A guide to cold weather working

At Instarmac, it’s our priority to ensure that you always have the information and support that you need to help make the best use of our products. Cold weather and freezing temperatures can have an effect on storage, handling and the preparation of construction materials. Keep reading for some handy cold weather working tips to ensure an uninterrupted workflow over the next few months.

The industry advises that cement based products should only be used in temperatures of 5ºC and rising. This is to prevent the water in the cement from freezing before the product has had chance to cure, causing potential failures once it has thawed out – it is better to take precautions before any work is carried out rather than having to visit the site again to carry out further repair work.

UltraCrete Cementitious Bedding Mortars

All cementitious products are affected by temperature, particularly standard set products. The cooler it is, the slower the setting time. So in the winter months, why not upgrade to a higher performing mortar that are less affected by low temperatures? We provide a number of different grades and our Technical Team are always available to advise you on the best material for your project.

UltraCrete Cold Lay Asphalts 

We manufacture all our cold lay asphalts on a ‘just in time basis’ to provide you with the freshest material every time. However, during the colder months, you may experience a slight firming of the product. This is very easily remedied by applying slight pressure to the side of the bag, which will restore  the material to its normal consistency. UltraCrete’s range of world renowned cold lay asphalts have been used all around the world in varying temperatures.

UltraScape Cementitious Mortars

UltraScape bedding mortars can be affected by low temperatures, however, if the following conditions are met, they can be used in temperatures below 5ºC.

  • The ground to be laid upon is not frozen
  • The temperature is 2ºC and rising
  • The products are protected from frost

Cement Based Tile Adhesives and Levelling Compounds

You may be surprised to hear, that even when used internally, cementitious tile adhesives and levelling compounds can be affected by colder temperatures resulting in extended working times.

When cement based tile adhesives and levelling compounds, we recommend a minimum air temperature of 5ºC. Where conditions fall below this temperature, it is common place, and advisable, to use room heaters to raise and maintain air and substrate temperatures whilst work is progressed and until products are cured. If using a heater, it is important to direct to heat into the air and not directly at the freshly applied material.

It is important to protect all cement-based products from wind, rain and moisture by storing them in dry, frost-free conditions. We recommend that you cover all products with a waterproof sheet and stack any bags or buckets on a pallet to prevent them coming in to contact with cold or damp floors.

For further clarification on any of the hints mentioned above, or for information on how to use a specific product during the winter months, please contact our team of Technical experts by email or by calling 01827 254402.

Download a free copy of Instarmac’s Guide to Cold Weather Working.