Pouring Concrete in the Heat

During the warmer parts of the year, outdoor projects are a common occurrence. However, the hottest parts of the year may have you asking is it OK to pour concrete in hot weather. The answer is yes, but pouring concrete in hot weather presents challenges, and you must be properly prepared to do the best job possible.

Why Pouring Concrete in Hot Weather Is Challenging

The key challenge when pouring concrete in hot weather is the increased chance of cracking (plastic shrinkage cracks) and reduced workability when you are pouring the concrete. This is due to the heat causing the wet concrete to dry and set too quickly. While the first idea may be to add more water, this weakens your concrete and can cause surface cracks to worsen.

Concrete Drying Time

Generally, concrete will dry in about 4 hours when poured on days with a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. An increase of 10 degrees to 90 degrees will reduce this drying time to roughly 2.5 hours. When the temperature is close to 100, this drying time can be as fast as 1.5 hours or 90 minutes. In the hottest weather, you have far less time to work than you would in milder conditions. Luckily there are ways to fight the heat and ensure your concrete sets correctly.

Ways To Fight the Heat When Pouring Concrete

With some planning, you can reduce the impact heat has on your concrete projects.

  • Before pouring the concrete, wet the surface with cold water to reduce its temperature.
  • Make use of shade to reduce the exposure to direct sunlight.
  • Mix your concrete with cold water to reduce its temperature before exposing it to the elements.
  • Store your dry concrete out of direct sunlight before mixing to reduce its overall temperature.
  • Start your projects either late in the day or early in the morning to avoid the hottest part of the day.
  • Make use of finishing products such as sealants to prevent moisture loss as the concrete finishes setting.
  • Make use of assistance and help to speed up the process and take advantage of the time you do have to complete your project.

Final Thoughts

The heat can be a hindrance when pouring concrete. However, by storing your concrete correctly, taking the proper steps during perpetration, and making sure your work area is well prepared, you can limit the impact it has on your work. This means you can complete your projects even if the weather is not ideal.

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