Summer temperatures are right around the corner.  While the warmer weather brings to mind images of long days by the pool, for every concrete contractor hot summer days are anything but relaxing.  Hot weather concreting presents challenges that can affect the overall strength and durability of the concrete.  Here are some of the most common problems experienced when placing concrete in temperatures warmer than 80° F.

Loss of Slump

Concrete loses slump in hot water as the concrete sets up.  If your hot weather concreting project requires a mix that requires flowing, workable concrete, then loss of slump is a big deal.  Some contractors add water to the mix once they get to the job to overcome this challenge, but that creates other problems with excess bleed water and finishing capabilities. Changing the water-cement ratio also lowers the compressive strength. Fortunately, you can eliminate the need for adding extra water to your concrete by using a superplasticizer.

Poor Finishing Quality

On a hot, windy day it does not take long for the water in your concrete to evaporate, creating a “crust” on the top of your concrete.  This stiff top layer can make it challenging to get a beautiful smooth finish, making it a nightmare for decorative concrete contractors.  Once again, contractors will sometimes add water to this layer to keep it soft while they finish the concrete.  This can lead to shrinkage and cracks and an overall poor finish.  Using a finishing agent, such as Control Finish, helps keep your concrete soft enough to finish without added extra water.

Faster Set Times

Hot weather concreting increases the rate of hydration within the concrete, which means that your concrete will set up a lot faster in the summer than at other times of the year.  Faster set times mean that you have less time to work on the finish or decorative elements. Placing and finishing concrete in such a short time frame increases the risk of cracking and shrinkage.  One of the easiest ways to fix shorter set times is to use a set delay admixture, like Fritz-Pak Mini-Delayed Set.

Quality Admixture Solutions

So, the next time you’re working on a hot weather concreting job, remember Fritz-Pak has all the admixtures you need to produce and place quality, durable concrete.  So, don’t sweat it, request your samples today, and get ready for summer concreting as you’ve never experienced.