While it is ideal to pour concrete while the temperature is warm outside, you may not always have the option and have to pour it during the winter. If you follow the same steps as you would in the summer, you'll end up with concrete that does not cure correctly. Follow these tips to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Wait Until The Ground Thaws
You should wait until the ground has thawed until you can pour concrete. If the ground is still frozen, the concrete will eventually crack when the ground thaws. If you need to pour the concrete with the ground still frozen, additional steps need to be taken to make the concrete warmer. Consider using a concrete blanket, which is essentially a weatherproof electric blanket that will keep the concrete warm and help it cure faster.
Remove All Precipitation
If you have ice, snow, or standing water in the area where you'll be pouring concrete, the area must be completely cleared of all precipitation. This will cause a problem with your concrete setting. In some situations, the concrete can have a crust that forms on the top layer due to precipitation on the ground. While the top will cure, but the bottom part of the concrete will remain be soft and not completely cured.
Strengthen Your Concrete
Since cold weather will make concrete weak if it freezes during the initial 24 hours, you should strengthen the material before you pour it. Adding an extra hundred pounds of cement for each cubic yard will increase its strength.
Pour Your Cement Quickly
Concrete will eventually lose heat as it sits out in the open. You should try to pour your concrete as soon as it mixed to prevent it from getting cold. If you need additional help to get the job done quicker, ask for some assistance. Consider mixing the concrete directly next to the pouring site, since every moment that you wait could affect how the concrete cures.
Keep A Record of The Pouring Conditions
Once the concrete has poured and it has cured, take some notes about the conditions and how the concrete reacted to them. This could help you determine what you can do differently if you need to pour more concrete during the winter.
If you do not feel confident that you can pour concrete on your own during the winter, you may need to seek out professional help. Get in touch with a local concrete contractor to do the job for you. They have experience pouring concrete in all types of weather, and can ensure that the job is done correctly.