Chemical Grouting in Cold Weather

With frigid temperatures gripping much of the U.S. and Canada, here are a few reminders regarding chemical grouting in cold weather. Avoid allowing your materials to remain at or below freezing temperatures for an extended period. See the technical data sheet or call your technical consultant for specific product information, but most products will at least have their viscosity affected. Most materials will get thicker in cold temperatures, which can make them harder to use. Polyureas should not be allowed to freeze.

Most products include instructions to condition material to the 70°F range prior to use—again, consult the TDS for specific product information. Obviously, this is not always possible if you are doing emergency work outdoors in cold temperatures, but keep in mind that having product colder than it should be may affect its reaction. For example, when slab lifting and void filling, an expansive polyurethane in a non-heated system may not expand as much, so you will want to account for needing more material than in warmer conditions. If you are using a heated system, you may need to pause periodically to allow material to come back up to temperature. (Of course, you shouldn’t be lifting if the substrate is frozen. Settlement when it thaws could result.)

For crack injection to stop leaks, ensure that there is no ice present in the crack. If there is, either stop and wait for the temperature to rise a bit or flush the crack with warm water. If ice is present, it is a solid that will later leave a void in the cured grout when it melts.

Where shipping is concerned, we do keep an eye on the weather for the shipment destination. We will avoid shipping on a Friday to a frigid destination to minimize the chance that the shipment sits stationary in a trailer for two days. If you are concerned about freezing temperatures during shipment, you can request freeze protection for your material. The shippers charge a premium for this—which varies a lot depending on the company—and they will not offer a guarantee against freezing, but it does minimize the risk. Again, call if you’ve got questions. That’s what we’re here for.

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