ASK "Q":
Do you have any questions on QUIKRETE® products or projects? If so, send your question to BRIAN - our ASK "Q" resident expert from the QUIKRETE® Technical Center - to answer.

Q: I want to pour a patio, but temperatures have gotten colder. Can I still complete this project given these conditions? Any tips for better results?

BRIAN: The answer to your first question is yes. Concrete can be successfully poured when "cold weather conditions" are present given you follow some simple guidelines. Cold weather conditions with regards to concrete occur when
1) the average daily temperature is less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit 2), and the air temperature is not above 50 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 12 hours during any 24-hour period.

For your second question, here are some best practices for working with concrete in cold weather conditions:
  • Beginning with site preparation, any snow, ice or standing water needs to be removed from the work area prior to pouring. Do not pour concrete over frozen ground.
  • Place concrete early in the day to take advantage of the heat produced by the sun during daylight hours.
  • Use an air-entrained, fibered concrete, such as QUIKRETE® Crack Resistant Concrete Mix, in the project. The special formulation of the concrete has superior freeze/thaw durability to help reduce cracking from drying shrinkage and spalling concrete.
  • Keep the concrete in a warm area prior to mixing.
  • Incorporate the minimum amount of water necessary to achieve a workable mix. Use warm (less than 140 degrees Fahrenheit) water for mixing with the concrete.
  • The temperature of any items to be embedded in the concrete (rebar, wire mesh, etc.) needs to be above freezing before coming into contact with the fresh concrete.
  • Once poured, protect the concrete from freezing for a minimum of 3 days, through the use of insulated blankets, heaters, insulated forms, enclosures or loose straw layered between waterproof covers. Pay close attention to cover all edges and any protruding rebar.
  • After this protection is removed, apply a concrete sealer, such as QUIKRETE® Concrete Sealer, to the concrete as a curing compound. The sealer will eliminate the need for water curing.
  • Do not apply deicers over the new slab during the first winter. Instead, QUIKRETE® Traction Sand can be used for traction as needed.
  • Following initial placement, prevent any snow, ice or standing water from accumulating on the new slab for at least 7 days.
In following these simple guidelines, you can work intelligently when using concrete in cold weather conditions. If you're interested in increasing your home's value, appearance and enjoyment, these same practices can apply to countless other projects using concrete, including curbs, driveways, floors, patios, ramps, sidewalks, steps and walkways. For additional project ideas and advice, visit www.quikrete.com.

Send your question to askQ@quikrete.com. If your question is published in The QUIKeNews, we will send you a discount coupon for your choice of QUIKRETE® Walk Maker or QUIKRETE® Concrete Resurfacer.
QUIKeNews Volume 3 Issue 2:
© 2008 QUIKRETE®, Inc. All rights reserved.
One Securities Centre • 3490 Piedmont Road • Suite 1300
Atlanta, GA 30305 • (404) 634-9100
Corporate News | Contact QUIKRETE | Product Catalog