Installing Concrete In Cold Weather

The weather conditions never stay the same, they’re always changing. As a result, the concrete work may experience hot or cold temperatures, still or strong winds, and dry or humid air.



All of these variables will have an impact on the curing and thus the strength of the concrete. On bigger job sites there will be thermal simulations or assessment for concrete samples that will be effected by the weather.



Professional concrete contractors are prepared for these variations. They have mapped out and accounted for the different weather conditions that may come their way. Below is a list of questions that a professional contractor must consider when pouring concrete in colder weather.



How is the temperature connected to the development of the concrete?

The concrete cures at different rates depending on the temperature of the ambient air. At lower temperatures the concrete strength development is significantly slower. And if the concrete happens to freeze while it is still fresh or before the strength has been cured into it the result will be irreversible loss in strength of the slab.



However, concrete construction can still be performed in cold weather conditions even during the harshest of winters. But the contractors must use special practices, precautions and proper protection to handle this cold weather concrete installation.



At what temperature is it considered cold weather for concrete?

The current definition of cold weather concrete installation as defined by the American Concrete Institute is as follows:



When the air temperature is at or is expected to be at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit during the protection period.  The protection. is defined as the time that is recommended to prevent adverse effects of the cold weather.



Why is it crucial to monitor temperature during this phase?

I’m there are two situations that could potentially pose a risk to the strength and/or durability of the concrete. The first of these risks is that if there is too large of a differential temperature between the ambient air and the concrete.  the second freezes ice formations disrupt the paste Matrix of the cement due to the expansion of the frozen water. both of these risks can be mitigated by continuously monitoring the temperature of the concrete.



How does a contractor monitor concrete temperature?

Professional contractors that are installing concrete during cold weather conditions will be using special devices that give continuous temperature readings of the concrete as it develops. The information is wirelessly transmitted through the digital device directly to the contractors computer. The electronic device uses a set of thermocoupler wires that are placed in the concrete.


What are the advantages of these digital concrete monitors?

The digital concrete monitors can keep a team informed of the critical threshold from anywhere in the world. This will eliminate the guesswork involved in monitoring the slab as it develops. The device can alert the contractor to low temperatures or differential temperatures when they are set to a certain threshold.



Although there are many challenges to overcome when pouring concrete in cold weather conditions it can be done by professional contractors. The show must go on and we must continue to build. If you have a concrete project that you need completed during the cold winter months contact Milwaukee Concrete Solutions. we have Decades of experience pouring high quality, high strength and durable slabs in cold weather conditions. We use up-to-date technology to help us achieve a superior product. Contact us today for a free quote.

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