How does the cold weather affect concrete? [ Infographic ]

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Posted on 20 January 2023

Have you been wondering “how does the cold weather affect the concrete”? If so, you can find all the information that you need right here. Cold weather can have a significant effect on concrete. This is why so much care needs to be taken when you’re laying it when temperatures are low. If fresh concrete is exposed to temperatures below freezing point, it can be damaged to the point that it becomes unusable. 

How does the cold weather effect concrete

What to consider when working with concrete in cold weather

Even if temperatures don’t drop beneath zero, you can still expect concrete to strengthen. However, this process is much more slowly than it would during the warmer months of the year. You need to consider two temperatures when you’re working with concrete in cold weather. The temperature of the ambient air and the temperature of the concrete itself. If concrete that you have just laid down cools beneath 0ºC, you can expect the water in the mix to freeze and expand. There is a chance this could cause so much damage to the concrete that you won’t be able to use it. However, concrete may be able to overcome this expansion if it’s allowed to reach a strength of around 2 N/mm2 first.

If you keep your concrete at or above 5ºC, you may be able to reach this strength within around 48 hours. Nonetheless, you can still expect a low temperature to slow down the development of strength even if the concrete does reach 2 N/mm2. Try to keep your concrete at a temperature of above 5ºC for the first two days. The colder the weather becomes, the more cautious and patient you will need to be whilst you’re waiting for your concrete to strengthen.

Temperature levels to be aware ofReadymix Concrete in Doncaster

If there is an ambient temperature of beneath 5ºC but there isn’t any frost, it’s unlikely that your concrete will be permanently damaged. However, you’ll need to wait longer for it to develop strength. If there is a slight frost during the night-time, you’ll need to protect the concrete. Your concrete can be protected with frost blankets and insulated formwork. If there is a severe frost during the day or night, you may need to use heated water to keep the temperature of your concrete above 5ºC. You can normally source heated water from some concrete plants. If you can’t get access to heated water for concrete, think about delaying the concreting process until there has been a rise in the ambient temperature.

When are the most difficult times to lay down concrete?

The British weather is famously unpredictable. But the coldest months of the year tend to be January and February. However, it’s perfectly possible to successfully work with concrete even during these months of the year as long as you take the necessary precautions. You do need to protect your concrete from freezing for at least the first 24 hours. If ice is permitted to form in your fresh concrete mix, the expanding water crystals could disrupt the hydration process. Causing the concrete to lose up to 50% of the strength you need to achieve. Nonetheless, not every day during the colder months of the year plays host to freezing temperatures. Even in December, January and February, temperatures can be much higher than average on certain days. Giving you the ideal conditions for laying down concrete. 

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When is it right to pour concrete during the colder months?

If you’ve been wondering “how does the cold weather affect concrete”, you may wish to know when it’s safe to pour it after a downpour or snowfall. It’s vital to avoid pouring concrete onto ice and frost. So make sure the ground has thawed first. The day before you pour your concrete, you can lay down thermal blankets to provide insulation. This can stop ice and frost from forming in cavities.

Find the right concrete supplier in Doncaster or Rotherham

If you are looking for concrete and concrete suppliers in Rotherham & Doncaster, help is available. At Doncaster and Rotherham Quickmix, we have been supplying high-quality concrete to businesses and individuals for many years. We offer a comprehensive service to ensure our concrete meets your needs and are only happy when we’ve helped your project become a successful one. We specialise in ensuring your ready-mix concrete is delivered quickly, for when you require it. You can rest assured that we will blend your concrete to your specific requirements to ensure it’s the perfect solution for your needs.

We have worked with a wealth of esteemed clients over the years. These include highway agencies, local councils, general contractors and the public. The fresh concrete that we supply is affordably priced. Also, all of our concrete meets BS 8500 standards. We supply concrete that has optimal durability and makes your project a success. We have access to our very own fully automated batching plant that ensures your concrete matches your requirements and can be delivered to your site either the same or the next day. We’re always on hand when you need advice on getting the most out of your concrete. What’s more, is that there is a convenient concrete calculator on our website to help you order the right amount and strength of the material for your needs.

Contact us

Get in touch if you have been searching online for concrete and concrete suppliers in Rotherham and Doncaster. Once we have discussed your requirements with you, we can give you a price and a delivery. Alternatively, you can come to us and collect your concrete in person if this is what you’d prefer. You can reach us today by completing the form on our website or by calling us on 01302 972997 (Doncaster) or 01709 807977 (Rotherham). We hope you feel you have all the information you need if you were wondering “how does the cold weather affect concrete”.

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