Construction work continues round the year and contractors have to work in spite of freezing cold. Especially in areas like Toronto, freezing temperatures seem to work against concrete constructions. Unfortunately, concreting in winter needs certain precautions.
Concrete is subject to different curing conditions as the temperature fluctuates. Typically, a contractor will have to prepare well in advance to help maintain the strength of fresh concrete placement. Tarps and blankets at jobsite help protect fresh concrete application.
Not taking the necessary measures hinders the process of concrete development. Moreover, it can also affect the structural integrity of the construction work.
Below we’ve mentioned some of the mistakes you need to avoid whenever you’re undertaking a concrete work in winters.
Common Mistakes to Avoid While Concreting in Winter
#1: Allowing the Concrete Mix to Freeze
Concrete usually freezes at 4o C. Effect of Cold Weather on Concrete can be damaging to the strength of the material. This impacts the final structural strength of the concrete structure.
Thus, it’s important to keep fresh concrete from freezing. The recommended temperature to keep concrete warm is around 10o C. This ensures proper curing of the placed concrete and compressive strength.
Further, concrete should be kept as warm as possible with the help of a thermal blanket or heater.
#2: Using Cold Tools and Equipment
Keeping the construction tools warm is just as important as keeping the ground and concrete warm. If contractors use cold tools or forms to place concrete, it may result in altering the material. Thus, weakening the strength of the slab.
If the tools get cold, contractors should warm it up to at least 32o F before using them in placing concrete mix. Concrete Pump should also be checked before mixing the concrete.
#3: Concrete Pouring on Frozen Ground
Placing concrete on a frozen ground covered with snow is a total disaster. Frozen ground will usually settle as it thaws. This leaves the concrete open to cracking and damage.
Further, placing fresh wet concrete on a cold ground will cause it to cure slowly. The soft bottom layer while a set top layer can cause more cracking and loss of strength due to different temperature gradients of concrete.
#4: Sealing Concrete While It Is Cold
Sealing concrete protects the surface from foreign elements and weather exposures. However, when placing concrete in cold weather, it’s important to get advice from the contractor on the correct sealer.
A sealer that can work in extreme weather conditions will usually be the ideal choice. Typically, concrete shouldn’t be sealed if the temperature is below 50o F.
#5: Not Using or Incorrect Use of Heaters
Heaters deliver the required warmth to concrete and the ground. Thus, ensuring the concrete keeps gaining strength. Remember if your slab gets too low in temperature, it can cause the slabs to not cure properly.
Moreover, incorrect use of heaters also have its own repercussions. Especially it’s vital to ventilate fuel-fired heater. In the absence of proper ventilation, carbon dioxide coming off in the exhaust causes a chemical reaction called carbonation. And this can result in a weaker concrete surface.
#6: Not Monitoring Temperature in Cold Weather
Concrete curing needs to meet certain temperature specifications in order for it to have the required strength. Efficient concrete contractors usually monitor temperature changes in winters with the help of real-time temperature sensors. Thus, resulting in production of high-quality concrete.
Following problems can occur in the absence of proper strength development of concrete:
- Freezing of the concrete mix at an early stage of project
- Problems encountered with curing procedures
- Lack of required compressive strength
- Inadequate protection of the structure
The above problems can be easily avoided with the following steps:
- Precautions to maintain optimal concrete temperature
- Maintaining the temperature during the curing stages of concrete
- Protecting concrete from freezing with the use of a heater
#7: Running Behind Schedule during Daylight Hours
It’s important that the contractors time the work properly. Not completing the day’s work on time can lead to unnecessary delays.
Typically, it’s advisable to pour concrete during daylight. Nighttime temperatures are much colder which could hinder placing of concrete even further. In fact, it can easily lead to freezing of the concrete mix. And you don’t want that in a concrete pouring project.
Placing concrete in daylight not only offers warmer temperatures but also provides ample sunlight. Make sure to use heaters in case it’s an emergency to pour concrete after daylight hours.
Ultimately, it’s the duty of the contractor to advice you on the right method of pouring concrete during winters. Many companies actually advice you to wait for warmer days to complete the work. However, an expert knows what precautions to take to ensure the same level of quality irrespective of the seasons.
Only an experienced Concrete Pumping Company can offer the right guidance for placement and pouring of concrete.
Want to Hire an Experienced Concrete Pumping Specialist in Toronto?
Call Maple Concrete Pumping!
We have been offering our Commercial Concrete Pumping services for more than 8 years. Further, we have the required expertise to fulfill all civil and industrial infrastructural requirements. The quality of our work entirely depends on the training and knowledge of our personnel team.
We implement the most rigorous safety standards to mitigate any onsite risks. Accordingly, we also employ a team of risk and safety professionals that focus on regulatory compliance.
While concreting in winter can be a tough job, our certified operators and staff are well equipped to complete it with necessary precautions.
Our range of concrete related services include:
- Concrete Pump Rental: Quality concrete pumps at affordable rental prices.
- Concrete Pumping services: It includes Grout Pump, Concrete City Pumps and boom pumps.
- Up-to-date equipment to guarantee a premium job outcome.
- Concrete finishing services: Design and ICF Concrete Filling
Our professional concrete experts can help you with designing the right sizing and safety measures for your project. Get in touch with our representatives @ +1 (647) 529-7867 for a quick discussion on your concrete construction project.