Concrete overlays are an excellent way to transform your concrete surfaces and rehabilitate them. They provide strength and durability with customizable aesthetic appeal. If you’ve been considering getting a concrete overlay in the colder months of the year, you may wonder whether or not concrete overlays can be installed in bad weather or if your project will need to be put off for a sunnier day.
Here’s what you need to know about bad weather and concrete overlays, in regards to installation, effects, and more.
So, you’re all ready to install your overlays, but… The temperature drops down low or it starts raining or snowing. Can you proceed? Or would this be dooming the overlay to failure?
In short, no. You really shouldn’t install an overlay when the weather is bad.
In order to ensure that the overlay bonds correctly with your concrete and that it both looks and performs its best, if the weather is bad, then you will want to postpone the installation.
Wait for a clear day with temperatures over 50 degrees Fahrenheit and under 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, the overlay can fail very quickly, causing you to have wasted your time and money and necessitate even more expenses in order to have it torn off and redone.
Nothing good! In order to avoid failure, it’s best to ensure that the weather is clear and that it’s a good temperature before preceding with your installation.
When the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the chemical reactions needed in order for your concrete to set, strengthen, and cure properly slow down to almost being non-existent. In order for the overlay to last and to be nice and strong, it needs to cure properly. If the concrete is poured when it’s too cold, this won’t happen.
This will cause your overlay to be weaker and not last as long as it would otherwise. If the overlay is exposed to freezing temperatures, then this causes the water in the concrete to expand and freeze. This will cause the overlay to crack.
Since water is a necessary component of concrete, you may assume that it is fine to install an overall when it’s raining or snowing. You may even think that you can just put down the mix and let the rain or the snow provide the water for you.
This would be a grave mistake. If you pour concrete when it’s raining or snowing, this can compromise it, leading to problems such as scaling. If you allow rain or snow to sink into your overlay mix, this can weaken it and impact its appearance.
In short, if you try to install an overlay when it’s raining or snowing, this can result in damage. In order to fix the damage, you may need to either rip out the overlay and start over or you may need to have the top layer ground down so that you can redo the overlay.
There are multiple different types of damage your overlay can sustain as a result of bad weather. Some of them are as follows.
Scaling is what it’s called when your concrete starts to peel or flake. This can happen if the concrete is exposed to freezing temperatures, the freeze-thaw cycle, or an excess of moisture. Scaling can worsen with the use of improper de-icing products.
Another way the freeze-thaw cycle or poor installation can damage your overlay is by causing it to crack. This is because of how the moisture gets into the concrete and turns to ice. This can lead to cracking. This can happen both to existing overlays or when they are installed in poor weather conditions.
This is when parts of the concrete surfaces cracks and delaminates from the surface. This can cause it to deteriorate and the damage can worsen if not attended to in a timely manner.
For best results, wait for good temperatures and weather conditions before proceeding with an installation. In order to keep your overlays in good condition throughout the winter, having them sealed can help preserve them.
Should the worst happen and there’s unexpected rain when installing your overlay, you can cover the work you’ve down with a tarp in order to protect it until the weather clears up.