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Practical Advice for Pouring Concrete Walls in Cold Weather - Boston, MA

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, January 22, 2015

It is cold outside. But what is the definition of cold weather when it comes to pouring concrete. In our field, the definition is three-pronged.

  1. The temperature is less than 50 degrees F for more than 12 hours in any 24 hour period.
  2. When the temperature is less than 40 degrees from midnight to midnight.
  3. For a period of three consecutive days when the average temperature is below 40 degrees F and not above 50 degrees F for more than half of any of those three days.
spalled concrete

This is a lot to take in, but this is the definition of "cold Weather" as it pertains to pouring concrete.

Concrete needs to be protected against freezing. The curing process actually creates quite a bit of heat. If the weather is too cold during the curing process, the heat that generating is going to go out into the air and not allow the water that is in the concrete to evaporate. That water will actually freeze instead. When the freezing occurs it weakens the concrete and can cause cracking, balling or pitting in that concrete wall.

pitted concrete

But concrete construction does not just stop in the winter. So, when pouring concrete in the winter, there are several different steps that take place.

We ask the plant to heat the concrete prior to delivery. The plant will put in a few additives that will lower the freezing temperature of the water.

Cover the concrete with heating or curing blankets for 72 hours after the pour.

concrete blankets used during pouring of foundation footing in winter

Definitely avoid adding any water to the concrete during the pour, and don't pour any concrete on frozen ground.

sometimes, on the area where the concrete is going to be poured, a tent is placed and heated, then the concrete is poured.

These are some of the things we do to get a nice pour of concrete even in the cold weather. If you need to pour concrete this winter and need a professional, contact A1 Foundation Crack Repair.


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