How to Pour Concrete in Hot Weather
Concrete cures through the process of hydration, absorbing water as it hydrates. The process results into formation of crystals around the constituent particles. During hot weather, the drying of concrete is sped up which leads to low-quality concrete that is prone to deterioration. Temperatures above 75 degrees fahrenheit are considered hot for concrete pouring – luckily there are some simple things you can do to make concrete pouring a success in hot temperatures.
Effects of pouring concrete in hot weather
- Formation of cold joints because of hot weather decreases setting time
- Increases the probability of the slab cracking
- Lower concrete strengths which ultimately cause lower durability
- Increases shrinkage of the concrete after hardening
- Lack of consistency along with the slab due to increased slump rate
How to Pour Concrete in Hot Weather
During the harshest of weather, proper planning is recommended so as to reduce any delays. For instance, all barriers that may delay the trucks from offloading should be removed prior. It is also advisable that all the mixing is done on the site to mitigate any inconveniences.
Make use of windbreakers and sunshades
These can help keep off the harshness of the sun and keep the concrete cool.
When the weather is hot, laborers become more easily drained, and work can take longer to finish. Since you want to place the concrete as fast as possible, ensure you have enough employees to carry out the task in a timely manner.
Supply of materials
If there is a likelihood of the weather getting hot during placement of concrete, ensure to source larger-sized aggregate particles. Coarse aggregate particles don’t shrink as easily when subjected to harsh weather conditions.
At the height of summer, it’s advisable to place concrete early in the morning or late in the evening. At this time, the temperatures are cool to allow the laborers a good environment for productivity. Besides, when the weather is cool, concrete is not as likely to be affected by the high temperatures.
Consult the experts
Make sure to consult the specialists Easy Mix on how to place the control joints during hot weather. Ideally, when temperatures are high, control joints should be spaced at shorter intervals as opposed to when it’s cold.
Store the tools appropriately
All working tools and equipment such as spades and mixers should be placed away from direct sunlight. The best method to store them is usually inside a building, or a covered area. The reason for doing this is to prevent them from absorbing heat which can be passed on to the concrete during placement.
The builders should determine the best curing method as well as the curing agent to use. Curing helps concrete to retain moisture and harden uniformly. Another trick that always works together with using a curing agent is spreading plastic sheets on top of the poured concrete to maintain cooler temperatures.
Placing concrete in hot weather always poses some challenges, as it can lead to poor quality slabs that crack hence reducing durability. Also, concrete placed in hot weather can shrink and harden inconsistently. As such, if you need to pour the concrete in hot weather, ensure to have enough laborers on the site, store the tools and equipment in a cool place, consult experts, and also use an appropriate curing agent.
Here at Easy Mix Concrete, we understand the challenges of mixing and laying concrete in hot weather. As we are based in Austin, Texas, we are used to working in high temperatures and have everything in place to ensure your concrete delivery and mixing goes smoothly. Simply contact our friendly team today for more information.