When it comes to interior DIY projects, you don’t really have to worry about the weather getting in the way.
However, when it comes to doing work outside, the weather can cause your best-laid plans to grind to a halt.
One of the DIY tasks people are most worried about when it comes to the weather is pouring concrete.
Pouring concrete in the rain is something a lot of DIY-ers aren’t sure whether they can do, and they may choose to postpone their concrete-laying until the weather brightens up again.
But do you really need to put off pouring concrete until it’s stopped raining? Can you pour concrete in the rain? Read on to find out.
Can You Pour Concrete In The Rain?
The short answer to this question is yes, you can pour concrete in the rain. Whether doing so is necessarily advisable is another question, but it can absolutely be done.
The reason many people avoid pouring concrete in the rain is because when rain falls on newly-laid concrete, it can cause damage to the surface and stop the concrete from setting evenly.
The concrete may be weaker than it should be if it is damaged in this way, which could present a safety hazard if you’re planning to build on top of it.
When it comes to the extent of the damage rain can cause when pouring concrete, it really depends on how soon into the curing process the rain makes contact with the concrete.
The fresher the concrete, the more damage it will sustain if exposed to rain. However, as stated above, this doesn’t mean you can’t pour concrete when it’s raining or about to rain.
Not everyone is able to postpone their DIY plans for a variety of reasons, so if you’re worried about rain damaging your concrete, you just need to take some preventative measures and be extra careful.
How To Pour Concrete In The Rain?
First and foremost, while it is possible to pour concrete in the rain, it does make things more difficult.
So, check the weather forecast before you start pouring and try to avoid pouring on days when it’s meant to rain if you can.
If you can’t avoid pouring in the rain, get a waterproof covering such as a plastic sheet ready because you will need this to protect your work once you have finished pouring the concrete.
You should also check the surface you’ll be pouring the concrete onto. If it’s wet, you need to rain.
Pouring concrete before or during rain showers is one thing, but starting with a wet surface will never go well.
If you have a way to displace or dry the water, that’s great, but if not, you will have to put your project on pause until the surface has dried naturally.
Since concrete can take up to 8 hours to dry (usually between 4 and 8 hours), you will want to stop rain from making contact with your concrete at least until the 4-hour mark.
Once 8 hours have passed, you don’t need to worry about rain ruining your hard work, but the 2 to 4-hour mark is crucial.
The best, least expensive, and easiest way to protect your concrete from the rain is to use a waterproof, plastic sheet covering.
Now, if it starts raining while in the process of pouring the concrete, or you haven’t had the chance to cover your concrete before the rain starts, don’t give up.
This won’t necessarily mean you have to start again because the concrete won’t yet have started to dry properly.
The best thing to do in this situation is to wait until the rain has stopped, and then get rid of any water that has settled on top of the concrete.
We usually like to do this using a garden hose because it’s not something you really need to worry about staining and you can easily slide the hose across the concrete, pushing off the water in the process.
Then, immediately cover the concrete with a plastic sheet so it will be protected if it starts to rain again.
What To Do If Rain Damages Your Concrete?
Even if you do everything right to protect your freshly-poured concrete from the rain, accidents happen, and some things just aren’t in our control.
Therefore, there is a chance that the rain may get to your concrete and damage it.
The best way to check the extent of the damage is to look for obvious defects that are noticeable straight away and then do a scratch test with a screwdriver.
Just scratch the screwdriver along the surface of the concrete and see if marks appear.
Now, if the damage to your concrete is only surface-level damage and you’ve poured a fairly thick slab of concrete, you might be able to just pour some concrete over the top, rinse and repeat.
With that being said, if your concrete slab is pretty thin and it fails the scratch test or looks visibly damaged, you might be better off simply removing the concrete and starting again.
This is obviously a frustrating situation to be in, but it’s better than having uneven or unstable concrete as the foundation for what you’re building.
Pouring concrete in the rain is not an ideal situation, but it can be done.
You’ll just need to ensure that the surface you’re pouring onto is dry before you begin and that you have waterproof sheeting to protect your concrete while it dries.
If rain gets onto your concrete before you have a chance to cover it, you should simply wait until the rain has stopped and push the water off the concrete layer using a garden hose or a similar tool.
After pouring concrete in the rain, give it time to dry and inspect it for damage.
Surface damage to thick slabs of concrete can be corrected with more concrete, but for thin concrete with significant damage, you will unfortunately need to start again.