While it is obvious that cold weather creates some challenges in the pouring of concrete due to the potential of freezing and uneven curing, pouring concrete in hot weather also has its own unique set of potential pitfalls. When pouring concrete in higher temperatures, an accelerated set-up and cure can have an adverse effect on the concrete. Higher temperatures hasten the curing process and the result will be a substandard strength pour and plastic shrinkage cracking. Careful attention to ambient temperatures, humidity, wind conditions, and solar radiation while pouring concrete in hot weather, including the placement time, will result in a deterioration of the concrete component at a faster rate than is typically anticipated. Fortunately, there are a number of precautions that can be taken to avoid a poor-quality result when schedules call for pouring concrete in hot weather.
One way to assist in proper curing when undertaking hot weather concrete installation is to get the concrete placed as soon as possible after the mix. Trucks should be discharged as soon as possible. It is essential to hasten this process by properly preparing the site to allow for easy access of mixing equipment to the required pour target. By wetting the ground and forms properly, the concrete will avoid accelerated curing as opposed to coming in direct contact with hot, dry earth and forms. The actual mix itself can be prepared in such a fashion as to decelerate the curing process by using ice/cold water in the mix and the addition of retarding agents or hydration stabilizers or fly ash. An additional post-pour best practice when pouring concrete in hot weather is to quickly protect the uncured product from direct sunlight and wind which will dehydrate the concrete at an accelerated rate.
Upon completion of the placement, it’s best practice to apply proper curing methods once the finishing is completed. This may include wet burlap, mist fogging, and plastic sheeting. Concrete should be cured in a moist condition for at least 3 days.
The team of concrete professionals at Concrete Solutions are well versed in hot weather concrete pouring pitfalls and are a valuable resource for a wide range of concrete projects. Rely on our years of experience to ensure your project is successful, before, during, and after pouring concrete in hot weather. Our expertise is invaluable in a successful project with high-quality results. To schedule an appointment for hot weather concreting, fill out our contact form or give us a call at (631) 393-6520, or for additional information on hot weather concrete, see ACI 305R.