Q:Now that we are seeing cold weather, are there any restrictions
on plastering at lower temperatures? Can installation in too low
a temperature be problematic for any aspect of stucco work, say,
getting a durable finish?
A: For best performance, the temperature
of newly applied stucco should be maintained at a minimum of 40
degrees Fahrenheit. In many cases, this can be achieved by heating
the structure and covering the exterior surfaces. As temperatures
drop lower, plaster ingredients can be heated before mixing the
stucco. Both water and sand have enough mass to hold heat well,
though it is often easiest to heat water. However, either one, or
both, materials can be heated to give plaster added protection in
cold weather. To prevent problems like flash set of plaster, fresh
mixtures should not be heated to temperatures exceeding 120 degrees
Most importantly, the stucco should not be allowed to freeze during
the first 48 hours after placement. Excess water in the fresh stucco
mixture expands as it freezes, thereby compromising the strength
and durability of the finished product.
|Sand can be heated over fire in
a pipe, and water can be heated in metal drums.
For a more complete discussion of this and other aspects of stucco
construction, see PCA’s Portland
Cement Plaster/Stucco Manual (EB049).
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