How to Ensure Your Masonry Work Remains Intact in Winter?
If you have to do masonry work in the winter, then you need to read the tips of Riedel Masonry and Facade Restoration below if you are thinking of going the DIY route, instead of hiring a professional masonry company.
How Cold Weather Affects Mortar
Cold weather will slow down the hydration of mortar. If the water in mortar freezes, it will result in a destructive change in volume, which in turn will cause mortar expansion. So when the mortar has more than 6% water, the expansion is great enough to eventually crack the mortar. In addition to this, moisture or ice on the surface of your masonry can prevent a good bond from forming between the mortar and the units that you used.
Tips for Working With Masonry and Mortar in Cold Weather
The best strategy to prevent the above from happening is to ensure your materials remain dry during storage, and to ensure that the mortar stays above 40 F as long as possible.
Mixing The Mortar:
- Mix small amounts of mortar so the water is not absorbed by the materials and does not frost.
- Keep an eye on mortar temperature to prevent drying of the mortar.
- Heat the sand or water, to ensure the mortar is kept above 40 F. When using heated water, mix it with some cold sand to prevent flash setting, do this before you add the cement.
- Use speed hydration, this can be done by using either high-early cement or an accelerator or admixture.
- Please note, that most commercial masonry ‘antifreeze’ admixtures are in fact accelerators, and not freezing-point depressants. ASTM C1384 offers vital information when it comes to evaluating admixtures and accelerators in masonry mortar. For example, type III cement will change the color of your mortar.
Thanks for reading our blog post, we hope it proved useful. If you would like to know about our masonry company and what we have to offer you, call this number (646) 517-5957 today if you live in or around the Manhattan, NY area.