Mudjacking During the Winter?
I get the question often this time of year, “can you work when it’s cold outside?” The short answer is, yes as long as the ground is not frozen and the day temps are going to get above freezing for the day, much the same requirements that placing concrete would be, but there are some other considerations to keep in mind during the winter months.
The last few years the weather has held out for most outdoor work with temperatures being the main influence, in the Kansas City area anyway. The patterns of weather have changed as far as the really cold temperatures don’t arrive until later in the season now and the cold season hasn’t lasted for extended periods of time. For example, the last 3 days were supposed to be a winter ice storm at 32 degrees and the next 5 days is a high of 55 degrees with a low of 32 degrees at nights. With all that said, the mudjacking season has expanded it’s effective season over the last few years, at least in the midwest.
The first thing that we want to make sure of before conducting the work during the cold season, is that the ground cannot be frozen where we are going to place the fill/lift material. The reasoning is if the ground is frozen it is expanded. Once it thaws out, it contracts again so placing material on ground that we know is going to contract is defeating the purpose. The ground underneath the concrete to be raised usually is insulated by the concrete a little, and takes a little longer to freeze than the ground exposed to the elements, therefore keeping the window to work in open a little longer than one might think.
The next thing that we need is the daytime temperature to get at or above freezing for the installation process. This is a matter of juggling days around as one day, or a stretch of 7 to 10 days, the temps might be 20 degrees and the next 7 days can be 40 or 50 degrees. We need the above freezing temps so the hoses and water for mixing won’t freeze during installation. Another thing to be aware of as far as temperatures are concerned, are the holes that are made during the mudjacking process are patched back with mortar which needs to be protected from deep freezing as well. So night time temperatures of 15 degrees or lower immediately afterwards would not ensure a good hole patching job without protection.
So again to answer the question, can mudjacking be done during the winter or the cold? Yes it can and it can be done without compromising the integrity of the work but there are a couple certain guidelines that we need to follow to ensure a properly installed project. Again this is for the Kansas City area Mudjacking industry. If you go a couple hundred miles to the north or west, they will likely have a different set of circumstances concerning the weather.