If you are laying your own concrete mix this summer, here’s how you can guarantee that hot weather doesn’t ruin the curing process.
Why is it important to keep concrete mixes cool as they set?
The hotter the external temperature, the faster the concrete will cure. This is problematic because the concrete mix needs to hydrate as part of the curing process.
This process essentially involves the formation of crystals as the concrete absorbs water. When the surrounding temperature is too hot, this process is sped up, meaning that these crystals form too quickly and don’t strengthen as well as they should.
Water also evaporates from the surface of fresh concrete too quickly during hot weather, which results in a weak surface layer more prone to plastic shrinkage and cracking.
How do I keep my concrete mix cool during hot weather?
- Invest in ready mix concrete delivered straight to your site so you don’t have to worry about mixing the concrete and laying it before it dries out.
- Avoid laying concrete at the hottest part of the day, between 11-3pm.
- Use a suitable concrete mix in your project. For example, set retarding concrete mixes slow down the curing process, making them ideal for use in hot weather.
- Keep all your equipment in the shade until you are ready to use it. This includes metal chutes and wheelbarrows used for transportation of the concrete.
- Ensure that you have a sufficient workforce to lay the concrete quickly.
- Make sure that you are well prepared to receive the ready mix concrete delivery.
- Cover the concrete with a plastic sheet in order to create shade and prevent evaporation as the concrete mix cures.
If you are inexperienced at laying concrete in hot weather, then it’s always wise to seek the advice of a professional. We can provide help and guidance on how to properly lay your DIY or commercial concrete. Get in touch today on 0117 958 2090.
How durable is fully cured concrete in hot weather?
Once fully cured, concrete is much more tolerant of high temperatures when compared with other common road and paving materials, such as asphalt, which begins to melt at around 50 degrees.
With temperatures reaching above 30 degrees in many parts of the UK this summer, and ground temperatures reaching much higher, these asphalt roads have already started to cause problems, even trapping a bin lorry and its driver in Berkshire.
Alternatively, regular concrete is not affected by heat until it reaches around 400 degrees, making it the far superior choice for avoiding lengthy and pricey repair jobs.
Laying concrete mixes in hot weather can be tricky. We supply ready mix concrete mixes that are batched with your requirements in mind. Don’t hesitate to contact our team of concreting experts for concrete delivery and advice.