Consequences Of Cold Weather On Cement Placement

March 31, 2022

Consequences Of Cold Weather On Cement Placement

Concrete is used worldwide for its versatility. A concrete mixture gives us a solid foundation and helps us build strong walls. The short create method is one of the most versatile concrete applications methods. Previously, traditional methods were used where construction workers placed the concrete mixture in the desired location using handheld tools.

Now those traditional methods are being replaced by the shotcrete method, which offers a much more precise application of concrete mixture onto the desired location. This sprayed concrete gives a solid application, and thus, the structures built out of this method are much stronger and more efficiently built.

However, a particular area’s weather and its temperature play a vital role in cement application. This blog post highlights all those interesting features and tells you how the cold weather might affect the concretes’ placement.

Why Is Temperature Important For Concrete Application?

Concrete is made from a cement and water mixture and is especially used because of its high compressive strength. A series of hydration chemical reactions result in such compressive strength.

However, the surrounding temperature can play an important role in this hydration process. Water evaporation in the concrete mixture is dependent on the surrounding temperature.

If the surrounding temperature conditions are not according to requirements, there might be some issues in the concretes’ placement, fishing, curing, and protection. If the temperature is not as per requirements, the end concrete product will be unstable and weak.

The concrete mixture will weaken if the temperature falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees celsius). The best temperature range for an ideal concrete mixture is between 40 degrees Fahrenheit to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees celsius to 15 degrees celsius).

How Does Cold Weather Affect Concrete?

There are several different ways in which low temperatures can affect concrete.

Lowers The Hydration Rate

Cold weather can directly affect the amount of time necessary for the concrete to set, lowering the hydration rate of the concrete.

With every 20 degrees Fahrenheit drop the amount of time necessary for the setting is doubled. This results in a slower setting rate and strength, and therefore, the concrete made is not suitable for construction operations.

The Concrete Freezes

Another drawback of the temperature falling below 25 degrees Fahrenheit is that the concrete freezes if it is still in a plastic state. The plastic state is the first state of the concrete when it is in wet condition. However, freezing temperatures in this condition might affect its performance and texture.

This freezing can affect the potential strength of the concrete and might reduce it to half. The 50% strength that is left can affect the overall durability of the construction project.

Therefore, the minimum compressive strength should be at least 500 psi, and for this, it is important to protect the surface of the concrete.

Unsuitable Curing

Curing the concrete depends on adequate moisture, time, and temperature to allow the concrete to settle for its intended use. However, cold weather conditions can make the curing technique unsuitable.

During the hydration process, the heat of the hydration is released, so the inner portion of the concrete might be warm. If the outer part of the concrete is extremely cold due to the cold weather, it might lead to thermal cracking between the core and the surface.

Difficulty In Placement

Placing the concrete onto the desired surface is another difficult process in cold weather. The concrete mixture cannot be placed accurately on the frozen land for its subgrade foundation. The setting time of concrete will be affected and will also result in the cracking of the foundation.

What Is The Solution For This?

Some steps and practices might help you overcome the challenges mentioned above, such as:

  • Opting for professional concrete services who have the techniques to overcome these challenges.
  • Accelerating the setting time of concrete.
  • Usage of insulating materials to prevent freezing.

About SprayForce Concrete

Hiring professional shotcrete services is a great solution to combat cold weather and to make sure you get a high-quality concrete application. SprayForce Concrete Services Ltd is COR certified and a BBB – A+ accredited business in Calgary. Shotcrete is the most versatile concrete product in the construction industry today. It can be used for soil retention (shoring), structural shotcrete, decorative rockwork, or infrastructure repairs. Contact us for further assistance.

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