While we had a great meeting with our contractor on Monday, we left feeling a bit apprehensive as to when the actual construction would begin because of two factors: 1. The building permit had not yet been approved at the time (the City of Chicago is not an easy place to build) and 2. the weather (with recent newspaper headlines scaring everyone about the return of the Polar Vortex next week, our chances were looking slim).
Low and behold, the foundation was actually poured on Thursday and to our luck – my brother, the civil engineer/concrete specialist, happened to drive by the lot just as they finished. Here is what he taught me about concrete that you are more than welcome to steal for tonight’s party conversation starter – I mean, right? Knowledge is power!
- Pouring concrete is actually a chemical reaction of the water mixing with the concrete and, therefore, the temperature has an effect on the reaction. The lower the temp, the slower the reaction/crystallization, the weaker the concrete is.
- Thus, you do not want to pour concrete if the weather is under 40 degrees or you will have a pretty crappy foundation. We sneaked by on Thursday with a 43 degree temp – huzzah!
- After two hours of curing (drying), concrete can hold the weight of a human.
- After ten days of curing, it can hold 90% of the structure’s intended weight.
- Concrete does not fully cure until months later.
- Based on the reinforced steel bars sticking through the foundation walls, this will be what is called a “two part pour.” I know you will be on the edge of your seat to see what THAT looks like.
So please keep your fingers crossed that this polar vortex does not show its face for at least another eight days. Hey, the more you know…
Happy Friday, y’all! Now Imma go get me a new winter coat.