Proper CO2 Levels Critical for Concrete Curing
Builders and engineers know that concrete laid during cold weather construction is prone to many problems including soft surfaces caused by the concrete freezing during curing. However, pouring concrete floors indoors was always possible by heating the building interiors with salamanders or other heating devices.
Unfortunately, poured concrete in heated areas still posed a problem. The surface often remained soft, and builders were forced to come up with various tricks to harden it in order to complete the project. Only after several weeks or months did the building owner realize that the poured concrete did not perform as required.
Scientists discovered that the CO2 given off by the open-flamed salamander heaters was the culprit.
Concrete that is left to cure in air with as little as 4,500ppm CO2 levels were found to have significantly softer surfaces than concrete hardened in normal air.
As a result, several of our builder clients have purchased pSense handheld CO2 meters and Senseair handheld CO2 data loggers for their concrete pouring projects. The pSense is used for spot-checking CO2 levels, while the Senseair is used as a portable data logger to verify to the client that the concrete was never subject to high CO2 levels during curing.