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Old 12-11-2013, 02:17 PM   #1
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foundation concrete and cold weather


I really didn't know if this was DIY or Contractor talk

First time home builder and well due to some unforseen circumstances, my project got pushed back. The result is now that my foundation is halted due to the cold weather. I live in Vancouver, BC, it's not that bad. But had things worked out I would have been pouring concrete 3 weeks ago. I've only got the forms and the rebar done.

My question is that I've been reading up on concrete pouring and foundation work, and it says that the weather cannot dip below 5 degrees Celsius for a period of 48 hours. I'm assuming that this is the minimal low?

The other thing is that it's suppose to rain over the next few days, and the weather is 6 degrees high and 5 degrees low. But I still can't pour concrete in the rain can I?

My concrete contractor is good but he's not much in the way of communication, so I'm posting here.

I had an unoffical inspection last week and the inspector said it's not ready due to the weather, but he mentioned something about the ground. Beside the ground being frozen or snow on the ground is there anything I should be looking for?

He mentioned a word but I cannot recall what he said.

Thanks in advance.

What sucks is that all my trades people are ready to work, I'm just stuck waiting for the approval by the city.

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Old 12-11-2013, 07:05 PM   #2
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foundation concrete and cold weather


A mason will be along soon--Soil must be 'undisturbed' or 'compacted in lifts'

Is one of those the forgotten term?

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Old 12-11-2013, 07:39 PM   #3
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foundation concrete and cold weather


IF your concrete contractor's good, why're you asking in here ? what's the builder say ? he should be used to dealing w/bldg dept officials/inspectors/etc,,, its a no-no to place conc on frozen soil,,, as mike said, likely the magic word is ' compaction ',,, that refers to soil density/type &, in the end, determines how much weight your soil can support,,, in short, will the soil hold the weight of your very fine home OR will the aforementioned very fine home sink perhaps eventually out of sight

you can place conc in any weather provided you're experienced & prepared to place, consolidate, finish, & cure properly,,, i think its much easier when cold than hot but each to his own... ' unforeseen circumstances ' aren't , they're the norm
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:49 PM   #4
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foundation concrete and cold weather


As itsreallyconc said, concrete can be placed in any weather, else half the projects in the United States would never have been built. In weather below freezing, it is necessary to warm up the concrete, or use special mix concrete. In hot weather, it is necessary to cool the concrete. In wet weather, you keep the concrete dry. In dry weather, you keep the concrete moist. You get the idea.

But of course your experienced, capable concrete sub knows all this. If he doesn't, you need another sub. Placing concrete on frozen soil is a totally different matter, that is a huge problem because it is impossible to properly compact and prepare frozen soil. But you are in Vancouver, so unless you are having unusually cold weather, it would seem that the ground should not yet be frozen.
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Old 12-11-2013, 08:02 PM   #5
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foundation concrete and cold weather


taoman, YOU aren't the builder / general contractor, are you ? please tell me/us you aren't !
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:41 AM   #6
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foundation concrete and cold weather


I'd LOVE to have 5-6C weather to pour concrete in right now. As IRC and Dan mentioned, there's no reason you can't pour concrete in cold weather. The soil needed to be covered weeks ago, if it's indeed the footings that are holding the project up.
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Old 12-12-2013, 11:21 AM   #7
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foundation concrete and cold weather


If they wont let you pour if the temp go's below 5c,it look's like your out of luck until spring according to your long range weather forecast.


http://www.theweathernetwork.com/14-...r-fourteen-day
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Old 12-12-2013, 11:33 AM   #8
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foundation concrete and cold weather


this is likely overkill for your residential work however it may also apply - http://www.concretenetwork.com/cold-...te/curing.html - plenty of links
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:25 PM   #9
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foundation concrete and cold weather


Quote:
Originally Posted by itsreallyconc View Post
this is likely overkill for your residential work however it may also apply - http://www.concretenetwork.com/cold-...te/curing.html - plenty of links


I don't think our guidelines will fly north of the border.
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:41 PM   #10
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foundation concrete and cold weather


I'm the builder and basically hired the trades people to do their work. This is a first time project. And I had researched everything prior to this except cold weather as I had planned to be at the framing stage at this point.

Basically the city inspector came in and said that it's not ready due to the weather. It was lows of minus 2-5 last week (28-23 Fahrenheit).

I've had people tell me you can, and homes were the concrete was poured at this point and it's been 10 years were the concrete is still good.

I just came here to find out what I'm missing. The forms are done the footing is done, there is gravel placed after the excavation.

Now it's raining and what I've read is that you can't pour when it's raining. The concrete guy has said that they can pour but they won't take responsibility if **** hits the fan. And my trades people (framers and damp proofing) are pushing me to get the inspection.I just don't wanna keep calling the city.
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:55 PM   #11
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foundation concrete and cold weather


Wood forms or aluminum?

If wood, keep them on a few days, cover the top with something with a little insulating value, and the walls will be fine down to below zero F. Pouring walls in the rain really isn't the end of the world if you get them covered up.

Not sure why the wall contractor is making such a big deal about it. Is it possible to find someone else to do the walls, or at least threaten to?
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Old 12-12-2013, 05:36 PM   #12
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foundation concrete and cold weather


In the area, they are putting in a full block basement (12 or 13 courses) for a 2 story home and an attached garage. They did not dig until early Monday AM. About 2" to 6" of frost because of the snow cover for insulation and was ripped as far as they wanted to expose it. It warmed up this morning (Thursday) and they are about 3/4 done with the block and covering the walls with insulated blankets. No real problems with availability of equipment and manpower.

They had the heating metal pipe and LP tanks dropped Friday to mark where the heated sand was to be delivered on Monday. - Poured about 1/2 of the strip footings and covered the other half with blankets on Monday and laid part of the first course of block and covered with blankets. Then, 3 -4 more days of blocklaying (10-12 hours of work/day) with morning lows down to -12F (w/o wind chill). It will be done Saturday for the nail benders to cap the basement and the furnace people to hang the furnace for heat from a temporary location and run ducts as the upper is framed and closed in.

The key is to not disrupt the soil and cover everything after it is exposed. Use warm sand and hot water (140F) to get the mortar working soon and minimized future protection. Today, it started at about 0F and got up to 20F with clear skies, no wind and a lot of sun and melting. Essentially the recommendations of the Mason Contractors Association of America and the NCMA were followed. The inspections are were rare and the are inspectors seemed to be hiding. I assume the block trucks were loaded Friday and parked in the garage over the week-end. Now there will be varying levels of activities, now that the start was made.

When a builder has a home sold, it is not really a problem with a good concrete and masonry contractor and it allows the builder to get his good crews to work inside with decent conditions and get going on framing and eventually finishing.

Basement slab will be poured later (spring?) and backfilling will be done under better conditions. - Just a few planks for access to get inside. Final furnace placement and tinning will happen as needed. Not easy, but can be done with some planning and enough people when needed. Not too many built this way, but it can be done economically. Obviously, there was no bid from the masonry contractor to the builder since they had a long relationship and have worked together for years. Some how, good contractors love the challenge to really do something instead of sitting around.

Dick

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Last edited by concretemasonry; 12-12-2013 at 05:52 PM.
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