Despite being one of the most durable and versatile building materials still in use over thousands of years, concrete is very susceptible to the elements – especially water. The weather can have a huge impact on concrete while it’s being poured if the correct precautions aren’t made. Letting concrete become vulnerable to hot temperatures, wet weather and also cold weather can lead to cracks forming very quickly. When laying concrete, it’s essential that there is no margin for error otherwise repair work will be eating into your budget sooner than you think.
As concrete experts, we know how to avoid all the potential issues that the weather can cause. We take all measures and also plan for when we carry out work. Freezing temperatures and boiling hot temperatures are best to avoid though thankfully in the UK, extremes in temperature that would impact concrete are rare. Our main issue is rain, which we get plenty of. Setting up successful waterproofing at your property, ensuring basements are watertight, will be your best defence against issues that rain can cause.
What weather impacts concrete?
The weather has the greatest impact during the curing process. Hot weather and cold weather do not cause much of an issue when the concrete has set. The temperature has a main effect on water rather than the concrete itself. Water particles freeze and thaw inside the concrete structure creating pressure within. Water is the main cause behind cracks which form in concrete which is why waterproofing is so essential. We have to avoid this being an issue as early on as we can.
As for what weather conditions impact concrete during curing, here is a list.
If works have to be carried out in the heat, there is a greater chance for cracks to appear. Due to faster curing down to quicker evaporation, the concrete will lose strength and durability as it needs to retain as much moisture as possible to cure and form a strong structure. Hot weather can be more of an issue if the concrete is then exposed to colder temperatures during the night. The large temperature difference exacerbates the problem as the concrete goes through rapid changes in expansion and shrinking.
When pouring concrete during cold weather, the speed of the chemical reactions that cause curing are slowed down. If temperatures are close to freezing, this could result in the final result being unusable as the water can’t react to the concrete while frozen. Making sure that the ground isn’t frozen and checking the temperature of the surface before pouring will protect against inhibiting the curing process. Concrete generally should only be poured when the weather is above 5°c.
Pouring concrete during the rain isn’t something that can be avoided, especially in the UK with the weather as it is! Preparation and precautions during pouring can avoid most of the issues that precipitation causes. Concrete will set in the rain given that once you’ve poured, you make sure to cover up the concrete with plastic tarps. It’s good practice to always cover curing concrete as the weather is always unpredictable.
Rain and water is more of an issue after the concrete has cured. Moisture that permeates the concrete becomes vulnerable to the freeze-thaw cycle where the water expands and contracts based on the temperature. Frozen water particles put pressure on the concrete which then releases when the water melts. The switch between expansion and contraction leads to weakening the concrete which is what leads to small cracks appearing inside the structure. These small cracks become vulnerabilities for more water to enter, a real pain during wet weather. The way around getting water into the concrete in the first place is through waterproofing the structures effectively once they are cured.
How to work around weather conditions
Relying on the weather for optimum conditions for concrete pouring will set you back. Concrete specialists will prepare accordingly to simulate ideal conditions for the best finish, taking into account moisture, temperature and wind. Keeping the area sheltered during the curing process keeps any mitigating factors from interfering and ruining the job.
When it comes to factors that you can’t control, such as the weather after the concrete has set, there are protective measures we can take to reduce the chance of cracks further down the line. At Concrete Remedial Systems, part of our service includes waterproofing concrete structures to improve concrete’s longevity. We also repair concrete that has fallen afoul of any issues that could have been caused by poor pouring. Our repairs can be from the ground up if the damage is significant.
How we repair damaged concrete
Our team of concrete specialists at Concrete Remedial Systems have a combined experience of 30 years. We specialise in repairs and waterproofing concrete structures to ensure longevity, security and stability.
Restoring failing concrete
Concrete that has deteriorated due to exposure to the elements can be reinstated to a structurally sound condition through repair works. We pare away layers of crumbling concrete back then fill in the void with a specialist mix which binds to the concrete and forms a new structure that is just as strong and durable as the concrete. We can then apply a water-resistant treatment to the structure to protect against water retention.
For smaller restoration works, we can inject into cracks and seal them from the inside. This prevents further water entering the structure and further weakening the concrete structure. Sealing cracks with epoxy and mortar mixes, even small cracks, will greatly improve the concrete’s longevity and strengthen it as a result.
How to prevent future concrete damage
We might not be able to stop the rain from falling, but we can make concrete structures waterproof. Preventing moisture and water from entering internal spaces is the priority when building long lasting concrete structures. Setting up waterproofing is a big job, but will stop water from damaging the structures over time. In the case of the damage that water can do, prevention is always better than cure. Having waterproofing in place saves on more extensive repair works down the line.
Speak to our team about our waterproofing solutions
Whether weather-damaged concrete is an issue for your commercial or residential property, we have the services to carry out repairs and prevent damage. Our first step is identifying the cause. We can carry out inspections on site to give you a projection on the work needed to fix the concrete and set up suitable waterproofing for your building.
To find out more about our services, you can drop us a message on firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to arrange for one of our specialists to visit your property and carry out a survey, you can give us a call on 01293 447881.Return to news