heavy rain

How Heavy Rain Affects Freshly Poured Concrete

Just imagine: You finally saved enough for that beautiful new concrete patio, waited weeks in your paving contractor’s queue until it was finally your turn, your new patio was just poured that morning, and by mid-afternoon it was pouring down rain. We have good news and bad news. The bad news is that heavy rain can, in fact, damage the concrete. The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent that from happening. We’ve compiled some helpful information for you about how heavy rain affects freshly poured concrete.

In a perfect world – and optimum conditions for new pavement – freshly poured concrete should be allowed to dry out for 24 to 48 hours. This is called the “curing period,” and it’s important in order to allow the concrete material to reach its maximum strength. Most contractors won’t pour concrete if rain is in the forecast, but as we all know, it’s hard enough for our local meteorologists to accurately predict if/when it will rain, much less your local paving specialist! And it’s those unexpected showers that are cause for concern.

Fortunately, there are some precautions that your contractor can take to protect your freshly poured concrete from damage due to heavy rain. If you live in a rainy area, or if your concrete is being poured during thunderstorm season, it’s a good idea to ask your contractor about either of the following options for protecting the new pavement:

  • Plastic sheeting – One simple precaution that your contractor can use is to build a wood frame around the newly paved surface with a layer of plastic sheeting spread across the top. This is an effective way to keep rain off of the freshly poured concrete.
  • Permeable concrete – Some paving contractors prefer to use permeable concrete, which is a type of concrete mixture that allows rainwater to pass through the surface. This is particularly useful in rainy climates and for large-scale concrete installation projects.

If adequate protection is not put in place, heavy rain can negatively impact a freshly poured concrete surface. Not only can rain exposure lessen the durability of your concrete; it can also mar an otherwise smooth finish on the surface. If you’re concerned about the possibility of rain on your new concrete, talk to your paving contractor ahead of time so that adequate precautions can be taken to protect the surface.