Yes, we can do concrete in the winter, but only by following proper procedures.
Not only do ground and air temperature matter when pouring concrete, they are just as important on the respected time after the pour. Elements like volume changes, cracking, humidity, wind speed, and temperature all should be accounted for when pouring concrete. The ideal temperature for pouring concrete is between 40 °F and 60 °F. When temperatures are below 40 °F the chemical reactions that strengthen the concrete slow down and can result in weaker concrete. Even worse is if the temperature is below freezing the water inside the concrete can freeze and expand, resulting in cracks. Ask a member of our team for more information on if you plan on having a winter concrete pour.
Below are a few steps we take when pouring concrete in the winter:
- Thaw frozen ground, snow, or ice with heaters
- Use cold-weather products designed to cure fast (Calcium or NCA Additves)
- Use hot water to mix your concrete
- Create a hotter reaction by using extra cement (g., 100 lb per cubic yard)
- Use squeegees or a vacuum to quickly remove bleed water
- Do not remove frameworks until the concrete has cured
- Scheduling concrete accordingly so it arrives as quickly as possible
- Most importantly applying a layer of Concrete Blankets over the work to trap heat inside
Photos below are from a ROW Project we did in Aurora, Colorado where we poured curb and gutter. We prepped the subgrade to our best ability, installed hoses of heated fluid to warm the subgrade, formed and blanketed all areas, and once ground conditions were ideal we waited for a day with ideal temperatures to pour. Afterwards we reapplied the hoses to continue heating around the curb and gutter, and we reset the blankets on top of the concrete to keep the heat inside: