Tech Tip #1: Keeping Your Mix From Flashing Too Fast in the Summer

Welcome to the Technicians Corner!nMy name is Gregg Hensley and i've been a contractor and a trainer in the decorative and concrete overlay industry for over 20 years. nnToday...I wanted to talk about the summer heat and keeping your mix from flashing off.

As we are in the thick of the sweltering summer heat remember to approach you job applications with the mindset of helping yourself minimize the affects that the sun and heat can have upon all types of applications involving cementitious products. Jobs donu2019t always present themselves with the most optimum of start times for the simple fact that life, business, and other obstacles present themselves frequently yet please try your best to make availability to start your jobs, if possible as early as you can just after dawn. u00a0Making this a common practice will help you beat the heat and allow your products to have their best opportunity to work in their most efficient and user-friendly capabilities.

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Remember that using the coolest water possible will also help alleviate heat issues within not only you Stone Edge Surfaces product that you are using, yet also upon the substrate that you are preparing to place your Stone Edge Surfaces application to.

There are several ways to do this beginning with when filling your staged water containers for mixing fill them with cool potable water.

I also recommend droppingu00a0 a few ice bags in the water…leave the ice in the bags so the whole bag slowly cools down the surrounding water. The ice will lower the temperature even further to help give your product more open time before your material begins its initial set.

Warm water plus the weathering elements of sun beating down and warm to hot surface temperatures will quickly suck the water content right out of your mix leaving you with minimal open time to work with. Losing water to a hot substrate that pulls the water from the mix can also affect the integrity of the mix itself, leaving it with possibly less compressive strength.

Cool down your substrate. Take the opportunity prior to your application to hose down your substrate (vertically or horizontally) with cool water as well to alleviate high surface temps and cool down the surface. Using fans for this process is definitely NOT suggested at any time during, or prior, to your Stone Edge Surfaces application for the extreme moving air itself can speed up the surface dry time during application, shortening the open time as well as hindering the integrity of the mix and possibly cause crazing (surface cracks) upon the surface of the product.u00a0

Spraying water on the substrate to cool it down can be done and then squeegeed away leaving a fully damp surface for the Stone Edge Surfaces product without being detrimental to the integrity of the mix or the bonding agents when applied. While doing all these things to help your jobs go much smoother, please remember that the hose you may be using may be lying upon the ground with sunlight beating down on it and it is full of scalding hot water…so make sure to run all hot water out of you hose before filling your buckets or cooling your substrate.

Also…Make sure to cover your bag products with shelter to keep the direct sunlight from beating down on it causing the dry powder to become extremely hot, which can wreak havoc on your job in the same manner that hot water would. You may also utilize shelter if possible from the sun using tarps and tie-downs to attach to trees or structures to help provide some shade over your mix, water buckets, and jobsite. Look also at purchasing possibly some pop-up canopies to place over your job directly or you may extend two legs on one side all the way and lower the other two legs all the way so you can maneuver your canopy placement along your jobsite as the sun rises or sets along the day. One other point I would like to make is to do your best at keeping your tools clean and cool utilizing many water buckets for cleaning to insure the cleanest coolest tools possible during application.

Lastly, donu2019t forget to utilize Stone Edge Surfaces made available Fritz-Pack Concrete Additive Retarder to instantly give your Stone Edge Surfaces products expanded upon time for Application, Stamping, Spraying and overall user-friendliness.

There are several ratios of implementing the Fritz-Packs within your product while mixing from a 1:2 ratio of 1 Fritz-Pack to 2 bags of Stone Edge Surfaces overlay mix for more minimal retardation, To using a 1:1 ratio of 1 Fritz-Pack to 1 bag of overlay mix for moderate retardation and slowing down the drying time, which opens the working time. You can also do a 2:1 ratio of 2 Fritz-Packs to 1 bag of overlay mix for more advanced retardation of the Stone Edge Surfaces products.

That’s all for this post…I hope you have continued success in the concrete overlay world and with our Stone Edge Surfaces product lines. Respond with a comment below, ask a question, add to what I’ve said in this post or just say hello. I’m always eager to hear from you. Until my next post…thank you!

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