Slab protection during winter before spring build


Old 11-30-15, 07:47 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Posts: 8
Question Slab protection during winter before spring build

I'm getting ready to pour a 32x44' thickened edge garage slab. I will also make a second pour for a 8" stem wall. I live where there are many freeze and thaw cycles, snow, ice, etc... I do not plan on putting up building until next spring? Is it OK to pour either just the slab now or the slab and wall? If poured, are there any precautions that should be taken to protect slab during the winter?

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Old 12-02-15, 09:03 AM
BridgeMan45's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,196
Unless it's absolutely imperative that you pour concrete now, your project would be much better to wait until warmer weather. Cold weather slows down the concrete's ability to cure and develop strength. But worse is the likelihood of freezing the still-uncured concrete, which if it happens, will mean you have a big, expensive mess on your hands--frozen concrete never comes back to life, but instead turns into smelly, mushy gravel that you will have to completely remove and dispose of.

Yes, certain precautions can be taken during cold-weather placements to minimize the chances of ruining things, such as using heated mix water, set accelerators and good insulating mats. Or even building a covered temporary housing under which torpedo heaters can be used to keep things toasty. But all of the foregoing have disadvantages of their own, so don't be too hasty in going ahead with your pour now. I've seen and smelled enough frozen concrete to know I would never consider a large pour like yours, in Canada, this time of year. And that's speaking from things I've learned after 40+ years of concrete experience.
Old 12-10-15, 03:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Hennepin County, MN, USA
Posts: 128
I am in MN. We are doing a thickened edge garage slab next week. Don't let if freeze, until at least 500psi, per ACI, American Concrete Institute. Do it in the spring if feasible, but we have to work year round.
Old 12-10-15, 04:34 PM
BridgeMan45's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,196

Your garage slab will perform better if you cover it with black plastic, followed by heavy insulated blankets and then some loose hay on top of the blankets. Concrete's normal heat of hydration should keep it from freezing the first few nights.

But after that all bets are off.

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