Proper Winter Masonry Practices

As winters tend to become harsh, brick laying practices must be adapted to the winter season.

On-site brick care

Any plastic wrapping on the top of the brick must be removed to allow any moisture that is present to evaporate. Brick cubes must be elevated from the ground. A tarpaulin must cover unused cubes in a matter where good circulation is allowed.

Mortar

Use less water mix in the winter, cover the sand to keep it dry.

Heat the sand to avoid frozen lumps

Wall Protection

Tarp areas that are to be bricked. Cover the top of all finished brick work to prevent water and ice from getting into the masonry wall.

Tooling Joints

Tool masonry joints when they are stiff enough. Remember: The Ontario Building Code (9.20.14.1) requires that the temperature of the mortar is maintained above 5 degrees celsius, for a period of not less than 48 hours.

Summer Masonry Practices

Here are some important tips and reminders for on-site summer construction:

  • Always remove the plastic wrap from the cubes of brick upon delivery to the site.
  • Cover the cubes of brick with plywood boards or tarps.
  • When you start to mortar, spread only enough to permit the setting of the brick that you are working on.
  • Remember to discard the mortar within two hours.
  • Efforts should be concentrated on the proper installation of the control and expansion joints.
  • At the end of the day, spray the walls once they have achieved the initial set to compensate for evaporation.

Also, because of the summer heat masonry materials and mixing equipment should be stored in shaded areas.

It is important that the sand be moist throughout the day to maintain uniformity of the sand moisture for the duration of the wall construction.

All equipment should be cooled and the wooden mortar boards should be presoaked.