The winter months can make concrete a challenge. Anything below 32 degrees Fahrenheit is not recommended especially considering if the ground is frozen solid.
Concrete is in a plastic state (wet) when initially delivered and mixed. This wet product will have a tendency to freeze just like water. Once a concrete mix has frozen, it is worthless.
To avoid the costly mistake of frozen concrete a few steps must be taken.
Always use hot water and an admixture containing an accelerator and a water reducer (WR). An accelerator alone is often sufficient until temperatures become exceedingly cold. By using an additional admixture WR, the probability of the concrete turning into frozen crystals is less.
Another important aspect to cold weather concreting is the reduction of exposure to the elements. Cold weather insulating blankets are a necessity when it is critical to maintain the temperature within the plastic concrete. Once the hot water and admixtures have been mixed, the concrete has thus started it’s chemical reaction. It is very important to not re-temp the concrete by adding more water or chemicals.
Volume Concrete LLC., uses admixtures that meet ASTM C494 type C accelerating and type E WR, requirements.