Can You Pour Concrete in the Rain?

When you’re looking to have a new driveway constructed, it’s important to have the process planned out. Once you’ve hired the service providers and set the date, it may seem that everything is settled. 

However, weather is a factor that isn’t always the easiest to plan around. When it comes to pouring concrete, rain is something you have to look out for. At Concrete Solutions of Atlanta, we understand the concern about rain during the process and want to provide you with answers and information about what happens when the weather takes a turn. 

Most Common Questions About Pouring Concrete in Rainy Weather

As you’re getting ready for your driveway to be prepared, you may have several questions about what happens when it rains during the process. Here are a few common questions that come up: 

Can You Pour Concrete While It’s Raining?

Concrete can be poured in the rain, but it’s always best to delay the process if possible. While the rain won’t affect the lower level of concrete that has been poured, it puts the surface level at risk by reducing the cement ratio. The cement ratio is the ratio of water to cement in the concrete mixture, and when this is reduced, the structure weakens. 

While you don’t have to worry about the entire structural integrity of the concrete, rain can lead to surface damage such as: 

  • Discoloration: An inconsistent cement ratio can lead to parts of the concrete looking discolored once it has dried. This can make the surface blotchy and reduce the visual appeal. 
  • Delamination: Additional water can sometimes cause the top layer of concrete to separate from the rest. This can cause cracking and pieces of concrete to break away. 
  • Dusting: When water weakens the structure of your top layer, the powders in the cement mixture will release and come off at the surface when it is touched or brushed.  
  • Pitting: When the concrete surface is weak, some of the top layers can break away and leave small pits or indentations. These marks can make the surface more prone to further damage, too. 

Will Rain Affect the Curing Time?

Moisture can delay the curing time for concrete, but this isn’t always a negative situation. As long as protection is provided for the incoming rain, some additional moisture can be good for the curing process in small amounts. The extra moisture allows for the concrete to cure slowly and at a higher quality and strength. While it’s still important to avoid pouring concrete in the rain, it can provide an advantage if the right kind of protection is provided for the surface. 

Can You Protect Concrete When It Rains?

In the event that it rains, it’s important to have proper protection for the concrete. While the concrete is still wet, it needs to be covered to prevent the rainwater from damaging it. Plastic sheets are a good way to cover the concrete earlier in the process. 

Once the concrete is dry enough to walk across it, it should be safe to leave uncovered. If any areas might receive a heavier amount of water, though, such as spots underneath gutter downspouts, they should be given extra protection. 

Tips For Pouring Concrete in the Rain

With the effects of rain on concrete in mind, it’s important to ensure that damage is avoided. In situations where your project might face the possibility of rain, our team at Concrete Solutions of Atlanta offers advice on how to make sure your driveway looks its best. Here are a few tips that we follow when pouring concrete:

Prepare in Advance

Always be prepared when scheduling for concrete to be poured. Checking the weather ahead of time can help you plan when it’s best to schedule. Service providers will also keep an eye on the weather while they prepare the materials needed. Our team keeps potential situations like this in mind before a project, so we’re able to bring the right materials with us to help, rain or shine. 

Use Protective Materials

Protective materials are great to use for keeping the rain off the concrete, but it’s important to use them at the right time. Plastic sheets are helpful when the concrete is still wet but shouldn’t be used for a long period of time on finished concrete, as it can cause discoloration. In situations where the driveway still needs protection, opt for breathable materials such as landscape fabric or cardboard, and be sure they aren’t left on for too long. 

Ensure Proper Drainage On-Site

Be sure that the site around fresh concrete has proper drainage for excess water. Depending on your landscaping, you may have a runoff in rainy weather that can reach the concrete. Excess water and mud can run onto the concrete and damage it, so be sure there is a way for the runoff to flow away from it. 

Curing Agents

When concrete gets damaged, or the curing process needs to be protected, there are curing agents that can be used to help. These agents create a protective film over the concrete to keep light rain out and have polymers that can help repair damage like dusting on the surface once the concrete is cured. 

Postpone If Possible

The best way to avoid rain damage entirely is to postpone pouring concrete when there are signs of bad weather. It prevents the risk of potential damage and additional repairs. 

Weather can be unpredictable, though, and sometimes rain can occur when you least expect it. Concrete Solutions keeps this in mind, though, and if it rains without warning, we take the best measures to prevent damage. If the concrete is damaged, our 10-year warranty for our services guarantees your driveway will be repaired or replaced, free of charge. 

If you’re looking to have a driveway built or replaced, contact Concrete Solutions of Atlanta. We’ve been dedicated to offering reliable concrete solutions for over 20 years and we’re proud to continue providing services to the North Metro Atlanta area. Contact us today for a free quote, or to schedule a service with us! 


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