Seasons come and go. When seasonal changes bring environmental challenges, for some businesses, work still has to continue to keep projects on target. For construction in particular, outdoor conditions can have a big impact on the progress of a project. Many construction projects—for obvious reasons—prefer to start building in spring or summer, when more stable, less hostile weather makes it easier to do work.
But what if the schedule you have for a project doesn’t allow the luxury of waiting for good weather? If you need to break ground on a project and pour some concrete in the winter season, is this even feasible? Here’s the answer.
The Curing Process
Concrete has the handy property of being a nearly “fluid” substance. It can be poured in liquid form to any shape that might be required but then hardens into a solid durable final form. It’s for these reasons, as well as cost-effectiveness, that concrete is one of the most popular building materials today.
However, the transition from a liquid to a solid state is a particular one. One component of this, known as curing, is when the different substances in the “recipe” of concrete interact with the water in a process known as hydration that binds everything together. Without the hydration process, concrete could not eventually solidify into the durable substance we’re familiar with.
The Temperature Factor
One of the things that play a role in how long hydration and curing will take is temperature. Simply put, the warmer the temperature is, the faster concrete will cure and solidify. Obviously, this means that for any construction that takes place in the winter, lower temperatures can pose a problem. If a persistent cold snap—as we often get in Tulsa, OK—occurs where the temperature drops below 40 and stays that way for several days, it can have an impact on concrete and its curing.
However, this does not mean that pouring concrete in the winter is impossible, just that it may take more time, and present more challenges. If the timetable you have dictates that you can’t wait for the end of winter, there are things you can do to compensate.
Heating & Insulation
Make no mistake, pouring concrete during the winter can be done, but it will come with additional expenses to ensure success. The site that the concrete is to be poured on must not, itself, be frozen, so extra preparations must be made to recreate summer-like conditions during the winter before pouring can take place.
Once all preparations are made, the temperature of the concrete should be closely monitored, and all proper care and maintenance should be carried out. It takes more equipment and more attention, but pouring concrete in the winter can be done!
We Can Do The Job
R&M Concrete has had years of success working with other business to pour the foundations of their projects both here in Oklahoma and in many other states. If you have a commercial project that needs a reliable concrete expert, contact us, and get a free estimate on what needs to be done.