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Pouring Concrete in the Winter? What you Should Know – Boston, MA

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, January 21, 2016

Before you even begin pouring concrete in the winter, the first step is to find a qualified contractor. The key thing to discuss with the contractors you are consider are:

Insurance. Be sure they have insurance: liability insurance and workman’s compensation. The liability insurance means if he damages your property in anyway, there is an insurance policy that can compensate you rather than having to go after the contractor for the payment. Workman’s comp is an insurance policy that contractors carry that means if someone gets hurt on the job at your home, the worker cannot come after you. Ensuring that your contractor has these policies is a way to avoid “fly-by-night” contractors.

You should also discuss payments with your contractor. How is the job to be paid for? Are you giving money up front, some money when the concrete is delivered and/or money when the job is done?

The next thing that is very important to discuss is where the concrete is being poured. In the winter we have frozen ground. If you are digging a cellar home, most need the hole to be at least 9’ deep. At this depth you will have soil that is not frozen. It is crucial that you pour concrete on non-frozen soil. Talk to your contractor about who is responsible for keeping that soil from freezing. Is it you, the contractor or the excavator? What one of these parties needs to do to keep it from freezing is line the soil with insulated blankets or it can be covered with plastic that is at least 6mil thick and then covered with hay to prevent freezing.

Even though the site is prepped, it is freezing outside. These temps can have an adverse effect on the concrete in its liquid form. Concrete has water in it, and water freezes. But chemicals can be added to concrete by “Ready-Mix” companies.  These are the companies that your contractor buys concrete from. They’ll put calcium or water reducing chemicals in the concrete, and they can mix the concrete with warm water versus cold.

These are things you should talk with your contractor about. By talking with the contractor about these things they will understand that you are an informed consumer and that you understand a little something about concrete. Hopefully they’ll do a great job for you.

Now that the concrete is down, you want to make sure that expansion joints are cut into the concrete. Those are the lines you see in sidewalks made out of concrete, and it is like a controlled crack. This hopefully prevents the concrete from cracking. Also you want to make sure that once the concrete is poured and finished that it doesn’t freeze. So again, an insulated blanket or plastic and hay needs to be laid atop to prevent freezing.

For more information, contact A1 Foundation Crack Repair.

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