How Do You Work In Cold Weather? - Masonry - Contractor Talk

How Do You Work In Cold Weather?

 
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:31 PM   #1
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How Do You Work In Cold Weather?


Ive done very little masonry work so I dont really know how you guys work. I was wondering how you work in the winter. A brick job down the road the guys have a 55gal drum barried in the sand and they are burning wood in it like they are heating the sand up.
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Old 03-06-2008, 12:05 AM   #2
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Re: How Do You Work In Cold Weather?


When it gets cold, we wear long pants and long sleeve shirts. When it gets REALLY cold, we wear a jacket. If it snows 4 or 5 flakes, we shut down the schools and stay home.

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Old 03-06-2008, 12:29 AM   #3
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Re: How Do You Work In Cold Weather?


i have put up tents around my work and placed heaters inside of them to heat everything and everyone inside.i keep my water hot and sand covered.
and it doesnt hurt to have a bottle or two peppermint schnapps handy in your tool box.
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:02 AM   #4
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Re: How Do You Work In Cold Weather?


Quote:
Originally Posted by stacker View Post
it doesnt hurt to have a bottle or two peppermint schnapps handy in your tool box.
Does this keep the mortar from feezing?
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:20 AM   #5
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Re: How Do You Work In Cold Weather?


Put down a corrugated culvert and then have the sand dumped on it. Keep both ends open and cover the sand with a tarp. Run a propane heater in one end and adjust the exhaust on the other end with a 2x12. Run the heat since the sand you buy is probably not heated or dried. Go home to start work the next day while things warm up.

Set a 55 gallon drum on a blocks. Fill around the base with sand. Run a propane heater on the bottom to heat the water. If you have a good supplier of block or brick, he may have hot water you can pick up in a 55 gal or 275 gal tank.

the alternate is a mini SpecMix silo totally enclosed with poly that covers the mixer also.- You will still need to heat the water.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:15 AM   #6
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Re: How Do You Work In Cold Weather?


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Originally Posted by Michaeljp86 View Post
Does this keep the mortar from feezing?
no,but that reminds me of the time it was sprinkling on the job,and this welder asked me how much rain on a brick before we go home.i looked at him and said,i dont care about raindrops on the brick,its raindrops on the bricklayer i worry about.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:22 AM   #7
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Re: How Do You Work In Cold Weather?


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Does this keep the mortar from feezing?
My dad and one of his friends were ice fishing and his friend had some sort of extremely strong booze and my dad said it was so strong you couldnt drink it so they poured a little in their holes and it kept them from freezing up.
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:09 PM   #8
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Re: How Do You Work In Cold Weather?


Alcohol in mortar is bad an strength and durability.

Just build a tent over the wall, keep it from freezing and then go inside and drink the booze while the wall cures. - sort of a cure-all!!!
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:30 PM   #9
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Re: How Do You Work In Cold Weather?


Heres a tent of mine from last year. We run propane heaters, hence the 500lb tank out front.


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Old 03-06-2008, 11:11 PM   #10
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Re: How Do You Work In Cold Weather?


Quote:
Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
Alcohol in mortar is bad an strength and durability.

Just build a tent over the wall, keep it from freezing and then go inside and drink the booze while the wall cures. - sort of a cure-all!!!
I guess you would want to drink the booze after the wall is done, unless your going for the McDonalds look, then you would drink it before you start.
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:46 AM   #11
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Re: How Do You Work In Cold Weather?


we use an elec heating rod in a metal 55 gal drum, have the sand delivered and tell the laborer to dig a hole in the middle all the way down to the ground, bury the drum fill w/ water and cover it all up, tomorrow you'll have hot water and hot sand, it works great till you get a job w/ no elec or you trip a breaker overnite
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Old 03-08-2008, 04:44 PM   #12
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Re: How Do You Work In Cold Weather?


I build tents just like 6string. Run a torpedo heater during the day and cover sand and work with insulated construction blankets at night. If our work is not connected to a dwelling I will run a cheap little box heater under the blanket at night.
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Old 03-08-2008, 08:58 PM   #13
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Re: How Do You Work In Cold Weather?


THIS WILL NOT KEEP FROM FREEZING IF BELOW 32 DEGREE AWAY FROM YOUR SAND PILE YOU NEED ANTI-FREEZE
Quote:
Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
Put down a corrugated culvert and then have the sand dumped on it. Keep both ends open and cover the sand with a tarp. Run a propane heater in one end and adjust the exhaust on the other end with a 2x12. Run the heat since the sand you buy is probably not heated or dried. Go home to start work the next day while things warm up.

Set a 55 gallon drum on a blocks. Fill around the base with sand. Run a propane heater on the bottom to heat the water. If you have a good supplier of block or brick, he may have hot water you can pick up in a 55 gal or 275 gal tank.

the alternate is a mini SpecMix silo totally enclosed with poly that covers the mixer also.- You will still need to heat the water.
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Old 03-08-2008, 09:41 PM   #14
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Re: How Do You Work In Cold Weather?


A good contractor will have his sand an water warm. The biggest challenges are:

1. Keeping the mortar temperature below 130 drees

2. Protecting the wall with poly, blankets or an enclosure untilt the mortar has cured enough to not be saturated. Mortar can freez wirh no durability problems as long it was not saturated when it froze.

Just take a look at the Cold Weather Construction Requirements published by the Masonry Contractors Association of America (MCAA) and the National concrete Masonry Association (NCMA).

There are really quite strict and there are thousand of buildings built here to the tradational standards over the past 40 years.

Cold weather construction is not difficult, it just takes common sense and a desire. If you use anti-freeze and have a problem, you will lose every law suit because it is not recommended/permitted.
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:22 PM   #15
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Re: How Do You Work In Cold Weather?


I dump my sand on a culvert as well. Then I toss an insulated tarp over the top and have a torch set on one end, or I will have the tender round up scrap wood and toss it in which heats it quite well for most of the night.

The 55 gallon drum is up on block and I use trough heaters that you can get at any big farm supply store for about $30. Cover the water barrel and have the heater in there and your water will not freeze even when -20. Trust me.
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Old 03-08-2008, 11:51 PM   #16
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Re: How Do You Work In Cold Weather?


the masons around here build big tents like 6string showed, and run propane during the day and electric at night. For water, I've seen 100gallon stock tanks with floating stock tank heaters in them. For sand, I've seen the culverts. Last winter, the masons built an insulated tent that held the sand pile, water tank, mixer, ect. They built one rather permanent tent for all of that, then ran the mortar to the temporary tent covering the part of the wall they were working on. On the house I'm on right now, the masons would burn wood under their mixer to keep it from freezing up too.
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:54 PM   #17
 
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Re: How Do You Work In Cold Weather?


Back here in Iowa the new mason contractors use freeze proof mortar.
but i use a 55 gal drum with a rhino rod and fill it up with water plug it in and i
insulate the sand and drum of water even with the shelters
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:17 PM   #18
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Re: How Do You Work In Cold Weather?


No such thing as freeze-proof mortar if you have a problem and get in court.

The labor and time can kill you with that water if you are in real cold weather. A shelter for sand and water only keep it from freezing. You have to get the sand HOT!
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Old 04-01-2008, 03:10 PM   #19
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Re: How Do You Work In Cold Weather?


Also, I have the ability to bring hot water with me to the job every day. We don't do large commercial stuff, so my average mixing water is only about 30 gals.
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Old 04-01-2008, 03:54 PM   #20
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Re: How Do You Work In Cold Weather?


You can get more heat into sand more economically if you bother to plan ahead. The water can cool too fast, but keep it warm. Just keep the mixed mortar below 120 degrees.

Protect the masonry from freezing until the mortar has cured enough to not be saturated.

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