Working With Concrete Products When Temperature Drops

20 October 2017
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Blog


Winter can be a great time for small construction projects you'd like to get done on your property. There are usually less people waiting on lines at lumber and concrete supply shops and you don't have to work in sweltering heat. However, you may question whether concrete projects turn out well if they're done when the temperature drops low. They can, if these suggestions are utilized.

Warm Earth First

A good way to ruin your concrete project, even if it looks okay initially, is to pour concrete products on ground that is frozen. If you do that, the soil will expand and shift as temperatures go up; the concrete is likely to shift or crack as well. This is averted by ensuring the earth below the project is warm enough.

First, you'll have to perform a temperature check. Easily enough done, obtain a thermometer meant to test soil and insert it into various points where you want to work. If the thermometer can't be inserted or is clearly frozen, you may wait for warmer days. You can also place curing or heating blankets over the entire area so that the space is sure to be warm enough to keep going.

Use Sub-Base

If you're worried about the state of the ground and don't want to think about shifting or future issues, it's smart to utilize the help of a sub-base. The sub-base can be laid into place on the ground or a trench can be dug to accommodate it. Then you can pour directly onto the sub-base.

Use Low Water Blends

Concrete products that don't have a very high water content are your best friends when you're working on something in the winter. Watery blends have an increased chance of freezing up on you while you're trying to work. Ready-mixed products or low water blends are preferable.

Get Help

Whatever concrete products you're using, try not to make winter projects solo ones. Even with a low likelihood of freezing, having help ensures that the concrete will be put where you want it before drying out or solidifying.

Cover the Area

"Curing" must happen once the concrete is down. If not given the chance to do this, the concrete is likely to have surface imperfections you're not happy with. Cover the wet area with tarps and keep them secure with some planks or heavy blocks.

Your concrete projects should fare well--even in the depths of winter--with this information. If you or the concrete gets stuck, a contractor can help with finishing up. For more information, contact companies like Pendleton Ready Mix Inc.