Pouring concrete can be a tough job in any weather, but there are certain precautions you want to take when you do it during the winter. Taking these extra precautions can ensure the concrete sets properly. You are not going to use the same process for pouring it in freezing temperatures than you would during a regular sunny day. It is important that you check the weather ahead of time to make sure temperatures are above freezing when you go to pour the concrete or otherwise you could end up with some major problems. Here are some tips to pouring concrete in the cold. 

Wait for the Ground to Thaw

It is essential to wait for the ground to thaw before pouring concrete on it. Should you pour it on a frozen ground, you will experience cracking in the concrete once the ground starts to thaw out. If you cannot wait for it to thaw, you will have to heat it up using blankets and hydronic heat pumps. You can also add hot water to the concrete which should help it set better. 

Remove Precipitation

If there is snow or ice around the area it needs to be moved before the concrete is poured. The same goes for any standing water that may be around. This can cause problems with the concrete being able to set. In many cases, the concrete will form a crust if too cold. This means the top layer will set and the bottom layer will still be soft. 

Strengthen the Concrete

Because cold concrete can be weaker, you want to be able to warm it up and keep it strong. Cold concrete can lose 50% of its potential 28-day strength. You can strengthen it by adding 100 lbs of extra cement for every cubic yard of concrete you use. 

Pour it Quickly

When the concrete is sitting in the truck, it will start to lose some of the heat. It is important that you pour the concrete quickly to avoid it getting too cold. Adding an extra person to help pour it during the really cold days can help you get it down much faster. 

Keep Records

It can be very helpful to keep a temperature chart for the concrete. This is not only good for your immediate project, but it can help you in the future when deciding what you will need to pour concrete again in those temperatures so you are better prepared. For more information, talk to a concrete cutter.