Tips for Pouring Concrete During Hot Weather
If you’re pouring concrete on a hot day in the height of summer, there are a few rules that must be followed to guarantee the concrete attains its full compressive strength when cured. Thankfully, experts such as Ever Readymix are well versed in curing concrete during extreme weather, such as on a hot day. High ambient temperatures, low humidity and high wind speed all affect the methods used to pour and cure, and here we’ll clarify some key points.
How Hot Weather Affects Concrete
Concrete sets when the cement hydrates. The hydration process is an exothermic reaction, which simply means it generates heat, and the hotter the concrete is, the faster the exothermic reaction. So, air temperature is actually of secondary importance when pouring concrete in hot weather. The real focus is how hot the concrete is and methods to cool it.
This is important because cement sucks up water as it hydrates and this forms crystals around the aggregate particles. Hot weather speeds up this process so the crystals grow quickly but do not have time to strengthen to the same degree as on a cooler day.
Another problem to avoid is water evaporation on the surface. In this case, a weaker top layer of concrete will form and is liable to crack. Here are our tips to avoid these issues.
Pouring Concrete on a Hot Day
- Ensure you have enough manpower to handle the amount of concrete you have ordered. On a hot day you need to have access to drinking water at all times to avoid exhaustion during manual work. Also, sunscreen should be applied before starting the pour.
- Avoid pouring during the hottest part of the day, often between noon and mid-afternoon. Check the weather forecast to pick the best time to pour.
- Keep all equipment out of direct sunlight until it is required to lay the concrete. This will stop spades, mixers, wheelbarrows and tamping bars from heating the concrete while it is being poured.
- The concrete should be cured at the correct time with a suitable curing agent, which can be applied via a spayer. It is also advisable to cover the concrete over with plastic sheeting in order to shade the concrete from the harshest temperatures and lock in moisture.
Of course, when planning to pour any amount of concrete you will need the knowledge and advice of an expert. Whether that is yourself, a contractor or your concrete supplier depends on your project. To avoid pouring concrete incorrectly on a hot day (or any day) we recommend having a professional complete the work.
Ever Readymix is proud to supply high quality concrete to customers in Yorkshire, including Barnsley, Doncaster, Goole, Scunthorpe and York. Our expert team use state of the art mixing technology to determine exactly the right mix for your needs. Simply talk to one of our friendly team today and you’ll be sure of the correct grade of concrete when it comes to the pour, no matter what the weather. Contact us today to find out more.