Concrete is a durable substance that can be used in a variety of ways. However, if you’re working with it during the colder months, the weather may compromise its integrity and make it weaker than intended. By avoiding some common mistakes while you work, you can prevent issues that might impact its condition and appearance in the future.
Cold-Weather Errors to Avoid When Working With Concrete
1. Pouring Concrete on a Frozen Surface
Check the forecast before you begin pouring concrete. If temperatures are freezing, you can't be sure the substance will cure properly. In fact, it can crack if it's poured on frozen ground. Additionally, the concrete mix nearest to the ground will cure slower than the portion that's exposed to air. This will create an uneven finish if the bottom layer remains soft and the top hardens, leading to cracks and other structural damage.
2. Letting the Concrete Freeze
After pouring your mix, it needs to stay warm so it cures properly. A portable heater can help with this task if it's large enough to let the concrete cure naturally. You might also need to cover the entire work zone with a heated enclosure, such as a tarp or sheet, to lock in heat and create a barrier to the outside air.
3. Leaving It Alone for Extended Periods
It's best to be prepared for anything when you're working with concrete in cold weather. If you have a full crew, establish a finishing team to watch the surface as it goes through its curing period. Professionals can seal it at the right time and use the appropriate product based on the conditions to ensure the newly finished surface is strong enough to use.
Are you seeking a reliable concrete supplier for your upcoming project? Turn to the team at Builder’s Concrete East in Windham, CT. Proudly serving the community for more than 50 years, they offer a variety of concrete products for everything from driveway and patio to pool deck construction. Visit them online to learn more about the company, or call (860) 456-4111 to discuss your project today.