It is always better to leave brickwork projects until dry, warmer months. However, in some cases this is not possible. If it is necessary to work in winter, it is important to adapt to account for the conditions. This will help to ensure the workmanship is still good. As the top brick layers West Yorks has, we want to share a few tips about this.
What is the issue?
The main problem is with the mortar. Whether you use sand and cement or a lime mix, you will also need to add water. When it is cold, the moisture can freeze and expand. This can affect how strong and stable the brick bonds are. It also affects how waterproof they are.
If you are working in winter, you need to take care of the mortar so it does not freeze. If this happens you need to throw it away and make a new mix. Some people may suggest adding anti-freezing agents to the mix but this is not acceptable in the UK. The best thing to do is make smaller batches of mortar more often.
Look at the temperature
The NHBC offers some good advice about the temperatures. They suggest there should be no issues as long as it is above 4 degrees Celsius outside. However, if it drops below this brick layers need to adapt. For example, they will need to keep the mortar at 4 degrees. They will also need to keep surfaces free of ice and frost. It could even be necessary to insulate new masonry with blankets.
While work can continue if the temperature is below 4 degrees Celsius, if it falls beneath 2 degrees the project will likely need to stop.
Take care with materials
As we said above, in winter it is important to take care of the mortar so its temperature does not drop below 4 degrees Celsius. In addition, it is important to check other materials for frost damage. If there are bricks that are wet, dry them before laying so there is no risk of the moisture freezing.
Ideally what you should do is store all materials so they remain dry. Make sure there is a ground covering. It is also wise to ensure that the bricks are at an acceptable temperature when laying them. If they are too cold the mortar will cool when it touches them, potentially causing bond and strength issues.
Talk to reliable brick layers in West Yorks
At Best Brickwork we know about the challenges of working in wet and cold conditions. When we need to, we do our best to ensure that the work will still be high quality. However, we will always advise clients if there are any concerns.
If you have a project in mind and want to work with the very best brick layers West Yorks can offer, we are the team for you. Get in touch today to tell us more about what you need from us.