Most cities of England experience cold weather for several months every year. Due to the freezing temperatures, pouring the ready-mix-concrete in Kent and other parts of England gets challenging. If concrete is not mixed or poured correctly, it can freeze, which further leads to many different obstacles in the construction process, such as cracking, pop-outs, surface scaling, etc.
Fortunately, with proper planning and some practical solutions, you can ensure that your concrete doesn’t freeze and avoid all the problems that follow. The experts at Ready Mix Specialists have listed a few simple yet significantly effective ways to use concrete in cold weather.
How to Effectively Use Concrete in Freezing Temperature
1. Never Pour Concrete on Frozen Floor
This tip may seem obvious, but we are still mentioning it because it is that important! Freshly mixed concrete has a tendency to freeze at temperatures below -4°C. Therefore, if you pour it directly on frozen ground, it will freeze in no time, and this frozen concrete may lead to severe problems.
While mixing the concrete, you can add hot water (not exceeding 180 degrees), which raises the concrete’s temperature, preventing it from freezing immediately. Apart from water, you can consider using heating aggregates or installing enclosures to insulate the concrete from the surroundings.
2. Accelerating Admixtures
You can use accelerating admixtures like calcium chloride, sodium nitrate, etc., to accelerate concrete setting because the faster the concrete sets, the lesser the chances of freezing. However, please note that these admixtures are meant to complement the concrete protection measures, not replace them. Using accelerators does not preclude the requirements appropriate for curing and protection from freezing.
3. Use the Right Grade of Concrete
Using the right grade of concrete is vital in every season, but its significance increases even more in winter. Not all concrete grades are suitable for harsh winter weather. Therefore, you will need to contact your provider, instruct them about your needs and applications, and accordingly, they will put together an appropriate winter mix for you. Require high-quality ready mix concrete in Kent ? Visit https://rmsconcrete.co.uk/ .
4. Prepare the Pouring Site in Advance
Preparing your pour site in advance is recommended every season, but in winter, it becomes more vital. Along with basic preparations like ensuring proper parking space for the truck, keeping the base ready, or checking the forecast to avoid a downpour, there are several other things you should keep in mind while preparing for concrete pouring in winter. Some of the winter preparations include installing heated enclosures and using frost blankets before and after the concrete placement.
5. Place Heat Curing Boxes
Heat curing boxes are lightweight, portable containers used to maintain an ideal temperature on the pouring sites. They protect concrete from freezing at the initial curing phase and prevent the damages caused by freezing. Along with curing boxes, consider placing a minimum-maximum thermometer to generate a proper record of temperatures.
6. Maintain the Temperature After Pouring
According to surveys, a normal-set concrete will require a two-day protection period after pouring, and in cold weather, it may require three or more days. It is crucial to maintain an optimum temperature along with preventing the concrete from drying too quickly. Keeping the concrete covered can assist you in this.
Before the pouring begins, discuss with your concrete providers about strategies like materials, forms, testing, etc.
Determine if special considerations and strength requirements are to be met. If yes, then prepare and protect the concrete accordingly.
In cold seasons, it is recommended to place concrete as soon as possible. If the batch plant is too far from your construction site, additional steps must be taken to reduce setting problems.
Pouring concrete is always preferable in hot seasons, but in England’s cold cities, waiting for the hotter months can make the construction project long and monotonous. Therefore, the only option you are left with is finding ways to help you protect the concrete in cold weather. For more recommendations on winter concrete pouring and other requirements of Ready-mix-concrete in Kent, Contact us.