Surprisingly, yes, you can pour concrete in the rain. Concrete does not dry, it cures. Curing is a chemical reaction and not a physical one, so rainwater won’t kill concrete. Considering concrete can be cast and cured underwater, some rain on your property won’t normally harm a job.
While dry weather and smart planning is always recommended for any new concrete installation, it’s not a necessity. If you’re in a bind to complete a project or meet a deadline you can pour concrete in the rain, but there are precautions you must take.
If rain is forecast on the day of your pour, you need to take certain precautions to prepare the site. This includes making sure you have enough tarps or plastic sheets to keep the area as dry as possible before pouring and to cover the fresh pour.
Walk the pour site and make sure there is adequate drainage. Any water underneath newly poured concrete can ruin the finished product. After you’ve created drainage channels cover the site with your tarps or plastic to keep any new moisture from pooling.
Concrete is a mix of cement, water, binders, aggregate, and other products. Anytime you mess with one of those ratios, the whole mix can be affected. While some water sprinkling into your mix likely won’t hurt, buckets of rain in your concrete and on your work surface will create a poor finished product.
Too much standing water on top of newly poured concrete can leech cement from the concrete or create further issues which could ruin the finished product. Make sure to brush or squeegee off any surface water before covering.
After you’ve created proper drainage and mitigated any surface water you should cover the site with your tarps or plastic sheets from before. Peek under the tarps to make sure no water is pooling under or on top of the new concrete.
You should let your new concrete cure for 48 hours before allowing foot traffic on the site. After approximately 30 days you can drive vehicles on top of your new pour.
If you lack confidence for pouring concrete in the rain, leave it to the professionals. A professional concrete company will normally avoid scheduling new installations on rainy days. They also understand projects can’t always wait.
By using a concrete professional you’ll get proper site preparation, the perfect pour, and protection in a promise or warranty. That’s something you can’t give yourself if the job goes wrong. Don’t fear Colorado’s spring showers, get out of your winter hole and schedule your concrete repair or replacement today.