Tips for Successful Hot Weather Concrete Pours

Tips for Successful Hot Weather Concrete Pours

It seems like so far this year, we’ve had three seasons: Winter, then Tornado Season and now Hot Summer. It feels like we skipped Spring entirely.

For the last couple of weeks, temperatures in the Southeast–and across the country–have been unbelievably hot, which puts additional stresses on ready mix concrete pours.

Temperature, wind and humidity all can have a negative effect on concrete work. Planning ahead to deal with the extreme conditions can make the difference between a good pour and one with long term issues.

I asked our Vice President, Clinton Smith, to join me in sharing a few thoughts for making a good concrete pour in bad weather. Whether you are the banker, owner or the chief, here are a few thoughts to consider:

Prep Work

  • Ensure there are enough concrete finishers on the job. A slab that gets ahead of the finishers by setting up too quickly and is an ugly sight.
  • Plan an early morning or evening pour. In particularly hot spots out West, we have started at midnight and use ice water in the mix.
  • Schedule concrete trucks to avoid waiting time. This will keep the concrete from going into set mode too soon.
  • Consider modifying the concrete mix to include chemical set retarders and water reducers if other actions are not enough.

Follow-up

  • Start curing the concrete as soon as finishing is complete. Windbreaks, sunshades or water misting will hold water in longer to continue the hydrating process, which leads to stronger concrete.
  • Saw cut slabs immediately after finishing the concrete to control where cracking might occur. All concrete will crack, it’s just a matter of where.

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Merrill Stewart is Founder and President of the Stewart Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham, Ala. Contact him via email

Comments

  1. And don’t add water!

    Not an accepted shortcut.

  2. your article provides a excellent tool for good concrete work.By following these techniques, almost all the major problems can be solved.keep going.

  3. I agree that you need to be well prepared for pouring and cutting concrete. If you don’t do that, then you are going to have a lot of trouble keeping an even level of concrete. You don’t want to have a backyard that looks like it was poured by a five year old!

  4. Thanks for sharing this! I definitely will be using these tips this summer. I have been planning on pouring some concrete myself in the middle of summer, and I don’t want to get anything wrong. But if something bad does happen, I guess I could always call a professional to help me out.

  5. It is really helpful to know how to get good concrete even in bad weather. We have been wanting to get concrete poured outside the office where I work for a while, but the weather keeps being really hot. I would really like to find some good concrete contractors to help us get it done soon by looking at these tips. Then we can get the concrete poured and get it done well, despite bad weather. Thanks for the great post!

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