Beat the heat: microcement application in summer – how to do it right?
It’s hot out there in the summertime! When the temperature is well above 30 degrees Celsius, you’d better be spending time at the beach, pool, sporting events and other fun outdoor. But what if all you have to do is to work and keep up with another deadline for microcement application? This type of work at such a high temperature is a real challenge for the contractor. How to make a microcement in summer?
Microcement application in summer
The optimal temperature for working with the microcement system is 15-25 degrees C. And it is not a whim, but the range results from the composition and properties of the microcement. Above 25 degrees the material – especially traditional two-component microcement binds very quickly. In extreme cases, it may set as soon as it is applied to the trowel, before it is spread on the wall or floor. It is particularly inconvenient when one work alone and one cannot keep up with the application of subsequent batches of material, which should be applied using the “wet on wet” method, or when one work on a large surface.
If possible, it is worth considering postponing work until the temperatures drop, and if this is not possible, the following methods can be used:
- store microcement packages in a cool place, e.g. in a basement or garage. Under no circumstances should the material be kept in a hot car.
- in summer, it is worth starting work early in the morning, when it is still relatively cool, and possibly continuing in the evening, when the temperatures drop but there is still sunlight.
- if there is air conditioning, work with the air conditioning on, if not – cool the room using a portable air conditioner.
FEST Timer – microcement retarder
Bearing in mind that summer is favorite time to do renovations, and each subsequent summer is more and more hot, we met the needs of our customers and created an accessory that extends the time of working with microcement in summer.
FEST Timer microcement retarder is a new product that noticeably delays the setting time of the microcement and enables easy cleaning of the tools after completion of the work. The product is added to the microcement Festfloor Life or Festwall Life in a proportion of 1 to 2% by weight of the microcement (dry powder + polymer). It is best to add it to the polymer, mix it and then mix it again with the dry powder as usual. Importantly, the retarder is odorless and does not affect the hardness of the microcement. It should also be mentioned that the product is compatible with most of the two-component microcements available on the market. If necessary, it can also be added to FestfloorGo! Although this product by design has a longer open time than two-component microcements.
Before launching the product on the market, we asked some of our fellow contractors for their opinions on the product. Below is a review of the FEST Timer from one of the contractors cooperating with us, who tested the product as one of the first:
FEST Timer – opinions
I recommend the RETARDER for Festfloor Life microcement. Tomasz from Festfloor has it in the testing phase, but I took a risk and took it for a large construction site.
We used it to on the ground floor of the house, i.e. about 90 sq m (divided by expansion joints). There were only two of us to apply the microcement, hence the test with a retarder. The largest field had an area of 35 sq m and turned out to be great like all the others.
The advantages of the retarder (in my opinion) are as follows:
– the most important thing is to extend the time of working with microcement,
– practically odorless installation – the microcement does not bind too quickly, so it does not have an irritating smell,
– if it does not bind quickly, the tools are much easier to clean, because the micro does not dry on a trowel,
– no effect on the hardness of the microcement.
After its use, there is one difference – the final appearance. If we apply it at an average pace, burnouts are hardly visible. The effect is smooth and subtle, but our clients wanted it.
The retarder is in a liquid form (denser than component B from microcement system). It is added to a maximum of 2% of polymer and pigment. After the polymer is mixed, add the microcement powder. The microcement becomes more fluid than if we did not use the retarder.