the mixture when poured, there is an increased risk of cracking to the exposed surface.


How to prepare for concreting in the heat

The good news is that you can try and mitigate the above risks by taking precautions and preparing for your concrete delivery. Here are three things you can do to help prepare your site when the temperatures start to spike:

  1. Prepare your site in advance. This means making sure your pour site is actually ready, but you can also take time to implement some shade for the area using plastic sheets. This can help to keep the temperature of the pour site down, giving you more time to work with the mixture once poured.
  2. Get ready to receive your concrete. With your time for working with the mixture reduced, you want to make sure you’re fully prepared for the arrival of your concrete so that you can pour it as swiftly as possible. Clear all routes to the pour site and ensure all required work is completed in time for the delivery.
  3. Dampen the sub-base and timber forms. Using a little water to dampen both the sub-base and the timber forms around the concrete can help to keep the pour site cool, but it can also be useful in hydrating as the pour progresses.

Cement being poured into a mixer | EasyMix Concrete

Tips for pouring concrete in hot weather

Battling the hot weather in order to complete your concrete project? Here are a few concrete pouring tips if you’re laying concrete in hot weather:

  1. Opt for ready-mix concrete so that it can be delivered and poured straight away.
  2. Consider using a concrete pump to shield the mix and get it to the pour site quicker.
  3. Enlist additional labour to make sure you can work the concrete before it sets.
  4. Arrange your concrete pour outside of the hottest point in the day, that’s usually 11am-3pm.
  5. Keep your tools and equipment cool in a shaded area to give yourself a better chance of minimising the impact of heat on the concrete.
  6. Seek professional advice for more instructions from the experts.

If you’re looking for quality concrete for your domestic or commercial construction project this summer, look no further than EasyMix Concrete. As a leading concrete supplier for the region, we offer ready-mix concrete to help you get the best results wherever you are in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire & beyond.

Contact our friendly team for more advice or to place your concrete order.

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