Tips for Working in Winter with Temperature Reliant Building Products

With the winter season quickly approaching and the weather outside changing, freezing temperatures can cause issues for the construction industry with many products and building materials being affected by the cold weather. Here we share some handy tips for using some of the most temperature reliant products throughout the winter months.

Sika FastFix All Weather

Paving Jointing Compounds

While All Weather Paving Jointing Compounds can be used in the wet, products like Sika FastFix All Weather must be applied in temperatures above 4°C and protected from lower temperatures during the curing process, as the cold can affect the resin within the product resulting in a poor or failed set.

Expanding Foams

At low temperatures the thickness of the foam inside products like Fix and Fill Expanding Foam increases which gives the effect of the product having no propellant resulting in issues with it being released from the can. This issue can usually be resolved by putting the foam in a bucket of warm water for 5-10 minutes and brought back to a working temperature of over 5°C. This includes Dryfix and Constructa Pro.

Ready Mixed Tile Adhesives

Products such as 701 Non-Slip Tile Adhesive are acrylic based and will thicken at low temperatures. The drying time on the product will also increase which can give the effect of the adhesive “not sticking”. These adhesives need ideally to be stored in warm conditions before use.

Acrylic Based Sealants

Acrylic based sealants such Everflex Contract 125 One Hour Caulk will suffer in the same way as the ready mixed tile adhesives and thicken at low temperatures. Drying time can be dramatically increased which makes the material very susceptible to moisture and rain during the curing time. Using these products externally in cold conditions is not recommended.

Wood Adhesives

We would advise against using wood adhesives including 502 All Purpose Weatherproof Wood Adhesive in temperatures below 10°C as the product does not dry out and remains white in colour. This can result in little or no bond strength after 24-48 hours. Temperature must be maintained both during application and drying for the adhesive to function correctly. Storage temperature at above freezing is very important.

Contact Adhesives

Adhesives such as Stick 2 Instant Contact Adhesive and Smart Tack rely on solvent evaporation to dry out and 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 Compounds

The drying time on materials including Sikafloor 245 Level Deep Fill Ultra 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.

Powdered Tile Adhesives

Cold weather has a similar effect on Powdered Tile Adhesives as it does on Self-Levelling Compounds, with drying times being extended during application. Allow 24-48 hours depending on ambient temperatures.

Bituminous Roofing Products

Bitumens such as Black Jack 901 Black Bitumen Paint rely on either solvent or water migration to dry, with low temperatures causing the drying times of these products can be extended. Care must be taken when overcoating, felting or being subjected to rainwater with sufficient drying time essential in order for them to perform correctly.

Flashing Tape

When applied in cold conditions the bitumen on Black Jack Flashing Tape can harden giving poor adhesion to substrates. This can be solved by bringing the tape and the bitumen adhesive layer up to temperature with a hot air blower.

Line Marking Paint

Aerosol paints like Surveyline perform by dispersing heavy paint in an aerosol can, meaning in cold temperatures the paint settles at the bottom giving a thin watery consistency when applied. Warming the can in a bucket of warm water and shaking to release the weights inside can help to remedy the issue.


Cold temperatures can cause the adhesive on any tape, from Everbuild Gaffa Tape to Euroscrim, to harden which will result in a poor bond when applied.

Why not let us know your tips for working throughout winter via our TwitterFacebook or LinkedIn pages.

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