Summer is here and that means that in the UK it might get hot once or twice over the next few months. If you’re well into a construction or home improvement project over the summer and you’re having to work in the beating sun, you may have to adjust certain processes in accordance with the temperature. One such job that can be affected by heat is the pouring of concrete, and the team at EasyMix are going to talk through what you need to know if you’re planning some warm weather work.
What changes when pouring concrete in hot weather?
Concrete cures through hydration – crystals grow around the aggregate particles, giving it strength. However, if it’s too hot, the water evaporates, meaning fewer crystals are grown and the strength of the concrete is compromised. The presence of hot weather can cause a number of issues as well as the weakening of concrete:
- Excess shrinkage
- Increased risk of cracking
- Cold joints due to the concrete setting too quickly
- Lower compression strength
- The finishing process can be hindered
How can I make sure my concrete pour goes well?
If you know the weather is likely to be hot on the day or days you’re attempting your concrete pour, there’s a few things you can do to make sure you account for the excess heat.
- Ensure that you have enough people present to supervise and manage the pour – you can’t do it yourself.
- Be sure to keep any concrete mix and equipment in the shade until it is time to use them.
- Once water has been added to the mix, be sure to reduce the mixing time.
- Ice can be used as part of the water mix to keep the concrete cool.
- Ensure the space between joints is smaller than if you were pouring in cold weather.
- Where possible, use windbreakers, parasols and other means of blocking out the sun and warm air.
The above tips are effective ways of protecting your concrete from the hot weather, and it’s important that you incorporate those that are relevant to you so as to avoid damage and issues down the line. These issues are not only inconvenient, but they can also be expensive to rectify, so it’s much better to be proactive than reactive.
Whether you’re pouring in hot or cold weather, the quality of your concrete is crucial, and EasyMix supply the highest standard of product for customers throughout London in the domestic and commercial markets. For more information about our concrete services, please contact us today – our friendly team are always happy to help.