So last night Ryan established the #1 rule that a home is best built from the ground up. And, to my completely inexperienced home building self, this does indeed make sense. Therefore, I have turned my attention back to the concrete slab that comprise the large, middle portion of our home.
Cement can be customized to the climate and weather conditions of a given area. We will be pouring our slab during the colder time of year in the south eastern portion of the country (hopefully before the new year). Pouring in hot temperatures has its own set of problems such as drying too fast and “plastic shrinkage cracking.” Our issue will be having the cement set quickly enough and maintaining its minimum compressive strength of 500 psi. When concrete is still in its malleable “plastic” state, it will freeze at temperatures 32 degrees or below and at this point can lose up to half of its strength. To reach the minimum strength standard, the concrete must set for atleast 2 days at 50 degrees or higher.
Ernst Concrete recommends the following in order to address cold weather pouring…
- When placing concrete in cold temperatures, make sure that you order concrete with heated water and/or aggregates so that the temperature of the concrete delivered is at least 50 degrees;
- Use an accelerator, such as calcium chloride, or non-calcium chloride if reinforcing steel is used, to speed up set time so the concrete achieves 500 psi at a faster pace; Use concrete with higher percentages of Portland cement;
- Pour the concrete at a lower slump to speed up set time;
- Use of insulation on the finished concrete is a must to maintain concrete temperature and to protect against freezing;
- Use insulated blankets or plastic covered with straw to insulate the concrete.
This is good incentive for us to move swiftly into permit obtaining. When all goes well with that, we’ll still have some land clearing and prepping before we’re ready for the big pour.
Dang, looks like I made it through a semi-informative post. Don’t worry, I’ll reward myself handsomely with a bar of chocolate that is now within reach.