Will Extreme Heat Damage Your Concrete?
What to Watch For as Summer Temperatures (continue to) Rise
Every summer, we all expect hot temperatures. However, it can still be a shock to the system when temperatures hit the 90s and the hot air makes it hard to breathe. Just as we are affected by hot air, so are other things, such as concrete. When you have concrete installations in your home, they can be affected by hot temperatures. Considerations need to be given when installing concrete during the summer season, but also years after. Learning more about how concrete is poured and how heat can affect it is essential to have concrete areas that remain intact within your property.
Why is Hot Weather an Issue?
Concrete will set after it has been poured due to the cement hydration. Because it is an exothermic reaction, hydration occurs when heat is generated, and the material dries out. The exothermic reaction will take place faster when hot temperatures are present. The main concern during this process is how the heat will affect the temperature of the concrete.
If the setting time does not take place as it should, then the strength of the concrete is lowered. When the temperature is super-hot, the cement will hydrate, sucking up the water and crystals will grow around the aggregate particles in a rapid manner. This quick process does not allow for strong growth.
So, if you have a concrete driveway installed in the middle of summer and the temperatures are hot, your concrete may not be as strong as it should be. This will lead to weakened concrete that can crack and break over time. This of course leads to more repair needs and additional cost.
You also have to worry about shrinkage which can also lead to cracking. The hotter the environment, the more drying and surface shrinking can occur. This creates a problem depending on what you are trying to achieve. Your driveway or walkway might not look as you like due to shrinking in hotter temperatures.
Working Around Problems
If you are planning a concrete project during the summer months, do your homework. Better yet, hire a professional team to complete the work for you. When you have a team of concrete experts working on the project, they know how to avoid these problems.
Concrete professionals can look at the temperature on the day of the project and make adjustments in the installation. With the right know-how, a concrete project can be successful, no matter the environment. Adjustments to the mix as well as the temperature of the mix can be considered to ensure the material does not suffer from strength issues or cracking in the future.
Projects must go on, no matter the environment or climate. When planning your next concrete installation, consider the temperature outdoors and find out what steps need to be taken to protect the integrity of your concrete. With a few adjustments you can have a project that is completed correctly without any damage to the material. Work with professionals to ensure success in your next project.