How Long Does Mortar Take To Dry ? How Long Does Mortar Take To Cure

How Long Does Mortar Take To Cure?

As construction projects progress, it can be exciting to reach the final stages. Applying finishing touches to newly reconstructed or refurbished surfaces results in eye catching aesthetics. Mortaring tiles or other masonry, adds a final polish to all your hard work. Just like concrete, mortar requires careful planning and execution to make sure you achieve the ideal cure strength and a strong finish. Let's take a closer look at what affects mortar cure time and the strengths of different mortars.

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Temperature

According to top concrete manufacturer TCC Materials, “normal temperatures are those between 40°F-100°F (4.4°C-37.8°C). Cold weather then occurs when ambient temperatures drop below 40°F (4.4°C).” When you work within the normal temperature range, you can expect your mortar to follow the typical cure timeline.

“Cold weather can slow construction by affecting the set time and strength development of mortar and grout. If weather gets below 40°F (4.4°C) within 24 hours for mortar and 24-48 hours for grout hydration of cement will stop until temperatures become warm enough for hydration to continue.”

Waiting for warm weather is not always ideal or even possible when you are adhering to a construction schedule. Using curing blankets to protect your mortar during the curing process can keep you on track and help your mortar cure to full strength.

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Air Flow

The chemical process of curing depends upon the mix staying hydrated. High winds and fans will strip your mortar of the moisture it needs to stay hydrated and cure properly. For interior mortar work, consider turning off fans that can impede the curing process. For exterior work, you will need to make sure you protect your mortar from high winds and possibly add more moisture as it cures to reduce cracking. Most mortar manufacturers will provide re-hydrating instructions for their particular products.

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Water

Be sure to carefully follow your mortar manufacturer’s guidelines for mixing ratios. Your mixture should only contain moisture in specified amounts. Too much or too little water will not only change your mortar cure time and cure strength, it will also make it difficult to work with. 

Humidity

Maintaining proper moisture levels is critical for your cure time and final cure strength. That means that even the moisture in the air itself needs monitoring. If you are building under extremely low humidity, you may need to add more moisture your mortar to assist in the curing process. Working in high humidity can possibly increase your mortar cure time, but will require less moisture maintenance on your part.

Setting vs. Curing

Even though mortar will not be completely cured, before long it will become set enough for you to move onto the next steps. After 24-48 hours, depending upon the humidity and ambient temperature, you can begin applying grout.

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Concrete Curing Blankets

Few have the luxury of restricting temperature sensitive work to warm weather days. Thanks to wtbblue.com, there is no costly off-season and mortar work can continue all year long. Our concrete curing blankets can cure 2.8 x faster than conventional insulated blankets. We can safely insulate your mortar and protect it from losing heat and humidity during the curing process. Contact us today at 855.447.9358 or to find the perfect curing solutions for your mortar needs. 

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