Many buyers start building their homes in the spring. They often do this to prevent cold weather from damaging the freshly poured foundation of their home. Despite this widespread practice, many people wonder whether you can pour a concrete foundation in the winter.
Discover some ideas on the subject!
A concrete foundation that doesn’t like frost, snow and ice
There are safe and effective ways to pour a concrete foundation during the winter season. The first step is to ensure that the ground under the foundation isn’t frozen and is free of snow and ice.
Foundations are used to transfer the building’s weight load to the ground. However, during periods of frost, the soil volume increases due to ice, which affects its support capacity. When the ground is frozen, the structure is falsely supported and tends to collapse when the ice melts in the ground. Freezing also increases soil moisture levels, which hinders the development of concrete strength. To counteract these effects, your concrete expert may recommend that you protect your floor by covering it with hay or plastic sheeting.
Protecting the freshly poured concrete slab in cold weather
Concrete is very resistant to cold. Its freezing point is around -2.78°C (27°F). However, this high resistance doesn’t prevent it from freezing. As such, the concrete must be protected until it reaches 500 pounds per square inch (psi). Since some freeze-thaw cycles occur during the winter, concrete protection must continue until it reaches 1500 psi. The temperature of the concrete must therefore be maintained above its freezing point until its compressive strength is 500 psi. Formwork systems are a good way to protect concrete from cracks. They are also very useful to prevent excessive moisture loss.
Creating the mixture: the key to pouring the slab in winter
To properly pour a concrete foundation in winter, special attention must be paid to the creation of the mixture. Concrete is a mixture of water and cement. The higher the water content of the concrete, the more vulnerable the concrete is to freezing. Adding excessive amounts of water to the concrete in winter will contribute to early freezing of the foundation.
Relying on admixtures for a concrete foundation
In addition to the importance of using concrete that contains the right water/cement ratio, the use of admixtures is highly beneficial when it comes to pouring a concrete slab in the winter. Admixtures are additives that are introduced into concrete to accelerate the hydration process in order to generate greater internal heat for increased strength gains. Chloride-free accelerators are very effective additives for pouring a concrete foundation in winter.
Foundation Crack Expert: for a solid foundation, even in winter
Winter shouldn’t stop you from pouring your concrete foundation. With the right precautions, you can move forward, even in cold weather. This way, you will have the satisfaction of moving into your home in the spring, if you so choose.
Foundation Crack Expert has proven expertise. For any questions about concrete slabs, contact one of our experienced technicians.