Concrete plays a vital role in a wide range of construction projects, but there’s no denying that adverse weather conditions can make it harder to use effectively. As The L. Suzio York Hill Companies of South Central Connecticut explains, cold winter weather can introduce several unique challenges that contractors can typically avoid during the warmer months. Here’s a closer look at this common construction concern.
One of the most significant problems facing contractors in the winter is how cold temperatures can affect freshly-poured concrete. Temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit slow down the setting process, while also stopping hydration reaction. This keeps the concrete from solidifying and gaining the necessary strength for performing its standard functions in the future. In addition, freezing water within the concrete mixture can expand and cause cracks in the concrete.
Another problem is with the ground itself. While contractors would naturally avoid pouring concrete on snow or ice, frozen ground can also present serious problems. As frozen ground thaws, it settles, which can cause the concrete to crack.
In warmer weather, contractors don’t have to worry about either of these issues. Temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit enable the concrete mix to set relatively quickly, ensuring it has the durability and strength needed to perform its designated functions.
It’s worth noting that a concrete provider can make changes to the mix to make it more suitable for cold weather conditions, such as using hot water, adding accelerators, or altering some of the other ingredients. However, improved soil conditions and fewer weather variables generally make it better to pour concrete during the warmer months.
With a great selection of concrete and crushed stone products, The L. Suzio York Hill Companies will provide the materials you need for almost any construction project. With over 110 years in operation, you can trust their team to always provide quality materials. To learn more about their ready-mix concrete products, visit them online or call (203) 237-8421.