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When is the Best Time of Year for Concrete Work?

Are you waiting for the summer to have your concrete repaired? You might want to check with a concrete installation and repair specialist first to find out what the best time of the year is for concrete work. Not all weather conditions are ideal for concrete repair. Hot, humid weather can prevent the concrete from properly setting and cold temperatures can cause cracks to form. The key to pouring concrete is to avoid extreme weather conditions. So if you’re trying to plan the best time to get your concrete fixed, follow the guide below to avoid any unwelcoming surprises.

What is the Best Temperature for Concrete Repair?

The sweet spot for concrete repair is when the temperature is above 10 degrees Celsius and below 24 degrees Celsius. These temperatures usually line up with the summer and early fall season when it’s milder. We recommend avoiding July and August when the temperatures are extremely high. 

Why Does Temperature Impact Concrete?

In freezing weather, water can turn to ice and expand. This can lead to cracks in your brand new concrete surface. Cold weather also makes the concrete set much slower, limiting the strength. In hot weather, the opposite occurs and the concrete sets faster on the top than the bottom. This prevents the concrete from setting right and forming enough strength throughout as the curing process requires the concrete to stay wet for a number of days. Plus, pouring in hot, humid weather requires more water to be added to the concrete mix. This additional water can make the material much weaker. Of course, foundation repair experts know how to pour concrete in cold and hot temperatures, but even a seasoned professional will face some setbacks in extreme conditions.

What is the Best Weather for Concrete Work?

In addition to temperature, the weather is another major factor. You will need two to three days of dry weather for the concrete to properly set. Even one day of rain or snow can impede the process and impact the overall strength of the material. And, since May is one of the rainiest months of the year, you might want to wait a little longer until the weather starts to dry up in June.

Pouring Concrete in the Rain

For the individuals who are dead-set on pouring their concrete during rain, there are ways to accomplish this. A scenario in which you would have to set your concrete in the rain rather than on a nicer day is rare, but it can happen. Some people get caught in periods of wet weather and their foundation simply needs to be fixed. The weather can also be unpredictable, and all individuals should know what to do in case the clouds open up over their concrete while it’s in the process of drying. Here are a few tips:

  • Check your drainage system and make sure that no rainwater is going to pool in undesirable areas, such as in trenches, dug footers, foundations, and slabs.
  • Make a makeshift shelter for the concrete using tarps or other such material. You want to keep the rainwater off the concrete as much as possible.
  • Don’t use the cement to get rid of rainwater. It might be tempting to work it into the surface of the cement or use dry cement to soak up remaining rainwater, but it will hinder your work and weaken the top layer of the concrete. 
  • After rain subsides, use a float to push rainwater away from the concrete slab. 

Check the weather forecast for the next few days before you start to pour. It will limit the chances that you’ll have unexpected rain. Waiting for better weather is generally less stressful, not to mention more cost and time efficient.

Does Wind Play a Factor?

Absolutely. If the wind velocity is too high on the day the cement is being poured, it can cause the water to evaporate too quickly. The result is shrinkage and cracks in the cement finish. 

What Months are the Best?

Theoretically, that leaves June, September, and early October. With mild, dry weather, these three months are prime concrete pouring times. However, if you’re hiring a professional who knows what they’re doing, the best time to repair your concrete is now. If you have cracks and damage that need to be resolved, you shouldn’t wait. The longer you do, the worse the problem could potentially become, and the more expensive the repairs could be. The rates can also change, so if you wait until peak season, you’ll pay more for something that could have been addressed earlier for less. 

Foundation Repairs in Winter and Summer

Some foundation repair issues can’t wait until the best months because they’ll cause too much structural damage to your house if there’s a delay. In such cases, follow best practices for pouring concrete in your current season. You’ll need to check the weather to know when is the best time to pour concrete. You may want to consult with or hire a professional who has experience mixing and pouring in these conditions. They’ll know the right temperature to set concrete at, be able to pinpoint good times to pour, and more. Their knowledge makes it less daunting and more manageable.

Tips for Pouring Concrete in Winter

  • Don’t pour concrete on frozen ground. Make sure that before you pour, you’ve removed all snow and ice from the area. 
  • Choose a series of warmer days. If you can get two or three days above 10 degrees Celsius, plan to pour on those days. You should never pour on a day when the temperature is below five degrees Celsius. It takes several days for concrete to dry.
  • Always start the job in the early morning so that the concrete can take advantage of the warmer hours of the day. 
  • Use concrete curing blankets to prevent freezing. 
  • See if you can get heated cement from your cement supplier. It can make the job easier to accomplish.
  • Watch out for water bleeding. Your concrete needs to have some moisture in it, but if you have water bleeds then you will risk the integrity of your foundation. To prevent this, don’t use too much water in your mix. You can’t finish pouring your cement until your water bleeds are fixed.
  • Substitute water in your concrete mixture for a chemical admixture. This changes its curing temperature range, set time, workability, and even the colour of the concrete. There are five major categories of admixtures: accelerating, water reducing, superplasticizers, retarding, and air-entraining. 
  • Don’t use de-icing salts on the concrete once it has hardened. When the surface becomes corroded, water is permitted into the concrete and forms cracks.

Tips for Pouring Concrete in Summer

  • Wait for a three-day period where temperatures don’t exceed 24 degrees Celsius. Water in the cement will evaporate quickly with too much heat. Cement needs hydration in order to set properly. 
  • Pour on days with optimal humidity. You want there to be moisture in the air when you pour. Dry, windy days can suck the moisture out of the cement. 
  • Try an admixture that will increase the setting time for your concrete. 
  • Ask for chilled water from your concrete supplier. This takes longer to evaporate. 
  • Protect your concrete from summer weather conditions. You can invest in things like sun shades that will keep the sun off the concrete.
  • Don’t over-mix, because it will lead to more water loss. 

If you are able to wait until the spring or fall for more favourable conditions, it is highly recommended that you do so. It will make the job much easier. If not, contact our team. Our professionals have the experience and knowledge needed to get the work done right, saving you on time, money, and stress.

What Issues Should be Repaired Immediately?

If you notice any of the following issues, reach out to us right away. We’ll come take a look to ensure that any serious problems are resolved before they cause more serious damage or other complications.

  • Water damage in the basement
  • Fractures and cracks in the concrete
  • Flaking and crumbling concrete
  • Gaps forming
  • Sagging floors
  • Warped ceilings

When to Plan Aesthetic Repairs

If you’re looking to add beauty or value to your property, you might want to consider the timing of the project. Walkways, patios, and exterior facades are best completed between June and November when rain is less likely and ground conditions are most stable. Masonry and repointing work can be completed in the warmer months between April and November. 

Whether you need serious repairs or simply want to enhance the aesthetic of your property, The Foundation Experts are seasoned professionals who can take care of your concrete projects at any time of the year. Our team knows all the proper techniques and temporary fixes to apply concrete in all weather conditions. We are also fully prepared to work in all environments so that you can get the repairs you need done efficiently with the best quality results. Contact us today to learn more!