How to Mix Cement in the Cold


If you are building concrete during the cold weather, you must make sure that your cement mixes are adjusted accordingly to cater for the cold weather. Any level of temperatures that is less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit can cause adverse effect especially on the speed at which your concrete sets. Once the concrete start to set in a too slowly rate, the water in the mix might freeze and expand thus exerting more pressure from underneath. This may also cause cracks to your concrete. Therefore, the mix cement should be customized in order to help the concrete set much faster. In order to get this result, you need to use a higher cement to ballast ratio, hot water and also adding an accelerator. The most important thing to remember whenever you are mixing cement during cold weather is to have proper planning and better preparation. This is the keys to successful construction of your concrete especially during the cold season.

To mix cement in the cold, you need:

  • Type III cement
  • Ready mix ballast
  • Calcium carbonate
  • Hot water
  • Cement mixer
  • Shovel

Mixing Cement in the Cold

How to Mix Cement in the Cold

  • First thing that you need to do is to mix one part of cement together with six parts of ready mix ballast into your cement mixer.
    • If you cannot find type III cement that you can use for the project, you can use an extra 100 pounds of ordinary cement for every cubic yard for building the concrete.
  • Next step is for you to add some hot water to the cement mixer
    • Make sure that you use one part of hot water to two parts of cement.
    • If you notice that your ready mix ballast is already damp, you should be using less hot water into the mixture.

Hot water helps keep the cement mix warm especially during the initial hydration thus helping the cement to set in much faster.

  • After that, you need to add an accelerator such as Calcium chloride to the cement mixer. Calcium chloride is considered a cheap and also effective accelerator that you can use to help assist you in mixing the cement during the cold season
    • You can just use one part of the calcium chloride to fifty parts of the cement.
  • Finally, you can leave your cement mixer turning right until the cement has been fully mixed.
    • Make sure that your cement mix is not sloppy and it should also able to support it once you heaped it onto a shovel.

    Always remember that whenever you want to mix cement in the cold,

    • Bear in mind that any mixture of calcium chloride is capable of corroding any steel which is embedded in the concrete.
    • Therefore, it is recommended that you add a non-chloride accelerator to the mix cement whenever you are using embedded steel.

Image Credit:

Flickr CC