Newsletter Archive

Newsletter- October 2016

October 1, 2016

Just a short note to express our gratitude for your business. Indiana Cut Stone has been the global leader in Indiana limestone fabrication for almost 20 years, and we hope to serve you for 20 more. Contact our courteous Indiana Cut Stone staff to discuss your next project’s stone needs.

Cold Weather Setting

The bond strength of mortar is considerably reduced when mortar is frozen prior to hardening. The chemical reaction between water and cement (hydration) progresses very slowly below 40℉. Protection is necessary if the outside air temperature is 40℉ and falling. 

Admixtures or anti-freezes should not be used to lower the freezing point of mortar. The effectiveness of most of these compounds is due to the calcium chloride they contain acting as accelerators. Calcium chloride cannot be used on limestone. Salts cause efflorescence and may cause spalling or flaking through re-crystallization (crystal growth).

Heating all materials must be considered. Sand contains some moisture that will form ice when stored in freezing temperatures and must be heated to thaw the ice. Sand must be heated slowly to prevent scorching. Mixing water should not be above 160℉ to prevent the danger of flash set with cement. The mortars should be between 40℉ and 120℉ when used. Stone should be covered with tarpaulin, felt paper, or polyethylene, and heating units used to warm the stone. Caution must be used to prevent smoke under the covering from salamanders. Never set stone on a snow or ice-covered bed. Bond cannot develop between the mortar bed and frozen supporting surfaces. If stone is to be set during cold weather the cold weather masonry construction recommendations of the International Masonry Industry All-weather Council should be followed.

Cold Weather Masonry Construction & Protection Recommendations

Remove ice or snow formed on stonework beds by carefully applying heat until top surface is dry to the touch.

Remove stonework damaged by freezing conditions.

Perform the following construction procedures while stonework is progressing:

  • Temperature ranges indicated apply to air temperatures existing at time of installations.
  • In heating mortar materials, maintain mixing temperatures selected within 10℉: do not heat water for mortar to above 160℉.

Work Day Temperature

  • Above 40℉
  • 40℉ - 32℉
  • 32℉ - 25℉
  • 25℉ - 20℉
  • 20℉ - 0℉ and below

Construction Requirement

  • Normal masonry procedure
  • Heat mixing water to produce mortar temperatures between 40℉ - 120℉
  • Heat mixing water and sand to produce mortar temperatures between 40℉ - 120℉.
  • Mortar on boards should be maintained about 40℉.
  • Heat mixing water and sand to produce mortar temperatures between 40℉ - 120℉

Work Day Temperature

  • Above 40℉
  • 40℉ - 32℉
  • 32℉ - 25℉
  • 25℉ - 20℉
  • 20℉ - 0℉ and below

Protection Equipment

  • Cover walls with plastic or canvas at end of work day to prevent water entering masonry.
  • Cover walls and materials to prevent wetting and freezing. Covers should be plastic or canvas.
  • With wind velocities over 15mph provide windbreaks during the work day and cover walls and materials at the end of the work day to prevent wetting and freezing. Maintain masonry above freezing for 16 hours using auxiliary heat or insulated blankets.
  • Provide enclosures and supply sufficient heat to maintain masonry enclosure above 32℉ for 24 hours.

Limestone in Ancient History

Limestone and marble were the chief building materials in ancient Greece. Quarrying and transporting the stones was labor-intensive. Architects participated in every aspect of the building process, from choosing the stone and overseeing its extraction to supervising the craftsmen who cut each piece in the quarry. After workers shaped the stone and put the blocks into place, other skilled laborers completed the construction.