Can I Pour Concrete in Winter?
In the Pacific Northwest, concrete projects can be taken on year 'round. You don't have to wait until spring.
Looking to get your new outdoor concrete project completed before the sunshine returns? The good news is that with the right precautions, pouring concrete in winter is completely fine!
How It Works
The most important part of a new concrete project is ensuring the concrete dries correctly to develop the necessary strength. The optimal temperature range for pouring concrete is between 50-60°F.
The important chemical reactions that set and strengthen concrete slow significantly below 50°F, and barely exist below 40°F. Even when daytime temperatures are within the right range, pouring concrete in winter creates risks that could result in weak, inadequate concrete. If temperatures drop below freezing, the water in the concrete will freeze and expand, causing cracks in your concrete. Additionally, if temperatures reach below 40°F (but not freezing) during the set time, concrete will take much longer to reach the required strength.
In general, concrete sets much slower in cold weather, and it is critical that the concrete is set before it is exposed to freezing temperatures. These are essential pieces to keep in mind as you plan for your concrete project.
Tips To Successfully Pour Concrete in Winter
If you have a concrete project to complete in the winter, keep these few tips in mind for a successful concrete pour.
Thaw the ground
The ground must be completely thawed before pouring. The closer the ground temperature is to the temperature of the concrete, the better.
Place the concrete as soon as possible
If the concrete plant is too far from the concrete’s final destination and the concrete sits too long, additional steps must be taken to reduce setting problems.
Hold the heat in
If the outdoor temperature will supposedly drop below 50°F, cover the concrete with curing blankets during the hydration period. As concrete cures, it emits heat. Fresh concrete frozen during the first 24 hours can lose 50% of its potential strength.
Don’t wait on your renovation plans due to weather. Now that you know you can pour concrete in winter, contact us today to get started on your concrete project. We want to help bring your outdoor or indoor space to life!