Winter can be a tough time for the trade so here we have some handy tips for using your Sika, Everbuild and Feb products in the cold weather.
Expanding Foams – At low temperatures the thickness of the foam increases. This gives the effect of the foam having no propellant & does not come out of the can. This is usually resolved by putting the foam in a bucket of warm water for 5-10 minutes. This includes Dryfix and Constructa Pro.
700 series Ready Mixed Tile Adhesives – All are acrylic based & will thicken at low temperatures. Drying time on the product will also increase. This can give the effect of the adhesive “not sticking”. These adhesives need ideally to be stored in warm conditions before use.
125, 175, 195, External Frame Sealant, Caulk Once – Again these materials are acrylic based & will suffer in the same way as the ready mixed tile adhesives. Drying time can be dramatically increased which makes the material very susceptible to moisture / rain whilst it is curing. Technically we do not advise the use of these products externally in cold conditions.
Wood Adhesives – Do not use at temperature below 100C – this has given problems in the past in cold workshops / shop floors. If used at temperature below 100C the adhesive does not dry out & remains white in colour. Thus result can be that there is little or no bond strength after 24 -48 hours. Temperature must be maintained whilst applying & during drying for the adhesive to function correctly. Storage temperature at above freezing is very important.
Contact Adhesive / Smart Tack – These materials rely on solvent evaporation to dry out. At lower temperatures the open time can be extended which can lead to solvent entrapment, especially in laminating jobs. This appears as bubbles on the surface. More open time has to be allowed for in cold conditions.
Self Levelling Compound / SikaLevel Deep Fill Levelling – Drying time on these materials can be extended when applied at low temperatures. Overlaying is usually approx 8 hours however this can be up to 24-48 hours depending on the ambient temperature. This also applies to the powdered tile adhesive i.e. Floor Set, Rapid Sets and White Sets.
705 Rapid Set / 711 Rapid Set Flexiplus / 714 White Set Flexiplus – same as above for Self Levelling products.
Black Jack / Evercryl – All of these materials rely on either solvent or water migration to dry. At low temperatures all of the drying times of these products can be extended. Care must be taken when overcoating, felting or being subjected to rainwater. Sufficient drying time must be allowed in order for them to perform correctly.
Surveyline / Trafficline – Is a heavy paint in dispersion in an aerosol, thus in cold temperatures the paint settles in the bottom of the cans – giving a thin watery consistency when applied.
Warming & shaking the cans usually remedies this issue. Store in cool, dry conditions, between 50C & 250C.
Black Jack Flashing – When applied in cold conditions the bitumen can harden giving poor adhesion to substrates. Most roofers use a blowlamp to warm the material prior to application.
Tapes – Mammoth / EuroScrim – Just as with the flashing tapes the adhesives can harden thus giving a poor bond when applied.
Stain Block – Is a heavy pigmented which sinks to the bottom of the can & separates. If you try to spray this product before shaking the material it will not spray – this is because the very thick unmixed pigment in the can will have already been drawn up & thus blocked the release pipe. Thus *SHAKE VERY WELL BEFORE USING*
Frostproofers & their differences
There are two types in both the Sika, Everbuild & Feb ranges.
Accelerator & Frostproofer + Febspeed / Zeromix C.F.F. + Wintamix – All have similar properties in terms of the effects they have on the drying time of cement, however the Zeromix C.F.F. and Wintamix contain a plasticiser.