Business does not stop in the winter, so even as temperatures hit freezing in Denver and elsewhere in Colorado, flooring construction, replacement, and repair will continue. When it comes to concrete flooring, this can require a few special steps.
Concrete does best when temperatures during installation and curing are above 50 degrees. But with winters in Colorado, that is not always a possibility. Even indoors, facilities can often be too cold for a standard concrete installation. Having a commercial flooring contractor who knows what steps to take in order to give you a high quality floor, regardless of weather conditions, is essential for concrete flooring solutions in Colorado.
Strategies for Successful Concrete Flooring Installation in the Winter
Installing commercial flooring in the winter requires achieving similar conditions for both the base and the environment that you would find on warmer days. But these adjustments must be made without introducing any elements into the environment that could contaminate the concrete. Another important step is to adapt the concrete itself to enable a faster, but still strong, cure.
These objectives can be met with a combination of any of the following solutions:
- Preparing the Base and Sub Base – Before pouring the concrete, the base must be fully thawed. A frozen base expands, so if you were to pour concrete on this, it would cause the floor to crack as the base shrunk when it unfroze. Heaters are an effective way to keep the base above freezing prior to installation.
- Ambient Heating – This is one of the most important adjustments for pouring concrete flooring in winter. Concrete curing is a chemical reaction. While it does not necessarily need high temperatures for evaporative drying, it still needs a high enough temperature to complete the cure. A newly poured concrete surface needs to be kept at least 50 degrees until it reaches 400 psi. Depending on the conditions, this can take around 48 hours. It is also necessary that at no point in the installation process does the concrete mixture or poured ever freeze as this will ruin the concrete.
- Using Heaters Correctly – For reliable curing, the heat needs to be dispersed evenly throughout a space. There also needs to be special care taken with any heater that releases carbon dioxide in its exhaust. The carbon dioxide can react with the concrete to cause carbonation which will weaken a concrete floor and make its surface of it powdery. A contractor needs to choose the right arrangement of heaters and ensure plenty of ventilation to avoid built up carbon dioxide.
- Scheduling for Daylight – Frequent sunny days in Colorado, even during the winter, means daylight hours can be significantly warmer. This is often an advantage during the installation process since it makes it easier to maintain the temperature of a space. Being able to schedule efficiently and stick to that schedule will help contractors take advantage of limited daylight hours in the winter.
- Concrete Admixtures – Incorporating different admixtures into the concrete itself can speed the curing time without jeopardizing strength. The specific admixtures that will be most useful depend on temperatures, moisture in the air, and other conditions, and must be largely customized to each individual project.
- Sealing and Finishing – Certain finishes to concrete, like concrete sealing, cannot be done when it is less than 50 degrees out, so it will be necessary to adjust the sealing process accordingly as well.
With all these different methods available, it is possible to plan a concrete installation even when conditions are less than ideal. But this also underscores the need for having an experienced contractor who understands how to customize the different aspects of the installation to the specific conditions.
How CCR Adapts Our Concrete Flooring Installation for Wintertime
The team at Colorado Concrete Repair are experts at achieving a flooring installation that is strong, long-lasting, and visually perfect. We are also local to the Denver area so all of our years of experience have included installations that need to account for lower than optimal temperatures.
Our ability to effectively alter environments to help concrete flooring cure correctly and our tight adherence to scheduling make it possible for us to reliably schedule insulation around weather conditions and daylight hours. We also have the flexibility to make adjustments on the scene so that if conditions change at the last minute, we are still ready to meet them. If you are looking for a commercial flooring installation any time of the year, contact Colorado Concrete Repair to learn more about how we can deliver a dependable and high-quality floor.