It’s common for temperatures to drop in all parts of the country. Even though most concrete contractors wish they didn’t have to work in cold weather, construction must continue.
When temperature fluctuate, concrete is subjected to different curing conditions; thus leading to sporadic strength gain. To fix this, contractors need to prepare way before the weather changes, so that fresh concrete can be protected.
One of the best ways to protect concrete is by having the right equipment. To ensure you project runs smoothly regardless of the weather conditions, make sure the contractor you are working with has blankets and tarps which help in avoiding unsafe concrete development and extraneous delays.
There are also a host of mistakes which you need to ensure your concrete contractors don’t make, or else your structures overall integrity will be compromised. They include;
Allowing concrete to freeze
Concrete should be kept warm at temperatures of about 100C for it to cure correctly. Remember, concrete can freeze even at -40C; therefore it is essential to keep concrete it warm until it achieves a compressive strength.
Look – most concrete contractors are interested in completing the project, getting paid, and leaving your home. In such cases, it is your duty as the project owner to ensure that your concrete doesn’t freeze, by making sure the contractor has a good temperature and maturity meter, and often uses it in your presence.
Pouring concrete on frozen ground
Don’t forget that a frozen ground can settle when thawed, and because you’re concrete to crack. Also, the concrete closest to the ground will cure slower than the surface, which simply means that the bottom will remain soft, while the top will set.
Look – concrete with multiple temperature gradients doesn’t develop the ideal strength. This might prompt your structure to crack, and in worst cases, the structure might fall and cause fatalities.
Ensure that the concreter you are working with doesn’t pour concrete on a frozen ground.
Using cold tools
As crazy as it sounds, it is essential to keep your building materials and tools as warm as the concrete. When the tools are cold, they could compromise the strength of the concrete that comes into contact with them. This will adversely affect the development of the slab; thus compromising the integrity of your structure.
Ignoring the use of heaters
As mentioned earlier, concrete must stay warm in order to gain the strength and cure effectively. If the slab gets too low in temperature, curing isn’t just affected, it could stop completely. Therefore, the best concreters should have portable heaters, or depending on your agreement, they could ask you to invest in them. These are the devises that offer additional heat to the ground, which is them projected to the concrete; thereby ensuring the concrete cures and gains strength.
However, be extra careful when using heat. If you heat the concrete improperly, you could end up with a weak structure at the end of the day.
Sealing concrete when it’s too cold
Using top-quality concrete sealers make your concrete more resistant to a host of man-made and natural elements. However, never seal concrete in cold weather. If you have to, use those sealants that work well in extreme weather conditions. Essentially, sealing should be done in temperatures below 100C.
Avoiding the above mistakes will help you get high-quality concrete that will result in robust structures that will serve you for decades. Good luck!