Concrete is an affordable and long-lasting flooring option that can offer flexibility for architects and designers, but among the advantages of concrete flooring there are also some disadvantages. Advantages include low maintenance, a bevy of finishing options and low heating and cooling requirements, while disadvantages include its hard, unforgiving nature, and in certain settings, such as below grade installations, the tendency for moisture to migrate through the slab.
We frequently get questions regarding cold weather concrete placements.Can concrete be poured/placed in cold weather? What are the protections required to assure a good placement? Should I seal the fresh concrete? Can I use de-icers on the concrete?
As we have discussed in previous articles, concrete is the most widely used construction product in the world.It is a highly sophisticated product backed by a lot of research and testing. Groups like the American Concrete Institute, ACI, the Global Cement and Concrete Association and others provide education, training and certification to cement and concrete producers and installers.
In tandem with recognized codes, these groups advocate for the proper proportioning, production, placement and protection of concrete whether to support a bridge, a super-tall building or the car on your driveway.
Cold weather placements are acceptable under the right conditions and may even allow for a higher quality product since cooler cures produce higher strength concrete. Concrete placed in hotter temperatures requires more water, a higher slump and is generally more susceptible to cracking.
Slump is a measure of how far a given volume of concrete will fall when released from a cylinder and is indicative of the water to cement ratio in the mix, the more water the greater the potential for shrinkage and a weaker mix.
What is cold weather? The industry defines it as three successive days with the average temperature below 40 degrees and stays below 50 degrees for more than half of any 24-hour period.
- NHB – Concrete shall not be placed in cold weather unless suitable precautions are taken.