While we have a relatively mild climate here in Nashville, that doesn’t mean the temperature doesn’t drop and that we don’t get a few snowy days each winter! As your local concrete experts, today we’re sharing how to pour new concrete in cold weather.
Curing your concrete is vital to ensuring it reaches its maximum strength, and that process becomes more challenging in cold weather. That’s one of the (many) reasons why you need to adjust your methods in the winter. If you’re trying a DIY job, we recommend saving it until summer or letting the pros at A-1 Concrete Leveling and Foundation Repair in Nashville take care of it for you! Continue reading to learn more, and if you’re in need of concrete floor leveling or concrete pouring, contact our team of concrete contractors.
Increase Set Times
In cold weather, you’ll need to make some allowances to your set times. They will increase significantly in the cold, and you will need to adjust based on the particular temperature of the day that you’re pouring your concrete. For example, set times at 30 degrees can be twice as long as those at 50. Monitor your concrete closely and make sure that you’re leaving adequate time.
Having a longer set time can affect the strength of your concrete, so if you are pouring a surface that will take a lot of stress (like a foundation or concrete driveways) you can compensate by heating your materials. When mixing the concrete, you can heat the water to 140 degrees to offset the cold weather. You can also heat aggregates and framework.
Measure The Temperature of Your Subgrade
Take into account the temperature of your subgrade before pouring new concrete. Do not pour concrete on frozen subgrades. Even if you’re taking other precautions, like increasing your set times and heating materials, if the subgrade is too cold, it will immediately cancel out the heat you’ve worked to add to your concrete mix.
Use Post-Pour Weather Protection
Concrete is vulnerable to freeze-thaw cycles until it is fully cured and reaches a compressive strength of 4000 psi, which means that you need to protect your concrete after a pour. Use heating units, insulating blankets, and wind-blocking enclosures to protect your new concrete.
While it may seem like a good idea to use deicers, fresh concrete and deicers are not friends. Deicers are most commonly used by snow removal contractors, and they contain a wide range of chemicals and salts that will affect the strength of concrete surfaces. Ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate are particularly bad for concrete surfaces.
If you have a concrete driveway, you should always avoid using de-icers, whether your driveway has been freshly poured or you’ve had it for years.
This tip pertains less to fresh concrete and more to long-term concrete maintenance. Proper sealer counteracts the development of surface imperfections that can lead to larger cracks (and the need for concrete leveling) down the road.
Concrete Floor Leveling – Nashville
At A-1 Concrete Leveling and Foundation Repair, we specialize in concrete projects of all kinds — from fresh concrete pouring to concrete maintenance, like concrete floor leveling. Whether it’s a concrete driveway, garage floor, pool deck, patio, or more, we’ve got the skills needed to get the job done right! And along with concrete pouring and leveling, we also repair foundations. Contact us today to get started.
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