Pouring Concrete in the Winter: What to Know

Although temperatures may be hovering at or below freezing, when it comes to construction, the show must go on. Projects that need to be completed before the weather warms up can sometimes present a quandary.

Can you pour concrete in the winter? Yes, you can—you’ll just need to take some additional steps and precautions. If you’ve ever slipped and fallen on frozen concrete, you know that the cold can make it feel that much harder, but cold-weather concrete pouring is sometimes unavoidable.

This article will touch on how to pour concrete in winter weather.

Come prepared

As always, when executing a construction project, proper preparation prevents poor performance. If you know you’re going to be pouring concrete in temperatures around or below 40℉, you’ll need to take the appropriate measures to ensure that your concrete pour goes smoothly.

This means packing extra tools and setting an itinerary for the day by blocking out estimates for how long certain processes are going to take. Also, be sure to check when the sun sets, as you’ll not only lose light when it does, but the air will get colder as well.

Don’t pour concrete on frozen ground

This is the first rule of cold-weather concrete pouring. You should never under any circumstances pour concrete onto frozen ground or ground that’s covered by ice or snow.

Doing this will substantially compromise its structural integrity and could potentially render any concrete you pour unusable. Use construction heaters or electric blankets on the ground before you pour your concrete to warm up the ground and prime it for pouring.

Don’t use cold tools

Can you pour concrete in the winter? Yes, but you’ll have to closely monitor its temperature as its setting. In addition to that, you’ll need to make sure that the tools you’re using aren’t too cold to handle the concrete.

Using cold tools or tarps on warm concrete defeats the purpose of warming up the ground and mixing hot water into your concrete. Your tools should be stored in a warm, dry place and should only be brought out once you’re ready to use them.

Use quick-set additives

One of the biggest issues in cold-weather concrete pouring is the time that it takes the concrete to set once it’s poured. There are various steps you can take to all but guarantee that your concrete sets properly in frigid temperatures.

You can use quick-set products (additives designed to speed up set time) and hot water and add extra cement to accelerate the time it takes for your concrete to set.

Minimize bleed water

In colder climates, you want to limit the amount of bleed water present when pouring concrete. To do this, you can use vacuums or squeegees to swiftly remove the bleed water.

You can also use a concrete mix that contains a water-reducer to mitigate the longer bleeding times that occur when the temperatures are low.

Call for your equipment rental today

As you can see, you can pour concrete in the winter as long as you take the proper safety measures. If you need heavy equipment for a concrete construction project, call us at Ram Rent-All, Inc., where we have a vast array of heavy equipment available to rent, all at competitive prices.