Best Time to Work on Concrete Projects
From concrete driveways to sidewalks, installing concrete should be done properly. Concrete can be tricky. It’s not just mixing cement, sand, and gravel. You need to pay attention to the weather and temperature. There are certain times of the year when it’s better to have concrete installation than other seasons.
Not all weather conditions are ideal for concrete repair and installation. The temperature has a vital role in ensuring the concrete is set properly. Consult a concrete contractor on the proper application of concrete.
When Is the Best Time To Install Concrete?
Since concrete needs to dry after the pouring process, you might think it’s best to install concrete during summer. However, that’s not always the case. Where it is a hot or cold season, a failed concrete installation is still possible.
The most stable seasons for pouring concrete come in early spring or late fall. Around these times, the temperature is maintained at 50 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature is just right, the concrete can be set and finished with no cracks and issues.
In addition, the weather during springtime is generally dry. For concrete to dry and set properly, you’ll need 2-3 days of dry weather. Even a day of rain can considerably affect the quality and durability of your concrete driveway or patio. Too much rain can weaken the finished surface.
Can You Install Concrete in the Summer or Winter?
Extremely hot temperatures will come in the way of proper curing. When the summer is in full swing, it’s not advisable to start any concrete project. If the air temperature is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, your contractors need to take extra precautions. They have to adjust the mix and installation process because of the hot weather.
Some of the concrete problems you’ll encounter in hot weather are slump loss, extreme evaporation, and cracks. To avoid such, concrete installers mix the concrete with ice-cold water. Doing so will dampen the top portion of the concrete and slow down the setting process. They also use windbreaks, sunshades, and evaporative retarders to inhibit moisture loss.
On the other hand, extremely cold temperatures can cause the concrete to freeze. It is possible to install concrete in the winter, but it takes extra time and effort.
When working in wintertime, concrete experts need to use different tools to achieve an ideal curing temperature. Some of the specialized tools they utilize are the following:
- Ground-Warming Blankets
- Heated Tents and Enclosures
- Ground Heaters
- Non-Water-Based Curing Compound
All these tools can prevent the concrete from freezing. They help keep the ground and the concrete warm and dry throughout the curing process.
Tips for Pouring Concrete in Hot Weather
- Keep all equipment and bags of concrete in the shade or cool area.
- Do not pour concrete at noon or during the afternoon.
- Check the weather forecast to choose the best time to pour concrete.
- Use sunshades or windbreaks to prevent water from evaporating.
- Always dampen the subgrade when pouring the concrete slab.
- Add ice or cold water to your concrete water mix.
- Apply the curing agent using a sprayer.
- Make sure there’s enough manpower for the job.
Tips for Pouring Concrete in Cold Weather
- Store concrete materials and equipment in a warm, dry place.
- Before concrete pouring, preheat the water and the aggregate.
- Remove ice and snow from the area.
- Install windbreaks to prevent the temperature from dropping.
- Use an infrared thermometer to monitor the concrete temperature.
- Use hot water to mix your concrete.
What Is the Ideal Time of Day for Concrete Projects?
Aside from season and weather, the time of the day should be a consideration. If you plan to pour concrete, you should do this before 10 AM or after 8 PM. Always avoid the hottest time of the day. During summer, consider pouring concrete at night to let the concrete cure properly. Immature hardening of the concrete mixture can lead to cracks and shrinkage.
To ensure best results, hire concrete professionals from Midstate Concrete. Our team consists of experts in different weather conditions for concrete projects. We know how to work with concrete in various seasons and temperatures.
Our services include sidewalk and walkway installation, concrete repair, and more. We build great, strong concrete surfaces that can stand the test of time. To get a quote, contact us today!