If you are doing home improvement projects all year round, concrete can present a unique challenge for you. You may not think that pouring concrete in the winter is possible, but if you keep the following pointers in mind, you can pour concrete pads even on very cold days.
Have the Right Supplies
The most important thing to do if you want to pour a concrete pad in the winter is to have the right supplies. Because the cold air can affect drying times, you must realize that the supplies that work in the summer may not work as well in the winter. For example, in the summer, you may not use any sub-base other than the dirt. In the winter, the dirt will absorb the heat of the concrete, which means that the concrete won't dry properly. To avoid that problem, you may choose to use a styrofoam sub-base. You might also need to get an accelerator such as calcium chloride so that the concrete sets more quickly.
Ensure the Sub-base Has Not Frozen
It is essential that you don't pour concrete on top of a sub-base that is frozen. If you do, you are setting yourself up for cracks and other concrete problems when it gets warm and the sub-base thaws.
Before you pour concrete, check your sub-base to make sure that it has not had time to freeze. You might decide to put down the sub-base right before pouring the concrete, instead of laying the sub-base in the days or weeks before you're ready to start the job.
Avoid Pouring Alone
You may think you can pour concrete on your own, but keep in mind that in the winter, you are fighting cold temperatures. The longer the concrete sits in the chute, the more chance it has of freezing there. The longer concrete sits, the colder it will be. You need to make sure the concrete doesn't have time to freeze while you're working with it; having friends help will get the concrete poured and troweled sooner so it can set properly instead of freezing before it's even poured.
Protect the Concrete After Pouring
Once you've got the concrete poured, you may think that it's safe to dry. However, remember you want the concrete to set well, not freeze. To make this happen, you can cover the entire concrete pad with insulating blankets. For even more protection, cover the blankets with a tarp and wood beams to ensure that wind doesn't blow anything away. Doing these things will keep the concrete from freezing and allow it to set properly.
Let the tips above help you to successfully pour a concrete pad in the wintertime. If you need help, get in touch with a local concrete contractor who can assist you in getting the project done well. For more information, contact Williamson Equipment or a similar company.