poured concrete piers and rain

Foundation Repair FAQ: Does Rain Affect Newly Poured Concrete Piers?

You are smack dab in the middle of your foundation repairs with Anchor. The concrete is curing during the 7 to 10-day waiting period and now it’s raining . . . ack! Is this something to worry about? Will your piers be affected if rain gets on them during curing? Does this impact structural integrity? Will this weather ruin your whole foundation repair?

Anchor Foundation Repair Bryan College Station

You might even start *googling* questions and become even more disheartened with what pops up in your search results . . . oh dear.

At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have been repairing Brazos Valley foundations for the past 35+ years or so. Yes, sometimes it rains during the concrete curing process and we can tell you how this impacts your foundation repairs. Spoiler alert – it doesn’t.

First, slowly back away from that search engine . . . but not too far from your computer or phone because you need to read this article where we will explain the *rain during concrete pier curing* situation and why it’s going to be okay.

How Does Rain Affect Poured Concrete?

If you did any *googling* at all, you might see articles popping up about rain damage to fresh concrete. If a strong rain occurs during the pouring process on concrete flatwork, it could affect concrete in some ways. Most of the time, these are surface and appearance concerns with a horizontal surface like a sidewalk or driveway where you want it to look nice.

rain and concrete

Concrete professionals are experienced with the materials and can use precautions and remedies if rain is anticipated during a pour. But also, if there is a significant chance of rain the pouring of concrete should be delayed in the first place.

Rain can create cosmetic problems for flat exposed surfaces – called “finished concrete” –  if it were to rain while the concrete is being poured or soon after. However, if the concrete has already been poured and it has been several hours the chances of cosmetic damage go down. After a few hours, there is very little chance of an issue because the concrete is already setting enough to repel damage.

The biggest thing to remember is that all those articles are talking about FLAT surfaces of *finished concrete* that are intended to look a certain way because they will be visible and out in the open.

We focus on concrete piers in this article, which are not horizontal and are not exposed when in use. Piers don’t have to look nice because they are going to be buried in the ground. Some cosmetic flaws on the top of the pier cap are not going to affect the structural integrity of a recently poured concrete pier that is buried in the ground.

If a pier was poured yesterday, and it rains today there is no problem to be concerned about. If a pier was poured in the afternoon, and it rains that night, there is no problem to be concerned about. Once all the concrete is in the ground, it’s going to be fine.

How Does Anchor Handle Concrete Pouring and Rain Chances?

pouring concrete piers
Nice day for concrete pour

As already mentioned, the best way to handle rain during a concrete pour is to not do it at all until the chances are minimal. We diligently check the weather every day and plan accordingly for concrete pours. If we can safely pour, we will. If we think it’s going to be a risk, we will delay the pour. 

We also allow for a reasonable amount of cure time afterward before rain is expected. But honestly, once the concrete is in the ground, we don’t worry about it at all.

Many homeowners are alarmed when they know that their piers were poured the day before and then it rains later on that evening or the next day. But as long as the pour was already completed before the rain started, we are confident that you have nothing to be concerned about. 

To repeat, once the concrete is all poured into the ground, we are all good. Your piers will be just fine.

pouring piers process

How Does Water Affect the Concrete Curing Process?

Homeowners also wonder if standing water can mess up the curing process of the piers if they end up underwater anytime during the 7 to 10 days set aside for curing.

water in the pier hole - oh no!
It’s okay, don’t freak out.

Concrete curing is not the same thing as waiting for your hair to dry. Curing is not a drying process. Curing is a chemical change that occurs in the material, it’s not just evaporating water. Strangely enough, poured concrete can actually cure underwater! 

Water can even aid the concrete curing process somewhat because it can prevent things from drying out too quickly in hot climates. But again, that is more for finished concrete surfaces and things like masonry mortar.

An accumulation of ponding water on top of a pier is not a major issue as the curing process still takes place and doesn’t interfere with effectiveness. No extra time is needed for additional curing if rain comes after the piers are poured. 

The only time we add extra time to curing is for a heavier home that could benefit from additional cure time for extra strength before adding weight to the pier.

Does Rain During the Concrete Curing Affect My Project Timeline?

how long does foundation repair take?
Is this going to add to the time?

You might wonder if the rain will change the timeline for your foundation repair project. While it won’t add to curing time, it could add time to other aspects of the project.

We sometimes have to take time to pump water away in order to finish the project. Sometimes your yard could get a little messier for the remainder of the foundation repairs. So we might need to spend more time during clean-up to get your yard back in shape before we leave.

So rain and excess water accumulation won’t affect the strength of your poured concrete piers or the effectiveness of your foundation repairs, but it could add some extra mess and extra time for pumping and clean up afterward.

What Comes After the Concrete Curing Process Again?

The next big thing that happens after your concrete piers cure is raising your home back to its original elevation. Our foundation repair team will return to your home in full force soon to start this next phase of work.

rain and poured concrete piers

At Anchor Foundation Repair, we aim to make your foundation repair project run as smoothly and stress-free as possible. After 35+ years in business, we know that homeowners that know what to expect are the happiest with their repair projects.

As a reminder about the whole foundation repair process using drilled piers, check out this quick review of the basic steps: 4 Steps to Expect in a Typical Drilled Pier Foundation Repair Project.

P.S. The next stages in the process also require some inside access to your home and you may or may not want to be there. Check this out too if you haven’t already: Do I Need to Be Home During the Foundation Repair Process?