How do you protect concrete from frost?

During extremely cold weather concrete (particularly freshly laid concrete) can be damaged by frost and ice. When temperatures dip below 3°C, the chemical reactions that strengthen concrete slow down and can lead to weaker concrete. When fresh concrete cools below 0ºC the water in the mix freezes and expands, which can cause cracking internally and blistering of the surface.

It is not only important to consider ambient temperature therefore, but also how you will keep the concrete at the correct temperature while it cures.

You can overcome cold weather challenges by following the simple tips below:

  • Always store concrete ingredients in a warm and dry place.
  • Lay concrete later in the day so the ground has time to thaw naturally.
  • Thaw frozen ground, snow or ice with heaters if still necessary.
  • Use warm water to mix your concrete.
  • Create a hotter reaction by using extra cement.
  • Use a dryer mix of concrete (the less water the less likely it will freeze).
  • Use heated enclosures or insulated blankets to protect the concrete once laid.
  • Use squeegees or a vacuum to quickly remove excess or ‘bleed’ water.
  • Do not remove frameworks until the concrete has fully cured.

For additional information and advice please feel free to contact us.