Grouting "outdoors" in shade and freeze concerns????
I'm in the process of finishing an exterior patio tile job for some friends and have a few questions in regards to grouting.
1) Some areas of the patio are always shaded; in addition, I'll be starting around 1pm when the sun is out (around 70 degrees) but finishing as the sun is going down (around 60 degrees).
Will any of this affect the drying process and thus possibly create discoloration issues? If so, what steps can I take to avoid that? I mean should I mist the sunny areas for a while?
2) Should I cover the patio or leave it exposed to the dew/elements over night? Note: There will be nobody available to cover the patio in case of rain until the following day.
3) Lastly, the instructions say to avoid any freezing weather for 21 days (after grouting) but I have no control over such. It does freeze at times in Florida, btw. What measures can I take to safeguard against such? I mean should I cover it with a freeze warning?
Firstly, I've never grouted tile outdoors.
But I've grouted enough indoors to know to turn off any ceiling fans, avoid warmth and sunlight.
If at all possible, I would shade the entire area and block it off as far as wind.
I would contact technical support or read the instructions regarding rain.
The sun and the wind would be just terrible. You would notice it as soon as you dragged the first bit of grout across a sunny area. It would haze over immediately.
Don't get all wrapped in the air temperatrure since the materials you are concerned with are heavy and controlled by earlier day or month long temperatures.
Covering at night when the are cooler air temperatures and radiant heat loss will keep the materials at a higher temperature. The earth/soil is a great temperature modifier. Just a poly covering will usually do a good job of maintaining temperatures unless you are below 20F or so.
When there is sun, open up the surface to the sun for heat absorption and retention as long as the air temperature is above 30-40 degrees. Avoid cold winds the can cool the slab and construction.
You are not trying to dry out the grout, but cure it by providing reasonable temperatures to allow Mother Nature to do the job. The curing uses the moisture in the grout to react and dry out the materials eventually.
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