How Cold Is Too Cold for Concrete Pouring?

November 11, 2021 Published by Leave your thoughts

Are the winter temperatures making you wonder, “Is it too cold to pour concrete?” Most experts believe that the best temperature for pouring concrete is somewhere between 50°F and 60°F.

Temperatures below 40°F will slow down the chemical reactions needed to strengthen concrete. This can, in turn, lead to weaker concrete that may crack or chip sooner than expected. Hot temperatures aren’t good for concrete either. In fact, temperatures above 77°F may cause the water present in a wet cement mixture to evaporate too quickly, which can also lead to weaker concrete.

Below, we provide several concrete pouring tips for the cold—but completing a project involving concrete on your own can be difficult, especially during winter! That’s why most recommend working with professionals.

Working with a reputable concrete services provider will help ensure the durability and longevity of your concrete. Here’s a look at some other benefits:

  • Ask for products that set quickly: Time is of the essence when working with concrete in the winter. Ask your concrete provider about products that are designed to set quickly, so you won’t have to worry as much about those dropping temperatures.
  • Keep up with the weather: You should never go in blind. Check the weather before starting your concrete project, and ensure temperatures will stay consistent for at least a few days.
  • Don’t remove the framework too early: Make sure the concrete has completely set before removing any framework. Removing the framework too early could result in a damaged or collapsed concrete surface.
  • Use hot water: When mixing concrete in the winter, it’s best to use warm water, as this will help keep the mixture from setting too soon.
  • Accelerate set time with additives: There are several additives that can help accelerate the set time of concrete, including triethanolamine, calcium formate, nitrate and nitrite. Be sure to follow all instructions provided with any of these additives.

Other things to consider

Remember: It’s just as important to consider nighttime temperatures. If temperatures get below freezing during the setting process, the concrete will crack. Be sure to avoid starting your project too late into winter if the temperatures often drop below freezing in your area.

While it’s best to avoid laying down concrete before a cold night, sometimes it can’t be avoided.  Thankfully, there are methods of keeping a concrete surface warm during colder nights, including insulated blankets and heated enclosures. Be sure to use caution when using any heating methods for concrete, especially heaters.

By following the proper concrete pouring tips for the cold, you could easily lay down concrete in the winter. That said, lower temperatures make dealing with concrete more difficult, which is why you should work with a professional. Working with a professional will not only ensure a strong concrete service, but it will help save you plenty of time and energy.

At Sunstar Seal Coating, Inc., we provide our concrete paving services to both residential and commercial properties. You can trust us to lay down a top-quality concrete surface that will last for many years to come. Contact us today for an estimate.

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