How to Pour Concrete in Cold and Hot Weather

Pouring concrete is an arduous process, not just because it’s time and labor intensive, but also because you have to take the weather into consideration. You’ll need to know what temperature is too hot to pour concrete or what temperature is too cold to pour concrete. Doing the job with the right pouring concrete temperature range in mind will ensure high quality results.

Check out the tips below for proper concrete pouring and curing during hot or cold weather.

 

How to Pour Concrete in Cold Weather

Image showing how to pour concrete in cold weather

Although there isn’t a recommended best temperature to pour concrete, it’s better to wait until the weather is warmer. If the temperature is below 32° F and if the ground is already frozen, then it’s better to leave the work for later. There’s no reason for you to be pouring concrete in 100 degree weather.

If you absolutely must continue a project during cold weather, here are some useful things to keep in mind:

  • Use hot water and keep dry products out of the snow or damp areas until they are ready for use. 
  • Opt for products that will set quickly since concrete tends to set so much slower in cold weather, such as a cold weather concrete mix. It’s crucial to have concrete set before it gets exposed to the freezing temperature. 
  • When the water freezes, it tends to take up more space when it’s iced over compared to when it’s still in liquid form. When the water you use for the concrete mix freezes, it will expand and cause cracking. This is the effect of cold weather on concrete and is precisely why you need to make sure that the concrete sets quickly before the water freezes.
  • You can use accelerators that will speed up the set. However, choose the type of accelerators wisely. Steer clear from products that contain calcium as the compounds will attack and rust your metal rebar and wire mesh, ultimately causing cracking.

 

How to Pour Concrete in Hot Weather

Pouring concrete in hot weather is risky since concrete sets more quickly. To ensure optimal conditions, make sure that you do the work during the coolest time of the day. Place the concrete in a cool area or, at the very least, where there is enough shade to block direct sunlight.  

Pouring concrete in hot weather can lead to several problems such as the development of cold joints, lower durability, and reduced compression strength. If you want to know how to stop concrete cracking in hot weather, follow the simple steps below:

  • Offset heat and humidity by using shades or windbreaks to protect the concrete.
  • Use concrete mix that is designed for pouring during hot weather. 
  • Store concrete products away from direct sunlight. Make sure that they stay cool before you bring them out.
  • Slightly dampen the subgrade before you start pouring the concrete slab.
  • Consider adding ice to the concrete mix to help bring down the overall temperature.
  • Mix quickly to prevent the concrete from setting too fast. 
  • Have someone there to help you out from pouring the concrete to looking after the curing concrete.