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Winter Effects on Concrete

March 25, 2013 by

The freeze/thaw cycle creates two major problems:

1.) Freezing – Concrete will heave from moisture under or against concrete surfaces that freezes within the soils. This will cause ground to expand resulting in concrete cracks or potential foundation issues.

2.) Thaw – When frost thaws, the opposite happens. Frost will thaw from the top down, with free water not being able to drain through the frost below. This will result in compromised bearing capacity, causing similar cracking and foundation issues.

Foundations in our region are designed to bear on soil below the frost line. This minimizes the chance of these issues occurring to key structural components of a building. As far as driveways, sidewalks and pavements, there are a few guidelines that Evenson Concrete follows to help reduce the frequency of problems.

Prior to the winter season we need to evaluate many factors that could cause heaving issues. This includes identifying the water table and monitoring forecasted temperatures and precipitation. Most importantly we need to make sure we pour concrete on and around dry permeable soil to promote the drainage of water.

During freezing temperatures we take the necessary steps to thaw out and dry frozen ground. To do this we may need to build a shelter and supply heat or use ground thawing equipment to draw the frost out.

Although these procedures help reduce the frequency and severity of winter concrete related issues it does not eliminate them. As long our climate and the presence of moisture continue to exist we will have to battle these elements to produce the best possible product.

Here is a great article that goes more into specifics writen by Mark Wallace http://www.concreteconstruction.net/images/How%20to%20Prevent%20Frost%20Heave_tcm45-341398.pdf

Posted in: Residential, Commerical


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