Concrete is a common material that's used for roads, sidewalks, and building foundations. However, this porous substance can be prone to damage if it's not poured during good weather and given the proper time to cure. While pouring a cement mix in the winter can be challenging, it's not impossible. Use these tips to ensure your finished product will stand the test of time.
How to Prepare & Pour Concrete in the Winter
1. Use Heated Mix
In the winter, mixing your cement with cold water can speed up the freezing process of the water molecules, leading to unwanted cracks and potholes. To avoid this, mix your concrete with warm water so it's heated and ready to pour onto the colder ground. This will increase the time it takes to freeze, giving the concrete ample time to cure before the water turns to ice.
2. Thaw the Ground
Ground temperatures need to be warm to prevent cracks in the concrete slab, so warm the frozen ground with thermal blankets or warming pipes. If you pour your slab before the ground is heated, it'll shift when the ground thaws. Additionally, the concrete on the bottom could cure more slowly than the top, meaning you'll be left with a sidewalk or driveway that's inadequate.
3. Check the Weather
Before mixing your concrete, check the weather forecast to ensure you'll have a string of at least three days with temperatures 40 degrees Fahrenheit or above. Avoid plans when there's rain, snow, sleet, or ice in the forecast, or days that have nighttime temperatures below freezing. Cold weather can result in the freeze/thaw cycle and slow the curing process, creating a weak slab or foundation.
If you need concrete for your winter project, contact Builder’s Concrete East. This team has been helping the residents of Windham, CT, and the surrounding areas with all of their concrete needs for almost 50 years. They provide residential and commercial construction sites with ready mixed concrete for projects of all sizes. With a wide variety of mixes available, you’ll be able to find a solution for all of your projects, no matter the time of year. To speak to a friendly staff member about your needs, call (860) 456-4111. To learn more about their available products, visit them online.