This is another really frequent question I get from potential Tucson Customers. A lot of people who move to Tucson from cooler climates look at the Tucson Summer almost like a bizarro world Mid-Western Winter. Up North concrete pouring shuts down completely during the coldest part of the year.
In opposite world, Tucson, however, the show must go on. I’ll be the first to say that pouring concrete in the Summer here is challenging but we have many tricks to get it done. In the north it isn’t a choice for the Contractors to shut down just because it gets bitterly cold. The ground actually freezes solid and if you attempt to pour concrete over it the result will be a busted-up mess come spring.
Here in the Southwest, we have to start early in the morning before it gets too hot. Ideally the concrete will be placed and there will be nothing left to do but put a finish on once the sun comes up. If your neighborhood has strict regulations on the time we can start, we will only be able to service you in the Spring, Fall or Winter. We just can’t risk the health of our people or the quality of your job and start too late in the day. We have very few problems with this, however, because most HOA’s have a stipulation for concrete.
The concrete plant does their part to make it happen. Mix designs slow down the set and make it possible to keep up. They also mix the load with chilled water to assure a workable delivery. The trucks here have a really cool feature. They have been outfitted with misters that continually spray water on the drum to keep the hot sun from warming the steel.
As far as us Contractors… We have a few tricks up our sleeves as well. When it gets really hot, we add 20-40 lbs. of ice per yard of concrete. The most important thing we do is probably spraying water on the grade the day before and morning of the pour to slow things down. We also bring more people to place concrete in the Summer. A Finisher just can’t cover the same square footage once it warms up.
We have pop-up shaders to cover portions of larger projects or all of small ones. A couple years ago we even constructed a large wooden frame over top of a house addition and covered with shade cloth when temps were flirting with 115.
We have the ability to get it done; just know we start early and make a lot of noise, so if that’s not your thing…wait ‘til Winter, Fall or Spring.
Thank you for taking the time,