Pouring concrete during the summer can be a tricky process. Wind, humidity, and high ambient temperature all affect the strength and set time of the pour. In addition to selecting the right concrete forms for sale, there are several considerations to keep in mind when tackling a summer construction project. With careful planning, the correct materials, and avoidance of harsh conditions, you can ensure the integrity of the pour is uncompromised.
Keep It Cool
Pouring concrete in hot weather can impact setting time, strength, and durability. The top layer will dry faster than the rest, increasing the risk of drying shrinkage and cracking. Decreased setting time also runs the risk of forming cold joints.
Hot formwork can absorb water from the mix, resulting in cracks. Slump rate increases in response to higher temperatures. This requires more water to be mixed into the batch, which reduces the strength of the finished product.
To beat the heat, try to avoid working in the afternoon when temperatures are highest. Keep your equipment covered and in a shaded area whenever possible.
Consider Your Aggregates
Aggregates like sand, gravel, and crushed stone are mixed into concrete to give it strength. Increasing the size and quantity of course aggregates offsets the risk of shrink.
Keep aggregate piles out of the sun whenever possible, because their temperature impacts the temperature of the concrete pour. If shading them isn’t an option, cool course aggregates with water.
All Hands on Deck
Summer is no time to short-staff construction projects. After mixing, it’s important to get the concrete set as soon as possible. This ensures the mix doesn’t start drying too early and that its temperature doesn’t rise too quickly.
Ensure you have enough team members on site to handle the concrete as it’s being poured and through the finishing process. This will increase how quickly you can get it mixed, poured, leveled, and ready to dry.
Stay Out of the Sun
An easy way to avoid many of the issues that arise due to summer conditions is to not mix on-site. If you have an off-site plant and a concrete mixer, do your mixing at the plant before bringing it to the site and pouring. For personal projects, many companies offer premixed concrete. You can pick up a towable trailer with cement already mixed and ready to pour.
Your summer concrete project doesn’t have to be compromised by hot weather. Just be sure to consider the heat-related problems that can occur and take appropriate steps to prevent them. Forming America can help you with even your toughest concrete projects by providing quality forming equipment and onsite delivery. Contact Forming America or give us a call today at 1-888-993-1304 to get started!