How to Pour Concrete in Hot Weather

June 2, 2020

Typically, contractors will try to avoid pouring new concrete when the air temperature is particularly hot. The hot conditions can make the concrete curing process a challenge.

Concrete cures via hydration. The hotter the concrete temperature, the faster the hydration process gets, and the more internal heat gets generated. However, if it gets too hot outside, water in the concrete could be lost due to evaporation, meaning the concrete will not hydrate properly and could cure in a way that compromises its strength and structural integrity. If people pouring concrete aren’t careful, the concrete that gets poured in hot weather in Racine, WI could have reduced strength and durability, a lower compression strength, a greater risk of cracking and shrinkage and could potentially experience the formation of cold joints.

Sometimes, though, pouring concrete in hot and humid conditions cannot be avoided. With this in mind, contractors who know they will have to pour concrete when the temperature will exceed 80 degrees will follow these best practices:

  • Manpower: Pouring concrete usually isn’t a one-person job anyway, but it is especially important to have extra manpower to assist during the pouring and finishing process during hot weather. This will help get the job done quickly while keeping the concrete properly hydrated.
  • Timing: You should avoid pouring concrete at noon and in the early afternoon, the peak times of day for hot air temperature. Early mornings are the best time to pour concrete, or evenings if you can swing it.
  • Intervals: When the weather is particularly hot, people pouring concrete should space out the control joints at smaller intervals than they typically might to ensure greater strength.
  • Evaporative retarders: An evaporative retarder should be on hand and ready to use if the temperature is expected to get hot. This will help you prevent rapid evaporation of water used for the concrete curing process.
  • Ice: You may find success using ice in the concrete water mix to keep the concrete cool.
  • Dampen: Any time you pour concrete for a slab, make sure to get the sub-grade damp first. This will add more water into the curing process and help to cool down the mix. You should also use cool water to dampen side forms for any slabs or walls you pour.
  • Method: Make sure you use the proper curing methods during the process so the concrete will set uniformly and properly.
  • Storage: Keep all bags of concrete mix and all equipment you will be using for the job in the shade until you will use it. This will help it to stay cool for as long as possible.
  • Reduce mixing time: Once you’ve added water into the mix, try to reduce mixing time as much as possible to avoid the mix getting too warm before you pour it.

For more information about pouring concrete in hot weather and high humidity in Racine, WI, we encourage you to contact Langenfeld Masonry & Concrete today for tips. We are capable of getting your job done even in extreme heat. Give our masonry contractors a call today to talk about your upcoming concrete job.

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