Three Tips For Laying Ready Mixed Concrete In The Cold

by TRP Ready Mix on July 3, 2016

Ready Mixed ConcreteAs the leaves fall and the cold weather creeps up on us, many homeowners often ask themselves: ”Is it too late to complete my concrete ready mix project ?”. Concrete professionals will tell you: it’s not too late! On the contrary: concrete construction projects can be completed year-round, as long as you follow certain guidelines that will help your concrete cure solidly and safely throughout its solidifying stages.

If the temperature is averaging less than 5 degrees Celsius and you are wondering what precautions you should take when laying your concrete in the cold, the following expert tips will give you confidence to finish your DIY concrete project this year.

How Cold Weather Affects Your Concrete

Many of us have, at one point, left a bottle of water in the freezer and hours later suddenly heard: ”BOOM!”. The bottle exploded due to frozen water being more voluminous than liquid water. This reaction is one of the reasons why laying out concrete in cold weather requires special measures to avoid cracking of the concrete as it solidifies, as cracks in your concrete create a definite and potentially dangerous structural weakness.  Furthermore, if ice forms in your concrete within the first 24 hours it is poured, it can lose up to 50% of its strength.

Before You Pour Your Concrete

It will be critical to ensure that the ground, or form, on which you will be pouring your concrete is not frozen, and does not contain snow or ice. Why should you take such precautions? As the snow or ice will eventually thaw, it will leave an empty space in your concrete, and this will lead to an easily preventable weakness in your concrete. Monitor the weather on the day your plan to pour your concrete, and prepare the ground or forms appropriately.

Insulating Your Concrete While It Cures

It will be crucial to ensure that your concrete remains properly hydrated as it cures in the cold. For this reason, professionals often recommend insulating your concrete mix with burlap bags, heated blankets, or straw insulation to keep your concrete at approximately 10 degrees Celsius.  It would also be a good idea to speak to your ready mixed concrete provider regarding the possibility of adding specially designed additives to your concrete mix to help it cure appropriately in cold weather.

Keeping your concrete project safe and beautiful is not rocket science… it’s concrete science! Luckily, your ready mixed concrete provider should be readily available to assist you in helping your finish your DIY concrete project solidly and effectively this winter.