What happens to concrete if it freezes? Many homeowners and business owners have that question. You might be thinking that there are plenty of concrete driveways and concrete buildings in areas with cold climates, so what gives? Does the concrete have to be installed a certain way, or is there extra maintenance you have to worry about. You could be thinking you have to worry about it cracking more often. Well, let’s take a closer look at the question and unpack the answer.
One thing you have to think about is new concrete. Newer concrete has to get its strength. The recommendation is 500 PSI. That may sound funny, but without that strength, the concrete can sure freeze. When that happens, thermal cracking can occur. So people planning to pour concrete driveways in cold climates have that concern to worry about. Yet once concrete gets its strength, it doesn’t freeze.
There is the setting period that you have to worry about. That’s what it’s all about when it comes to the concrete gaining its strength. The setting period for concrete is the 14 to 28 day period. Now, let’s say that you pour concrete in an area when the temperature is 50 degrees. It is going to set more slowly, not gaining strength as quickly. When the temperature is over 50 degrees, it should set like normal. Click here to get more information.
But let’s say that the temperature is 40 degrees or below. First, if you get too close to 30 degrees, you’re going to be in freezing temperatures anyway, which means that the concrete could definitely freeze. But even at 40, which isn’t freezing weather, the cold temperature is going to keep the concrete from gaining strength at all.
Colder temperatures can in fact slow down the setting period for the concrete, causing there to be more of a window of time for the concrete to freeze and endure other issues. And you can see that there doesn’t have to be freezing weather for the setting of the concrete to slow down. It’s just how things work.
Ideally, the concrete would be poured when there isn’t a window of 50 degree weather anytime soon. That would mean that it would properly set in the regular timeframe, 14 to 28 days. If you can get the job done during the summer, perhaps that’s a good option.
Some areas have less cold weather than others. In parts of the country where winters are harsh, there isn’t going to be any concrete pouring going on during the season. Yet that means business will be booming during the warmer months.
Now you know what to expect when it comes to concrete and whether or not it can freeze. It sure can, but the thing about it is that once it is strong enough, it’s not going to freeze. It will be strong enough to where the weather doesn’t affect it at all. If there are colder temperatures just around the corner, you might want to go ahead and wait on that project until a more ideal time, just in case. Of course, there are also heaters that can be used in cold concrete construction.
Visit: www.concreterssydney.net.au to get more information about concrete cure below freezing and how is it done.