Whether you’re launching a large construction project or a small DIY endeavour – you need to be aware of the impact that cold weather has on concrete pouring, and the potential complications that can arise.
Pouring concrete in cold weather will require professional knowledge to ensure the final result is of the highest quality – and specialists such as EasyMix Concrete ensure a concrete pour is carried out successfully, whatever the weather.
What is meant by cold weather?
You may not have a clear sense of what cold weather actually means in regards to concrete. Concrete is defined as being exposed to cold weather when:
- 2°C or less is the average daily air temperature experienced on location
- Air temperature does not increase any higher than 5°C for more than a half of any 24 hour period
How does cold weather affect concrete?
The main hindrance of cold weather is its effect on the development of concrete strength as it sets. Depending on the temperature, there may be a possibility of the concrete freezing before it has a chance to set. The aim is to get the concrete set to a strength that means it will no longer be afflicted by freezing. It’s also worth remembering that for each unique mix the effects of cold weather will be different.
Tips for pouring concrete in cold weather
- Schedule smartly. Consider the weather forecast, and if adverse weather can be avoided, then do so.
- Any special requirements? Think about whether the type of concrete mix needs to achieve a certain level of strength for its application, as this may affect the temperatures it requires.
- Aim for temperatures over 5°C. This is the ideal temperature for concrete to set without freezing, and also for it to set to an ideal strength. Sometimes it simply isn’t possible to achieve this temperature, in which case, measures will need to be taken to keep the concrete mixture warm in adverse conditions. A professional, such as EasyMix Concrete, can help you keep the mixture warm.
- Use an appropriate grade. Not all concrete grades are suited for winter weather, and using lower quality grades can cause major issues. Consult with your concrete provider, who should be able to put a winter mix together appropriate for your needs and applications.
- Prepare the pour site in advance. Making preparations for a delivery is good practice anyway, and even more vital when the cold weather sets in. Insulation and heated enclosures, where possible, will be your friend, both before and after the pour – as will frost blankets before and after. Heaters for indoor projects will provide the boost of heat needed to maintain a reasonable temperature.
- Thaw the ground. Frozen ground, or pouring base, will need to be thawed before pouring and increased to a reasonable temperature – otherwise the ground will be weak and difficult to work with, laying the foundations for an unsuccessful project.
- Maintain the temperature after pouring. The time after a pour becomes vital, and a balance must be achieved between an optimum temperature and preventing it from drying too quickly. Keeping the concrete covered with a frost blanket can assist with this, as can expert advice.
For reliable concrete services across the home counties, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and beyond, look no further than EasyMix Concrete. We are a leading supplier of quality grades and concrete mixes, offering same or next day delivery directly to your site. Contact our experts today to discuss your commercial or domestic project.