The construction industry is active and busy during the summer months due to the drier and longer days. However, there are unique challenges during dry weather like slump loss, excessive surface moisture evaporation, and rapid set times. The wind will also be a significant factor since it can accelerate the evaporation process.
These factors can cause excessive shrinkage that may result in cracking and other issues, including finishing difficulties. This can lead to various defects in concrete structures, so it is essential that you plan your concreting project before you give the go signal.
Here are some challenges and their solutions:
This phenomenon is related to the rapid reduction of free water in concrete, mainly due to evaporation. In fact, when there’s high ambient temperature, high wind speed, and low humidity, you can be sure that these conditions will accelerate the rate of slump loss.
The common solution is retempering or remixing the concrete by using water. However, this method may reduce the strength of concrete since there is an increase in the cementer/water ratio. The more appropriate solution is cooling the mix because this will lower the concrete’s temperature and minimise the slump loss issue. You can also use an admixture to control the set time.
Wind, high temperature, and low humidity can increase the speed of evaporation, especially on surface moisture. This condition can lead to plastic shrinkage and cracking. You can avoid this by keeping the concrete temperature low, erect sunshades, and using fog spray to keep humidity high and air temperature low.
It’s also possible to use an evaporation retarder, adding appropriate fibre, or setting concrete early in the morning or later afternoon can help in reducing cracks and shrinkage.
Hot weather may impact the setting time of concrete, leading to concrete drying too quickly. This condition will make finishing more difficult and increase the chances of cracking, especially on your concrete structure.
You can prevent this by using an admixture, a known solution for normalising the set time of concrete. It can also enhance the concrete performance and allow you to better balance the set time.
Concrete management during the summer season
If you are planning to build a patio or driveway during the summer months, you may want to consider some of these tips to protect your concrete:
Most importantly, get in touch with a professional concreting company like Bendigo Concreting because they can help you plan your project from start to finish. They also have a team of highly skilled and experienced concreters that know how to handle projects during the summer months.
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