There is a lot of confusion when it comes to pouring concrete during the winter months and rightfully so. After all, not all concrete is created equal. There are several factors that come into play when you consider when and how to pour concrete for your project.
The ideal temperature for pouring concrete is actually between 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. This is probably a little cooler than what you might think, especially when you consider how much concrete gets poured during the hot summer months.
In a more temperate climate like what we tend to see in the Upstate of South Carolina, the weather in the winter can actually provide an even better environment for pouring concrete than in other times of the year. If you plan around the sometimes wild temperature swings, the best temperature for curing concrete is often in the early afternoon during a cooperative winter day.
When the temperature drops too low, however, the chemical reaction that allows the concrete to set and strengthen is hindered. This results in a weaker pad or pillar of concrete. If the concrete freezes before fully curing, it can lose as much as half the strength it would have otherwise.
Not only will the concrete lose its ability to strengthen if it freezes, but it can also expand, which leads to cracks in the newly poured slab. Aside from the mix itself, the temperature of the ground onto which you pour the concrete is also important. Using tools that have been exposed to cold temperatures can also affect the final result.
There are some steps you can take to ensure a solid pour in colder temps. Unfortunately, many of the options require the use of additional and expensive equipment, such as heated enclosures around the space to keep the environment warm and the winter weather out.
Ultimately, rather than trying to make sure conditions are ideal and your process is perfect, the best way to guarantee a quality concrete pour is to call in the professionals to do the job for you. An experienced and licensed contractor like Price Construction has been completing quality projects in almost every type of weather for over 47 years now.
Call Price Construction at 864-578-1008 or use our online contact form to request more information on making sure your winter time construction is not hampered by harsh weather.