What is the Best Time of Year to Repair Concrete?
That’s it — you’ve finally had enough! After months (or years) of mild inconvenience and a moderate eyesore you’ve finally made the choice to repair that perennially cracked concrete driveway. Your father always said, “The best time of year to repair concrete is yesterday,” but it’s too late for that. It’s time to put something on the calendar.
Throw on some shorts and shades — summer seems like a safe bet! The hot weather should help the concrete set and dry, right? For concrete to harden, the liquid cement needs to move within and form around aggregate, a mixture of materials like gravel and sand. Although heat is a critical component in the setting of concrete (in fact setting is an exothermic process), too hot of a climate may cause the concrete to set too quickly. Without adequate growth time, the crystals within the concrete can lose up to 10% of their overall compressive resistance, which is less than ideal.
If your goal is then to give the liquid cement adequate time to mix with the aggregate, then wintertime in the midwest must surely be the ideal conditions. Although too much heat can negatively affect the strength of the concrete, too little can have even more catastrophic results. When the temperature drops between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the setting process slows significantly, and below 40 degrees it ceases entirely.
Spring and Fall
That’s right! Concrete weather and cardigan weather are one and the same. The best time of year to finally fix that bothersome crack in your driveway is in the Spring of Fall, when the season is most mild — with March through June and September and November being particularly ideal. Keep a close eye on the weather, hope for clear skies, be sure to enlist the help of experts and your driveway will soon be the envy of the whole neighborhood!