When Should I Pour Concrete for My Pool or Patio?
It may be the middle of Winter, but a lot of us already have Summer on the mind. Summer beckons the time of outside entertainment, family fun and outdoor projects like landscaping and pools. You may be asking yourself when the best time to start these projects is, though. Well. a lot of that depends on what kind of pool you plan on installing and if that planned pool is going to be comprised of concrete. Each season, especially in Illinois, will affect the way in which concrete pours and sets, so let’s find out what season is best for this type of work and why.
Winter in the Midwest usually brings frigid temperatures, medium air moisture, frozen ground and precipitation in the form of snow. Now, even though concrete is poured year around in the Midwest, certain precautions and processes must be deployed in order for the concrete to pour and set correctly. The concrete is usually supplemented with set accelerators and air entrainment admixtures that prevent the concrete from not setting in a timely fashion and protect it from the freeze-thaw cycle that is inevitable in those Winter months. Both of these problems can cause cracking in the concrete before it completely cures or is still immature. The often-frozen winter ground can also be incredibly hard to dig through to install a pool. It can be done, but we wouldn’t recommend winter as the ideal time to install concrete patios and especially concrete pools.
Midwest Summers are HOT and usually incredibly humid. That humidity causes quite a bit of unpredictable rain, which is never good for concrete curing. Because of the high moisture content in the air, it is common for concrete poured during this season to have additives that reduce moisture and stabilize the hydration of the concrete. The goal of getting concrete installed at this time of the year is to get the moisture content right, which can be challenging with those weeks of high humidity. This is why Summer isn’t the best time to pour concrete for a pool or patio, yet it isn’t the worst time to do this kind of work either.
Spring is a generally good time to pour concrete, as long as it isn’t raining for weeks at a time. During this time of the year, additives and special measures are not usually needed, but rain can delay construction time considerably and the heavy stuff can even shift the ground around your concrete. This is probably the second-best time of the year to install exterior concrete, as long as it stays relatively dry for a few days.
The best temperatures. The least humidity. Fall is the best time to get exterior concrete poured in the Midwest, undoubtedly. Because of the near-perfect weather conditions, concrete poured during this season sets quickly and well and can be easily shielded from the low amount of precipitation that occurs during this time. The only problem with getting concrete installed during this season is the lack of available contractors. This is a busy time for concrete installers before the slow Winter months, so get your appointment booked well ahead of time.
It is true that you could potentially have a concrete pool and patio installed during any season in the Midwest, but Fall is by and far the best. So if you’re planning on a pool in the coming years, get it installed in the fall and make sure it won’t need to be repaired by the time pool season swings around and before you get a chance to enjoy it!