The construction and maintenance of concrete building structures always requires a lot of planning and work. However, building and maintaining concrete structures in hot climates presents its own set of challenges. Why is this? Well, it’s all due to the negative impacts that heat can have on concrete. Heat can make the process of building concrete structures more challenging, and it can also cause existing structures to become damaged.
That’s why, at Al Manaratain, we ensure all our construction materials are suitable for use in hot climates. We’ll explain more about this in a second, but first let’s take a closer look at why the effect of heat on concrete is so significant.
The Impact Of Heat On Concrete
Setting Time: High temperatures reduce the amount of time that construction workers have to place, compact and finish the concrete. This can make the process of creating concrete building structures more pressurised and complex.
Reduced Slump Flow: The term ‘slump’ refers to the consistency of fresh concrete before it sets. The higher the slump, the more fluid the concrete is. In hot weather, the slump flow of concrete reduces more rapidly. Although water can be added to improve the consistency, this in turn can decrease the compressive strength of the concrete.
Thermal Cracking: Hot temperatures can also cause concrete to crack. This is made worse by a contrast in temperature. For example, if concrete is laid during a hot day and the temperature cools drastically during the night, this is likely to cause cracking. Ultimately, cracking can cause concrete building structures to weaken.
Damaged Surface Finish: When applying concrete in hot climates, the surface of the concrete tends to dry quicker. This can cause the top surface to flake and deteriorate.
Increased Risk Of Mold: Moisture creates the ideal conditions for the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria on concrete building structures. That’s why buildings in humid climates are more at risk to the effects of mold if they aren’t built using the necessary precautions.
Decreased Strength: Humidity can also increase the PH levels in concrete which in turn can cause the compressive strength to decrease. This has an impact on the overall durability of concrete building structures.
Can You Combat The Effect Of Heat On Concrete Building Structures?
Whilst heat can have a negative impact on concrete building structures, as we’ve highlighted, using the correct construction materials and methods will ensure that concrete structures are protected from the heat.
Having supplied construction companies in Bahrain for more than 60 years, at Al Manaratain we’re always innovating our technology to supply high performance construction materials that are fit for use in hot climates. For example, our concrete blocks offer exceptional thermal insulation. Our insulated blocks have an incredibly low U-value meaning they prevent excessive heat absorption and reduce heat transfer from the exterior to the interior. This is important for protecting the integrity of concrete structures as well as maintaining a cool, pleasant air temperature inside the building.
We also implement a range of measures on our sites in order to protect our products from the heat. All our large aggregate storage bins are covered with roofs in order to keep aggregates cool and protected from direct exposure to sunlight. This also helps to keep the aggregates protected from dust, contamination and water. In our ready mix plants we use chilled water (3-4 °C) to keep the ready mix concrete temperature below 32°C during pouring. During the hot summer, when the outside temperature can reach as high as 45°C, we use ice form or ice plant to keep the temperature within limits. In addition to this, we ensure that all our trucks are kept parked under the shade.
To hear more about the construction materials we have available, and their suitability for hot climates, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. And, for further guidance on building in hot temperatures, be sure to read our top 5 house construction ideas for hot climates.