It's winter in western NY and I never see municipal crews pouring cement
sidewalks at this time of year. But my son's working for a mason who uses
"products designed to compensate for these temperatures". He wants to take a
shot at doing some work on my brick & cement front porch NOW (temps 25 to 40
Are these products best reserved for situations where the work MUST be done
for some reason, regardless of temperature? My instinct is to wait for the
same weather as municipal crews wait for.
I have no specific information about the aforementioned magical products.
On Mon, 5 Mar 2012 13:44:26 -0500, "JoeSpareBedroom"
Old timers used to use hay to cover freshly poured concrete. I was
once at CCNY in the 70's in the winter and they had poured some
sidewalks at around 32 F and I saw hay on top of it. It looked funny
but I knew the reason for it.
The objective of the "magical products" or cold weather practices is
make sure curing takes place before concrete or mortar can freeze.
The good new is.... curing cementitious products produce heat during
their chemical curing process (hydration).
Often times this is enough. Adding some insulating materials will help
Success all depends on the local conditions & nature of the work.
If your concrete or mortar cure before they freeze...your're golden.
But if the mix freezes prior curing ...bummer.
check these out
This Canadian resource provides high quality information on wide range
of construction issues.
Their stuff is sometimes rather technical but none the less very good
and worth the time to read.
I would not risk the potential problems....... I'd wait.
I had heard of using antifreeze also, but some of the things I've read
specifically warn against it.
"Automotive antifreeze should not be permitted in mortar. The
quantities of ethylene glycol needed to significantly reduce the
freezing point of mortar can deteriorate the calcium compounds in
Portland cement and hydrated lime."
The admixtures that are "permitted" don't lower the freezing point of
the mortar, they accelerate the cure so that the time needed to
protect the mortar from freezing is shortened.
All additives used for mortar and concrete for freezing protection
weaken the product. It is a question of how much of a hurry are you
in. If it is going down to 25f you should wait if you can. Spring is
just around the corner.
Yep. I see them pouring foundations at +10F. They do actually mix
antifreeze in with the concrete. I'm assured it has no effect at all on
durability of the finished product.
They even brick and spackle at +10F as well. They rig up giant tarps all
around the building, then they run heaters inside the resulting enclosure.
Apparently this is not for the mortar (which has antifreeze), but for the
Roofers seem to get the short end of the stick. They're up there on New
Year's Day, sometimes. No tarps, no heaters, no comfort for them!
Thanks to everyone for the information. We're about to have 4 days of 60F /
50F / 40F etc. My son stopped by with his boss, who checked to make sure the
plan was a good one. I asked "how much"? His boss said "Beats me. Your son
says your birthday's coming up next week. Ask him!"
Just got a text message from my son: "Boss paying me to make form for
repairing your concrete! He likes birthdays."
Try not to think about the massive seafood dinner the kid's going to get
later this week. :-)
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