If you’re a mason, or you run a construction company employing masons, then you know how much the cold retards masonry work. With today’s technologies and old-school techniques for cold weather masonry, many companies continue their work well into the winter months. Heating mortar ingredients is one way to keep working when it’s cold, but if you’re doing so through traditional means, let us show you a better way.
Keep It Hot
Every mason knows that when the water in your mix is exposed to near freezing and subfreezing conditions, it drastically retards the curing time of your work. In addition to this, it also compromises the strength of your project. When the temperature drops, the setting time for mortar increases almost tenfold. Because of this, the amount of water left in the mortar is also affected. An extended set time means that the water has more time to evaporate or make its way into the masonry units. After this occurs, you have less water to react with the mortar, and thanks to the cold temperatures, it’s really not reacting much anyway.
These are the dilemmas posed by cold weather masonry, but the solution to the problem is pretty straight forward. Masonry work can be continued in cold weather if two precautions are adhered to. The first precaution is to heat your mortar ingredients, especially the water. Heating the water before mixing will allow it to stay at the ideal temperature for much longer.
The second precaution to take is to keep the masonry unit above freezing after it’s all been laid. There are different techniques masons employ to accomplish this, but one of the more effective and economical approaches is the use of curing blankets. A curing blanket that both heats and insulates is the ideal choice. This will allow the units to remain at the ideal temperature for the duration of the cure. In fact, a good blanket will actually speed up the curing process significantly, ensuring a fast and strong cure.
Powerblanket® Can Help
As far as both precautions are concerned, Powerblanket can help. When it comes to preheating the water for your mortar mixture, Powerblanket®Barrel, Bucket, and Tote Heaters can heat any of your ingredients to whatever temperature is needed. And for the curing process, consider Powerblanet® Concrete Curing Blankets.
Powerblanket® Barrel/Drum Heater Features:
- Works with both steel and poly containers
- Full wrap-around design provides complete insulation and ensures equal heat distribution
- Drum warmers deliver safe, uniform heat to expensive materials without overheating or burning
- Drum heaters design decreases and prevents product waste among temp-sensitive materials by maintaining consistent storage temperatures without significant fluctuations
- Highly energy-efficient GreenHeat Technology™ and design lowers energy-related expenses and overall project and equipment costs
Features of Powerblanket® Curing Blankets
- Cure concrete 2.8 times faster than conventional insulated blankets
- Produce cold weather concreting strength of 3,925 in 72 hours
- Maintain moisture throughout the hydrating process
- Easily installed and removed
- Maintain ACI compliance for cold-weather concreting