Planning To Lay A Concrete Driveway? What The Weather And Temperature May Do To It

Jason Hunt

If you are planning to lay a new concrete driveway, you should look at the weather forecast first. The temperature and the weather can have an effect on it as it starts to set. Below is what happens if the weather is too hot, too cold, or too wet.

Too Hot

If you lay the concrete when the weather is very hot, it can cause problems. The concrete starts to set when the cement starts hydrating, and hydrating generates heat. The process goes quicker if the concrete is already hot from the temperatures.

When cement starts hydrating, it sucks in water and then crystals start to grow. When the temperatures are high, this process is quicker, which makes the crystals grow too fast before they have time to become strong. When this happens, the concrete is not as durable, is more prone to cracking, and have holes.

Too Cold

When you lay concrete, the curing process, also known as hydration, must take place. This process is when the chemicals in the concrete react with the water, and then the concrete and water mix together When the temperatures are freezing outside, the concrete sets much slower and hydration slows down or may stop completely.  For the concrete to be strong and durable, it must set before it is exposed to the cold temperatures.

The concrete contractor cannot lay the concrete on frozen ground. He or she will use a type of heating equipment to thaw it out, or he or she may add hot water to the concrete mix. The contractor may also cover the area with a curing blanket.

Too Wet

You likely did not start pouring concrete in the rain. If you are in the middle of pouring the concrete and it starts to rain, however, it may affect the process, depending on the state of the curing process. If it rains soon after the concrete is laid during the curing process, the contractor should protect the concrete by putting a protective plastic covering over it, etc.

If the contractor is already gone and it starts to rain, it may be okay as the concrete is likely through the curing process. Just make sure the rain does not work into the surface of the concrete. If this happens, it will weaken the concrete and it will be easily cracked.

To test the concrete, scratch the surface with a screwdriver to see how durable it is. If the concrete scratches away very easily, then there is likely some water damage to it.

When you hire a concrete contractor, make sure he or she is comfortable pouring the concrete during this kind of weather, and is also experienced at doing that. If you cannot find someone, you may want to reconsider having the concrete laid during more optimal temperatures. For more information, contact a business such as Osco Mudjacking & Shotcreting Ltd mud jacking.