Should I Lay Concrete in Hot or Cold Weather?

Concrete is one of the strongest of substances, but there are a few simple steps you can take to make sure that it lasts.  One of these is the temperature at which it is first laid down.

Accredited concrete suppliers Madmix are based near Cambridge and have customers as far afield as Newmarket, St Neots, Ely, Huntingdon and St Ives. Here are some key factors to consider about when to lay down concrete.

Talking Temperatures

There are two different temperatures to consider when talking about concrete. One is the temperature of the concrete itself. Madmix’s accredited concrete, produced at our base near Cambridge, meets the European standard EN 206 and its complementary UK measure, BS 8500. This means that its temperature is guaranteed to stay above 5C.

The second temperature is the ambient or air temperature, which is something that concrete suppliers have less control over.

Cold Weather

If you have got any winter building projects on the go, you should avoid laying down your concrete when the temperature has dipped below freezing point (0 degrees Celsius). Insulating your concrete, possibly by protecting it with blankets, may be necessary, otherwise the water in the concrete mixture could expand and contract, leading to a process known as spalling. This results in chunks of the concrete peeling or flaking off.

If the ambient temperature is between 0C and 5C then the concrete may take longer to develop its strength once it has been laid down.

Hot Weather

If the concrete is laid in hot weather, then it will set more quickly and produce higher strength early on, but it may be weaker later on. Studies have shown that if the ambient air temperature is around 18C higher than normal, then the concrete could lose up to a tenth of its strength.

So in summer, if the temperature is forecast to be around the 85C mark, then it may be wise to delay laying down your new driveway or patio base – which, given the heat, may be something of a relief.

Concrete and Curing

Concrete takes around an hour to set, although this can vary depending on the type and the conditions. If concrete dries out too quickly, then its strength can be affected, and it may crack more easily.

To avoid any danger of this happening, the concrete needs to be cured. In summer this can be done by covering it with polythene, then leaving it for around 10 days in winter and for a week in summer.

Accredited Concrete Suppliers Madmix

Madmix supply a wide range of different types of accredited concrete, including waterproof, reinforced and pumpable varieties, from our base near Cambridge. We can either deliver it to you in one of our 6 cu metre and 4 cu metre barrel truck mixers, or you can pick it up from us at a pre-arranged time. We deliver to Huntingdon, Ely and Royston and the surrounding areas.

If you would like to know more, contact us on 01954 212212 or by following this link. 

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