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Pouring your Concrete in Winter

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As suppliers of concrete, screed and mixing services in the South, at Wright Minimix we know all too well the trials and tribulations involved with pouring concrete during the winter months.

In the UK, it’s hard to know whether it will be sun, rain, cloud, or snow on any given day, which makes it difficult to prepare for your concrete pour – however, our vast experience in the industry has allowed us to become as best prepared as possible, so that we can make sure you know exactly what to do regardless of the weather you’re confronted with.

Assess the temperature

There are a few important breakpoints that you should make sure to remember, as they could have a huge effect on the quality of your concrete pour.

Below five degrees Celsius, concrete is considered to be subjected to cold temperatures – at this level, it should never be left out in the open air for more than 24 hours, as this could cause the water in the concrete mix to fail to make the critical chemical reactions that give concrete its signature strength.

It would be wise to take precautions in such a situation, such as leaving the concrete insulated overnight – thermal blankets can absorb the heat emitted by the concrete as the curing process takes place, serving to keep it above that 5-degree breakpoint.

Frost and freezing

While the five degrees benchmark does begin to cause some problems with the integrity of your concrete pour, it’s when temperatures stray below this number that serious precautions need to be taken – in order to prevent wasted materials, wasted company time and an unsatisfactory concrete pour.

Freshly poured concrete must be prevented from freezing for at least 24 hours, making it vitally important to keep a close eye on the temperature for not only the day that the concrete is poured, but the following 24 hours too.

As water is the main component of concrete, the appearance of any ice crystals on your concrete could spell very bad news – when water freezes into ice, it expands, and when this happens within your concrete mix it disrupts the critical hydration process.

When this occurs, it leaves your concrete with up to 50% of the strength it should have had – rendering it unsafe to use in any build, but perilous when part of a large-scale project.

Another important check to make is for frost, especially within your trenches and cavities. In these sheltered spots, it’s easier for frost to accumulate unnoticed – and if concrete is poured on top, it could lead to not only an uneven pour, but the freezing of concrete as it makes contact with the frozen surface.

Choose Wright Minimix this Winter

In order to keep track of these varying factors, we highly recommend having a checklist or company protocol for when you are confronted with cold temperatures when on a job. This way, you can be as prepared as Wright Minimix!

If you would like to explore our services further, you can check out the rest of our website – and to book in Wright Minimix for your premium, local, concrete pouring service you can call our friendly team today, on 0117 958 2090.