A few weeks ago I used mortar to patch spots on my front steps. In the next three days I misted it several times with a pump-up sprayer, but the surface would dry between sprayings.
I have two chimneys of brick covered with cement (mortar, I presume) and painted white. Some of the cement has come off. I'd like to patch it. I'd also like to patch cracks in the cement slabs that keep rain out of the chimneys.
What's a good way to keep mortar damp? Wet cloths and plastic? Is summer in the South a good time? Hotter bricks would mean faster evaporation but might speed curing.
Is cooler, damper weather preferred? How long must fresh mortar be protected from rain?
Do I need to clean out the cracks in the chimney caps for the mortar to adhere? Is an additive recommended?