While cold weather isn’t usually too much of a threat here in Louisiana, we do get the occasional freeze. If you’re planning a concrete project during the winter, it’s critical that you be prepared in the event that a freeze occurs. Continue reading for 6 things you need to consider before pouring your concrete in the winter.
1. Having temporary heat on-site
By bringing a temporary heater outside, you can quickly warm up your hands and feet while on the job without running inside every few minutes. By keeping your hands warm, you can avoid frostbite and ensure that your precise movements are not affected by numb, stiff hands.
2. Dressing appropriately
When working in the cold, wearing layers is the most efficient way to keep warm. You can always remove your layers as the temperature starts to increase. Wearing a hoodie is helpful in protecting your ears and head, and thick wool socks paired with rubber boots are a great way to protect your feet.
3. The temperature of your sub-base
If you’re pouring directly onto dirt or a plastic vapor barrier on top of the dirt, a cold sub-base will rapidly suck the heat out of the concrete. Because of this, you shouldn’t pour if the temperatures are lower than 28°F.
If the sub-base has frost on it, you should always wait until it has completely thawed before pouring. If you pour over frost, the concrete will crack once the ground dethaws. To speed up this process, you can use ground heaters to thaw the dirt.
4. Checking the weather in advance
Ideally, the temperature should be at least 28°F outside. If the air temperature drops below 25 degrees, fresh concrete will freeze. As long as the concrete has been mixed with hot water, it should be between 65°F and 70°F when it’s poured. Keep an eye on the weather forecast to plan around this problem.
5. The amount of time the concrete sits in the chute
Concrete will freeze if it sits in the chute for too long in freezing weather. Do not leave it in the chute for longer than five minutes. Work quickly!
6. Protecting the concrete after it’s troweled
Once the concrete has been troweled and is smooth, it must be protected from the cold. You can add insulating blankets and a tarp to keep the slab warm. Make sure to add weighted objects like wood on top to hold the tarp down.
There’s a lot to consider when pouring concrete in the winter. To ensure that the job is done right and all of the proper precautions have been taken, hire a professional. At Port Aggregates, our professional contractors have been trusted industry leaders for forty years now. Request a quote today for assistance with your residential or commercial concrete project!