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We are building a new house with an exposed basement. I had the floors poured a week ago while still warm in December. We have not framed the house up yet, meaning no deck, walls, roof, or HEAT. My concern is how cold does it have to get before I need to worry about damage to the concrete floor? We also have no power yet.


we had temps of 50-60 degrees for a week straight, lows in the mid to upper 30's. We live close to Moline Illinois and the next week is predicting highs in the 30's and the lowest I've seen is 14 degrees. We'll have the lid on the week of Jan 4th so I'll, with heaters can put some heat in the basement. Crossing my fingers. Mike

  • Take a look at: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/40334/… - not an exact duplicate (yet) but similar and with links to concrete cure info (you should arrange to keep it above 50F.) Portable construction heaters can be rented, and should be planned for when working with concrete in the winter. – Ecnerwal Dec 27 '15 at 19:37
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    Concrete cures for a very long time (even decades) and people will say that concrete takes about a month to "fully" cure, and cold will slow that down. But most of the strength comes in the first couple of days of curing. If you had several days of fairly warm weather after pouring the floor, I suspect you have nothing to worry about.You could always consult with a local engineer if you're really concerned, though. How cold is it actually getting where you are? It's 11° F here right now. ;-) – Craig Dec 27 '15 at 20:19
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Since it has been a week you should have no problem, do not use a deicer on it, THAT will tear it up.... To be on the safe side rent some concrete blankets to hold what heat the curing concrete generates. Straw and plastic has also been used as a blanket.

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The concrete floor in a basement has no structural element to it, it is merely a way to cover the dirt. If it cured for a week in proper temperatures then I doubt you have anything to worry about. Most slab floors will crack eventually anyways and any finished part will have a floor on top.

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Jack is correct that you can blanket the basement as it sits - we use hay and tarps too. However...

The concrete company will have a winter mix made to cure better in the cold (accelerators, less water, different mixture, and so on) and your contractor should have made sure that was the case. I am in your area and we have had one of the warmest winters in December that I can remember. You are extremely lucky in that you have had the best possible conditions for your basement to cure. 50s is the optimal temp range for most "poured concrete" as it will take longer to cure (create a better bond) but not so low that you have to worry about expansion.

The first two weeks after pour is 90%+ of the process. You have passed that. You are in the clear as far as dealing with extreme temps and the weather outlook for the next 1-2 weeks is completely normal for this time of year.

However... again.

You have experienced a ton of rain. And this is what I would be worried about the most - not the temps. I doubt that your new yard has been graded properly. I would be really worried about the all of the water your "mud/yard" has absorbed and what will happens if it freezes. I could probably give you advice on what you could do but I would need some pictures.

protected by Community Feb 18 '16 at 13:18

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