When pouring concrete in cold weather, protection is critical. Hopefully it’s part of your plan. You don’t have to take our word for, there’s plenty of documentation substantiating the need for precautionary measures. While some options have proven to be better than others, a few of the more common are as follows:
- Chemical additives
- Standard insulation blankets
- Hydronic heating systems
- Electrically-powered concrete curing
- Poly/tarp cover with forced air heat applied
Concrete producers use several methods to help contractors. The three most common methods used my concrete producers are as follows:
- Cold-weather concrete mix design
- Chemicals added at the plant
- Chemicals added on-site
In some situations there is the luxury of project postponement in favor of better climate temperatures. However, in most cases, schedules and deadlines make it necessary to place concrete in less than favorable conditions. Penalties and fines for not meeting defined schedules can be the difference between a profitable or unprofitable job. In these cases, all factors need to be taken into consideration. Insuring proper concrete curing while sustaining concrete strength and durability is critical. Providing a concrete curing solution that enhances the process may be just as important.
As mentioned earlier, there are new methods that make cold-weather concreting less stressful than it’s been in the past. These methods have improved over time due in large part to improvements in technology.
New technological advancements help in the following ways:
- Prevent damage as a result of freezing at an early stage of cure
- The development of sufficient, specified strengths in a timely fashion
- Insure durability and long-term structural integrity
- Keeps projects on schedules
Don’t wait till the last minute to choose a proper heating solution. The parameters and objectives of each project should drive your decision for a cold-weather concreting solution. Each solution in turn should be evaluated on the merits of the benefits they provide. The selection of a proper solution can enhance the placement and curing process.