Placing aconcretetopping is a part of many construction projects. If a concrete placement is done under extreme weather conditions, there is no guarantee that the surface will last. Additionally, under some ambient conditions, the workers on the ground may be at a higher risk of incurring injuries. Injuries are especially concerning where the slab is not strong enough to support the building’s weight. However, this does not mean that you should stop your project and wait for favourable weather conditions. This article will look at how to deal with three main ambient conditions when placing concrete toppings.
1. Hot Weather Condition
The ideal time to place concrete toppings is very early in the morning and late in the evening when temperatures are low. Working sites should also be under a roof to prevent direct heat from the sun. The engineer should order high thermal resistance steel bars andsteel reinforcingmesh from the steel suppliers to hold the concrete in such conditions. Besides mixing the concrete with cold water, using low heat cement can work better as well. After placement, cover the concrete with polythene to maintain moisture. Cover it prevents fast drying, which can cause cracks later.
2. Cold Weather Conditions
If there is any ice or standing water on the areas where the concrete is to be placed, it should be wiped off completely. Heat generators should be placed at strategic positions at the construction site to increase temperatures when placing the concrete. The area should be surrounded by a temporary structure constructed with materials that are heat conductors. This structure helps in maintaining the generated heat. Reinforcing mesh, steel bars, and other construction materials should be warmed before contacting the poured concrete. Heat lights should stay on during and after concrete placement. Use the right amount of water when mixing because too much water can cause freezing. Consider using the cement best preferred in low temperatures conditions.
3. Exposure to Rain During Placement
Rainwater should be drained away from the area where the concrete topping is being placed. This step maintains the strength of the slab. If the water is left before the drying period is over, it may wash away the cement on top. The water can also exceed the preferred mixing ratio. Excess water means weak concrete. Spreading a cloth sheet or polythene paper to avoid direct contact of raindrops with concrete also minimizes concrete damage on the placement day.
It is advisable to wait for favourable conditions to deal with concrete toppingsto be on the safe side and avoid stress. But some projects, like public roads, bridge construction, and essential services stations like hospitals, must continue. In these situations, best practices for placing concrete toppings under ambient conditions should be followed.