In summer, the desert Southwest deals out severe conditions
for concrete work. Temperatures over 100°F, relative humidity
in the negative numbers, and persistent hot, dry winds can
teach hard lessons.
I've spent many years on both ends of the concrete chute, as
a crew leader for our family place-and-finish business and as a
technologist and quality-control manager for two Albuquerque
ready-mix suppliers. I've seen some heated disputes over badly
cracked or poorly finished slabs — failures that could have
been prevented with adequate planning and proper handling,
or simply by providing enough manpower.
For the most part, though, I've seen concrete work performed
successfully under harsh desert conditions. And if we can