Stories From the Field

Stories From the Field

Post: Masonry Restoration Work & Cold Weather Considerations (#2 in a Series)

Monday February 13, 2017

With the short break in the winter weather it seems that every contractor with a pick-up truck and a bag of concrete was out working yesterday.

As I drove through the Logan Square neighborhood I counted seven masonry restoration projects of varying size underway. I am sure hundreds of masons were happily working on repair jobs throughout Chicago and the North Shore.

Unfortunately, the forecast for the next few days is forecasted to be unseasonably warm during the day followed by plummeting nighttime temperatures in the low 20’s and upper teens. If you have been reading these blogs or know a thing or two about masonry work, then you know that fresh mortar takes anywhere from 3 to 18 days to cure properly (depending on the type of work being performed) and that mortar starts to freeze around 28 degrees. If mortar freezes as it cures, it will not perform as expected (i.e., it will fail prematurely). Since the nighttime temperatures are forecasted to be in the low 20’s/upper teens at night, all of the masonry projects I saw underway today will freeze at night and thaw out during the day. These temperature swings are predicted to continue repeatedly for the next few days. So if you are the owner of brick building undergoing masonry restoration work, the quality of your mortar work will likely be compromised…probably without your contractor telling you.

The more mortar used to perform your repairs, the longer the mortar will take to cure. For example, grinding out and tuckpointing mortar joints may require as little 72 hours of above-freezing weather to cure, whereas the mortar in a 12”-thick parapet wall rebuild may require up to 18 days to completely cure.

As our customers know very well, AAA-1 Masonry & Tuckpointing does not put profit over product. Your project will be performed when temperatures are safe for the mortar to cure properly. Every time.

If your masonry building requires grinding and tuckpointing, masonry rebuilding, cleaning, sealing, lintel replacement or caulking, we look forward to putting our 60+ years of experience to work for you. Give us a call or shoot us an e-mail. You will be very glad you did.

With gratitude,
Rob


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