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Cold Weather Masonry Tips

Mortar must remain above 40 degrees to be workable.

Mortar must remain above 40 degrees to be workable.

Chances are, you haven’t been able to go outside without a coat or scarf on for at least a couple weeks now, you had to finally locate your ice scraper in the backseat, and you have been turning on the heat in your home during the chilly winter nights. The change in weather doesn’t just mean a change in your daily routine, it can require a change in your masonry. Here are some tips for cold weather masonry during these cold winter months.

How Does Cold Weather Affect Mortar?

If the weather outside drops below 40 degrees, masonry can be next to impossible. No matter what, you need to keep mortar above 40 degrees for it to be workable. Here are some tips for keeping mortar warm:

  • Mix small amounts of mortar at a time. This prevents water from being absorbed and frosting or freezing starting to occur.
  • If temperatures are so low that the mortar is unusable even in small amounts, you can place it on a heated surface like a metal mortar board.
  • Especially if you place the mortar on a heated board, make sure that it doesn’t dry out because of the heat.

Cold Weather Masonry Tips 101

If the temperature is frightful (okay, or under 40 degrees), here are some of the best tips for keeping your project on track:

  • Use a high-early cement or an accelerator to speed up the hydration process.
  • Place all materials on planks, off the ground, and cover them with tarps to provide a little more insulation and protect them from any potential rain, snow, ice, or sleet.
  • If you are using masonry units with high rates of absorption, be prepared for the stiffing process to be accelerated.
  • If the temperature is between 32-20 degrees, use an insulation blanket to cover any walls and prevent water from entering. This insulation blanket can be about ½ an inch thick.
  • If temperatures are between 20 and 0 degrees, use a heavy duty plastic insulation blanket that is at least an inch thick. If that isn’t possible, use heaters to keep the area above 40 degrees for at least 48 hours after the installation process.

Cold Weather Masonry Tips & Cold Weather Masonry

If you are ready to upgrade your landscaping and hardscaping, Del Prete Masonry has the experience and expertise to get the job done right for the right price. To explore our residential and commercial services and set up a consultation, please give us a call at 410-683-0650 or contact us online. We currently serve Baltimore City and County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County. To see examples of our work and get more updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

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