Aliquippa, Pa., May 15, 2014 – Mother Nature can challenge even the most skilled installer when it comes to rising temperatures. Hidden installation failure lies in four temperatures: substrate, air, product, water.
ARDEX Americas recommends 50°F - 70°F as the ideal temperature range at which patching and self-leveling products should be installed. If just one of the four temperatures (air, substrate, product or water) is out of the safe range, it could spell failure for your installation.
If you must work at warmer temperatures, follow these installation tips from ARDEX Americas:
Most important is the substrate temperature. Invest in a surface thermometer and use it to plan your installation procedures that day.
Next is the temperature of the product (powders and/or liquids). Material stored onsite underneath a tarp can get very warm. store all materials in a cool, dry place.
Water that is too warm will act as a catalyst, accelerating curing times, working times and changing the viscosity of the product. For manual self-leveling installations, ice in a 55-gallon drum will chill the water to increase flow and working time. For a pump installation, sections of coiled garden hose in a drum of ice will chill the water on its way to the pump. Mixing patching materials with cool water will increase the pot life and working time.
Consider installing patching and self-leveling products as early in the day as possible. In general, air and substrate temperatures will be lowest at sunrise. Working at warmer temperatures means you need to work more quickly and in smaller areas. Use the right tools including a 1/2-inch heavy-duty drill (min. 650 rpm).
If material sets before it can be smoothed, do not attempt to go back and touch it up. Allow it to dry thoroughly and evaluate the installation. The fix may be as simple as troweling ARDEX FEATHER FINISH®, ARDEX FORTI FINISH™ or ARDEX SD-M™ over the surface to smooth the installation.
If an additional application of self-leveling material is needed, re-prime and re-install when conditions are more suitable.
Finally, if temperatures for substrate, product and water cannot be brought into a safe range, the best advice is to stop until the temperature problem has been solved.
As always, contact the ARDEX Technical Service Department at 888-512-7339, 1-724-203-5000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.