Concrete is a durable building material that can be used in a variety of applications from foundations to driveways. It can even be decorative, adding color and texture to a patio or pool area. But, when pouring concrete, certain conditions need to be met to ensure the final result is strong and aesthetically pleasing. Extreme weather can impact this material, and even temperature alone can have a few surprising effects on your project.
How Weather Affects Concrete
Incorrect Set Times
Hot temperatures lead to rapid hydration of the cement, resulting in less workability. Concrete set at a temperature higher than 104 degrees Fahrenheit will suffer from accelerated setting, giving personnel less handling time during projects. Time frames are also affected by colder temperatures, with frigid temperatures compromising the strength of the material as it cures.
When high temperatures cause rapid evaporation, the material will harden too quickly, causing shrinkage and cracking. Cold will also do permanent damage, especially if fresh concrete is exposed to freezing temperatures before it has time to harden properly. Both extremes will weaken strength and durability.
Because heat causes premature evaporation in concrete, high temperatures can reduce the material’s ability to cure properly. It may also cause it to cure unevenly, leading to an undesirable result with some areas smooth and properly set and others bumpy and porous.
When working with air-entrained concrete, air pockets are needed to release internal pressure and enable water to expand and contract during temperature fluctuations. But in less-than-ideal temperatures, these qualities cannot be controlled as easily, leading to reduced workability. Hot concrete entrains less air, which creates less room for much-needed expansion and contraction.
For 50 years, Connecticut’s top concrete company has been Builder’s Concrete East. Located in Windham, their quality ready-mix concrete can be used for projects large and small, from commercial construction to new driveways. They also offer colored concrete and stamped varieties as well as pervious options designed to help with water runoff on your property. For Windham, call (860) 456-4111 and for Manchester dial (860) 643-5578. You can also contact (860) 942-9386 for quotes and mix designs or call their aggregate professionals, Windham Materials, at (860) 456-3277. Visit their website and like them on Facebook for more.