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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a few beeahs in me.. I'll post anything I've done or seen done, base on this subject. I wanted to get some ideas on how guys get the job done when it's freezing out. What techniques are efficient in heating sand and water, and obviously the building material. So, for all intents and purposes, all ideas welcome...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Basically using ready heaters and cloth tarps, I put a guys precious new plastic tarp over a ready heater and watched it bubble and burn.. I believe we were using a heating rod in the sand when building an elevator. Luckily the water was indoors. I'm always on top of draining the hose and letting it sit downhill. When I was slaughtering on a farm we had serious water freezing problems and had hot wires on the pipes. Here in MA it gets frigid. Jobs indoors can be done, I was doing a fireplace in a house that was under construction so getting things warm is always a pain. Even if it's nice out stuff is frozen till noon.
 

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Al Smith
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I wonder if one of them electric radiant mats that they put under tile floors would work? wire it to a 12 ga extension cord and just dump your ton of sand on it and plug it in overnight. next morning your sand is warm to the touch and by the time the client gets the electric bill you are long gone, :clap:
 

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to lazy to look em up but every year we have a good thread or 2 on this subject....and not much changes year in and year out.
 

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culvert, trough heater, reinforced poly tent, torpedo heaters, #100 cylinders of LP, and hydro chloride

We first had to tent in last week up here in Green Bay. That is one of the longest seasons we went without tenting in. Now were expecting 12" of snow tonight and tomorrow.:sad:
 

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i should be tented in right now,but the weather is supposed to break here in a couple days.we are getting ice and wind chill down to 0 here today.friday forcast to be in the 40's and sunday in the 50's.been off work for about 3 days now.

oh my cold weather defense...........a bottle of canadian hunter and a small glass beside the fireplace,wrapped up in a snuggie!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
culvert, trough heater, reinforced poly tent, torpedo heaters, #100 cylinders of LP, and hydro chloride
I have a question about the culvert, is it something You make? What the method there and is it for sand? Also I was interested to know if the hydro chloride is what you use as an anti freeze admix..

I was asking about how were gonna protect some stones and stuff on a drystack wall I have coming up, were gonna put some frost tarps under the stones. The torpedo heater is right, I called it a ready heater, I haven't seen any tents except in the service. I heard about guys making barrel fires in the center of sand, I don't want to go into speculation about how we trough heated sand and water before cause i'm not entirely sure.
 

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Not to disagree with just about everybody here. . .but I dont see the need to heat the sand. Here in RI it gets cold enough to freeze the crap out of everything and sand is never to much of an issue. Not worth spending the money on as far as heaters, tents, fires etc. We tent our work area. But not the sand. We use an anti-freeze in the mixture, heat out water, and tent and heat our work. But I really think spending the money on heating sand is a waste of time. Just cover it up with a thermal blanket. In plain terms the top of the sand freezes, but not the whole lot of it, even when there isnt any heat in or around it.
 

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We use pipe staging around our work, and cover it with reiforced plastic. We use torpedo heaters inside the tent. To heat our water we use a 20 gallon water heater inside the building, and run our hose outside, bring it inside at the end of the day. We add anti-freeze to our mix. When all else fails I also choose the canadian hunter and fireplace : ):thumbup:
 

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For a basement at -10F to 25 F:

Drop a metal culvert on the site where you you want the sand pile. Check it that night and start a heater after it is covered with poly and an insulation blanket and start the burner. Come back after a day or two to check on it and to remove any snow on the footings or whatever. A good sand company knows where to dump.

The footings, if required should be covered with blankets to prevent heaving and make it easy to get the snow out of the way.

Put your cement/lime on your truck and park it in a garage that hopefully has heat.

If you are lucky enough to have a masonry supplier, you may be able to get hot water and fill up a insulated 275 gallon tank or just resort to a 55gal barrel with a torhes under.


Many masonry suppliers will pre-load block on a truck the night before and stick the trucks in a heated garage overnight.

Hit the job hard and quick with lots of overtime and knock out a 1200 - 1500 sf basement wall system in one long day with overtime. - Makes everything easier and takes Mother Nature out of the unknowns. Cover the walls with blankets since you have warm mortar that allows it to set up and the block to absorb any excess moisture to prevent problems with freezing wet mud. It you start out with improperly unprotected materials and no planning, you will be swimming upstream.

If it is a larger commercial job, build scaffold frames with heated enclosures and move them with a lift.

Using the big bags of Spec-Mix insures dry cement/cement mixtures than can be protected, stored and handled efficiently if the job requires a lift.
 

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I find it very important to heat sand. You can cover it with blankets all you want, but when it gets down to -20 windchill and you go in the next day, it will be solid as a rock.

The is no cost for my anymore to heat sand. I fill the culvert up with scrap wood from the jobsite, hit it with the hog torch and get the fire rollin. It only takes a little bit to keep the sand nice and toasty and theres usually enough scrap wood to last on the jobsite.

That with a trough heater for the waterbarrel will keep your mud nice and warm and you wont have any problems with getting a good set on the mud even without hydro chloride.

And when were doing multiple stages of scaffolding we'll do only one height at a time. Meaning if its 3 rings high we start with the first ring, then pull the plastic so the heat doesnt go all the way to the top where we dont need it. Then drop the plastic, quick set up and load a little, bring the plastic back up, throw some brick under the plastic and get back to work.

Usually works well for us.
 

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It all gets back to planning, knowing your project and making things work. - Not like summer masonry, but it can be more profitable if others cannot perform. - Maybe someday you will be able to pick up hot water from County or who you do business with.
 

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The mats are pricey, but I would love to have one.

I don't know how well this would work for sand but,I built my house in Jan.and was taught by an old timer to just spread hay/straw around where the footings were to be.
Two weeks later the ground was still soft under the hay.
Maybe using hay over a sheet of plastic or tarp would make a cheap blanket.
Excavators have used it to keep the frost out of the ground for later digging also.
 

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oldfrt -

If you have real cold weather, you have to do everything with planning, preparation and speed. Dig the basement footings the day before and do not allow the soil to freeze. Layout and pour the footing on day 2 and cover with blankets to prevent. Get the materials lined up, culvert for the sand and get the sand delivered. You can also get a layout on the footings many maybe even get the first course or corners laid before covering for the night. Then just build and protect the walls on day 3. If the weather and everything goes well you can ease up for a day. - Buy a lot of beer for the celebration.

It helps if the mason contractor can also dig or have a very good connection to a reliable excavator that knows what he needs for access.

The quicker the better and the more profitable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It helps if the mason contractor can also dig or have a very good connection to a reliable excavator that knows what he needs for access.

My boss is around 32yr old, his cousin is prob the same age and has a self made fortune with his excavation company. Who in turn is our frozen tundra man. My old masonry boss has some sweet machines though and shared a huge shop with a septic guy who had a huge excavator. I can drive the mini and move it, I have zero exp. digging with it, my dad does all kind of mechanic stuff and he can use all kinds of big and small stuff. Doesn't really like to work though.

If u have a mini excavator though, your right this time of year it's really beneficial.
 
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