It’s summer time in Florida and new homes in Tampa are going up all around us. But it’s not business as usual. Quality custom home builders in Tampa will take extra precautions to ensure that their concrete is placed properly and as important cured properly. Hot, dry, or windy days create challenges for concrete masons. The hydration reaction that gives concrete its strength happens much faster in hot weather. What that means to the mason is the batch of concrete will quickly lose its slump and becomes hard to place and to finish.
The water necessary for the curing process evaporates quickly as the batch heats up. When this occurs, there is a much higher likelihood of plastic shrinkage cracking. These are fine cracks that occur so fast that they appear before the mason has even begun troweling. Concrete’s chemical reaction also produces heat that causes the slab to expand. When the slab cools and contracts it can cause more cracks. The temptation on the part of the mason when this happens is to simply add more water to help make the concrete workable. But this has a deleterious impact on the strength of the concrete weakening it. So not only is the strength and the hardness of the concrete compromised but there is the possibility of more cracks.
There are many solutions but most of them simply begin with best practices and supervision. Making sure there is adequate labor to place and finish the concrete is important. Additionally, an on site supervisor is critical to ensure the masons and the truck operator are handling the concrete properly. Specifying the proper mix for the weather conditions is important. A good ready mix plant can prepare concrete with chilled aggregates and cold water. In addition, there are admixtures that can prolong the working time. What you don’t want to do is add excessive water on site. Anything over 5 gallons of water for ten yards of concrete is excessive.
The keys to placing concrete is specifying the right concrete, keeping it cool, working it fast and then curing it thoroughly. So when deciding on your new custom home builder in Tampa, be sure to ask yourself whether they are paying attention to the important details when constructing your custom Tampa home. With Southern Crafted Homes, you can be sure we are minding the details.