There are a number of onsite factors that can affect the quality and performance of your concrete. One of these factors is one that cannot be controlled, especially during the hot summer months, this is extremely high temperatures from baking in the sun. In order to protect “summer” concrete, you need to take special care and precautions to avoid problems such as:
- Strength Reduction
- Shrinkage Cracks
- Finishing Difficulties
Avoiding these problems requires specific precautionary measures as well as the use of quality, well-graded aggregates.
Here is a guide on how to effectively deal with your summer concrete from a top aggregate supplier in Pretoria:
By planning ahead and putting together some precautionary methods, you can avoid the aforementioned problems and deliver a quality finish, even on a hot summer’s day. Some methods include:
- If possible, start the process later in the afternoon when temperatures are lower
- Moisten the sub-grade (the material underneath your concrete)
- Perform the concrete placing quickly and avoid delays
- Try to shade the concrete from direct sunlight
- Start curing as soon as possible (prevents the concrete from drying out too quickly)
Concrete Curing Techniques
There are various steps that can be taken to effectively cure concrete. In order for concrete to retain its strength, it needs:
- Sufficient Hydration
- Temperature Maintenance
- Protection from the Elements
Concrete curing is designed to ensure that concrete retains its strength and that the best methods are used in order to prevent the problems associated with rapid drying. Therefore, this method is especially important to use in hot weather as the hydration of the concrete is at a bigger risk of evaporating too quickly.
Mechanical Barrier Techniques
Through the use of waterproof building papers or plastic film (polyethylene sheeting), the evaporation of moisture from the concrete will be minimised. The material of choice that you choose to use as a mechanical barrier to evaporation should be placed over the concrete ASAP. By placing the barrier sooner than later, this will prevent potential surface damage. This material should overlap by several inches and should be placed securely in order to maximise protection from evaporating rays. Using mechanical barriers ensures:
- Stronger concrete quality
- Shrinkage cracking caused during drying is reduced
- The water-tightness of the construction is maximised
Last, but Not Least: Quality Aggregate
The most fundamental tip to ensuring a high-quality concrete finish during the summer months is to ensure that you are using only quality, high-grade aggregate in your mix. The use of a high quality aggregate will minimise your chances of any adverse side effects and enhance your finish quality.
Looking for a Quality Aggregate Supplier in Pretoria?
Contact us at Sand Shifters to get the quality aggregate you need to complete construction flawlessly, no matter the weather.