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Should You Repair Your Concrete Driveway In Winter Or Summer?

If your concrete driveway is beginning to show signs of age like cracking, pitting, or crumbling, you may be considering having it professionally repaired or resurfaced. This repaving process is generally a quick one, and you should be able to drive and park on your new concrete within a week after it has been poured. However, depending upon your regional climate and the time of year you're planning your resurfacing, you may find it difficult to get a stretch of ideal concrete-curing weather. If your driveway begins falling apart in winter, should you wait until summer to repair it? Read on to learn more about how weather can impact the concrete paving process. 

Does concrete fare better when poured during winter or summer weather? 

Although most concrete tends to look the same once it has dried, there are actually several different types of cement that are designed to be mixed at various temperatures. Cold-mix cement includes chemicals and other substances that help prevent the cement from freezing before it can fully cure, while hot-mix cement does well when setting during warm, dry months. In most cases, you'll want your cold-mix or hot-mix cement to be ready-mixed and transported by a cement mixing truck from the plant to your home, rather than paying a concrete contractor to mix this cement on site. 

Because cold-mix cement technology has advanced significantly over the past few decades, it's usually safe to begin your paving project during winter -- as long as you've ensured your concrete contractor plans to use the correct mixture for your area's weather. If temperatures are predicted to dip below freezing, you may want to delay your project until the ground thaws or invest in the use of a heating blanket to maintain the ground's temperature above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. If you choose to pour cement (even cold-mix cement) onto frozen ground, it's likely that your concrete driveway will immediately crack when temperatures rise and the ground settles. 

What else should you take into account when scheduling your concrete paving project? 

If your concrete crisis hits during warmer months, you may be breathing a sigh of relief that you won't have to schedule your project around freezing temperatures and snow forecasts. However, the humidity in the air around many parts of the country during the summer can extend the length of time your concrete will need to cure, as high humidity can prevent moisture from leaving the surface of the freshly-poured concrete. You'll want to be especially careful before driving or walking on fresh concrete in hot weather, even after the recommended week of cure time has passed. Contact a business, such as Van Doren Red-E-Mix, for more information.