When it's cold outside, placing, finishing, and curing concrete calls for extra care. In cold weather, concrete sets up more slowly, takes longer to finish, and gains strength more slowly. Worst of all, there's a risk that the fresh concrete will freeze — and if it does, the damage done by ice formation can reduce its final compressive strength by as much as 50 percent. To avoid the delays and quality problems that cold weather can cause, contractors have to be careful in site preparation, concrete placement, and protection of the concrete while it is curing. Before you pour in cold weather, you should be sure you're prepared for it. What do I mean by