Concrete plays a valuable role in many modern construction projects. Whether you are planning to add a concrete pad on which you can park your vehicles, camp trailer, or boat, or you want to install a concrete patio, proper pumping is essential. But pumping concrete when outdoor temperatures dip can be challenging.
Here are three tips that you can use to help ensure your cold-weather concrete pumping activities go smoothly in the future.
1. Use hot water to mix concrete.
Concrete starts out as an aggregate mixture that must be activated by water to form the liquid that is pumped and formed. The proper ratio of aggregate mixture to liquid is essential when it comes to maintaining the consistency and durability of the concrete over time, but the temperature of the water used to mix concrete is normally irrelevant.
However, if you are completing a concrete project in cold weather, then it can be helpful to utilize hot water to mix your aggregate product. The hot water will help to keep the concrete from freezing up prematurely, allowing you to easily pump the concrete into its forms in order to complete your project with ease.
2. Use hot water for priming.
Before you begin pumping concrete from the mixing tank and into your forms, you will need to prime the pipes used during the pumping process. This priming involves sending a concrete slurry through the pipes to lubricate them.
When outdoor temperatures are colder, priming needs to be completed utilizing hot water. The hot water will prevent the slurry from freezing and adhering to the interior walls of the delivery pipes, restricting the size of the pipes and compromising your concrete pumping activities.
3. Insulate delivery pipes.
Another important tip you can use when pumping concrete in cold weather is to wrap your delivery pipes in insulation. The concrete mixture that you are pumping into forms will be most vulnerable to freezing when it travels through the pipeline from the mixing truck to the forms.
By insulating these pipes, you can help to ensure the interior temperature stays warm enough to ensure the concrete maintains its consistency during the pumping process.
Completing a concrete project in cold weather can be challenging. Ensure your cold weather concrete pumping activities are a success by utilizing hot water to activate the aggregate mixture, using hot water when priming your pipes, and insulating delivery pipes to prevent freezing during pumping.