If you're going to be building your home during the winter, you need to be prepared for the freezing temperatures, especially where your foundation is concerned. Pouring a concrete foundation during the winter can get a bit tricky, especially if the temperatures are dipping closer to that freezing range. Here are four steps you'll need to take to protect your concrete foundation this winter.
Give Your Schedule Some Wiggle Room
When it comes to scheduling the concrete pour, you've got to give yourself some wiggle room. You don't want to schedule the pour for the last available day. If you do that, you could end up falling behind schedule if you have to reschedule. Instead, give yourself some room to work with by scheduling the pour at least one week before your deadline. That way, you and the concrete company can make adjustments in the schedule should a storm blow through unexpectedly.
Ensure a Hot Water Concrete Mix
If the temperatures are going to be near freezing on the day of the foundation form installation, make sure that hot water will be used for the concrete mix. Using hot water for the mix will ensure that the concrete remains at a safe temperature throughout the pour. Without the hot water, the concrete temperature could dip too low, leading to problems with the pour and undermining the structural integrity of the final foundation.
Prevent Sub-Base Freezing
If you're going to be working in freezing temperatures, take measures to prevent sub-base freezing. If the sub-base is frozen at the time of the pour, your concrete won't cure properly. If you pour concrete over a frozen sub-base, you could end up with cracks and sinkholes. If you know the temperatures are going to reach freezing point overnight, place a heating blanket on the ground. That way, you won't have to deal with frozen soil in the morning. It's also important that you remove any snow that might be on the ground. Pouring concrete over snow will add too much moisture to the mix.
Insist on Extra Man-Power
If you're going to be pouring your foundation during the winter, you'll need at least one or two extra people to help with the project. Concrete needs to be poured quickly during the winter, and having additional crew members will ensure that the job gets done quickly and safely. It may also be a good idea to hire a professional contractor to make sure the job goes smoothly.