We have a growing network of Snowcem Paints stockists throughout the UK.
Click on the map to find one near you.

CUSTOMER COLLECTIONS
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

Please contact us on:
Northern Paints
Unit 8 Sawmill
Industrial estate,

Alnwick,
Northumberland
NE66 2QW

Tel: +44 (0) 1665 494014
sales@northernpaints.co.uk


Q. CAN SMOWCEM BE USED IN HOT WEATHER?


I am painting in warm weather; do I need to do anything different than in spring and autumn when painting with SnowcemPlus?

A. The outstanding properties of SnowcemPlus come from its natural hydration process ie it uses water to become well bonded and strong. In hot weather, some of the water needed to ‘move on’ the hydration gets evaporated. This is why some people paint in the autumn, spring and winter seasons rather than summer. Delays in curing can be avoided by dampening down the wall surfaces just before starting to paint (use backpack garden spay, for example).

If hot weather continues, it is useful to repeat dampening prior to second coat or just to accelerate curing of a finished coat.


Q. WHY IS THE PAINT SURFACE DUSTY?


Have recently applied a coat of SnowcemPlus and it is dusty on the surface. Have I done something wrong or is the paint okay?

A. Nothing wrong here, just a matter of water and time! Dusting is caused by temporary lack of moisture content in the paint, which nature eventually takes care of. This is nothing to do with the amount of water using in mixing the paint, although following mixing instructions is extremely important.

SnowcemPlus is an hydrating paint ie it uses water to cure and become well bonded, hard and durable. Some wall surfaces are more absorbent than others and prone to sucking the water out of the paint mixture. In the long term this is not a problem as rain and natural humidity eventually complete the hydration process. To assess absorbance of a surface, a useful tip is to throw a cup of clean water at the wall before starting and observe the extent to which it gets absorbed. If it gets absorbed (darkens) to a great extent, then dampening down the wall with clean water immediately prior to painting will combat this water robbing action (garden back-pack spray). In warm weather, I would probably do this anyway, to reduce water loss through evaporation.


Q. BEST TIME TO APPLY SNOWCEM?


What is the best time of the year to use SnowcemPlus?

A. The best time is traditionally April to November omitting July and August, perhaps. The most useful answer is avoiding frosty weather and periods of hot weather. However, it can be applied even in hot weather (gets used in Africa, for example), but additional measures are necessary to ‘move-on’ the hydration process. This is because it uses water to cure to its well bonded, strong and durable state. If water is evaporated away we can either supply it or wait for mother nature (rain and humidity) to do the job.


Q. WHY IS SNOWCEMPLUS NOT READY TO USE


Why is SnowcemPlus not ready to use like other paints.

A. Ready to use paints are commonly based on polymer chemistry that enables polymers, pigments and other elements to be produced and stored in a liquid form.

SnowcemPaint is a tradition water hydrating paint and completely different to these. If you have ever seen concrete made, you will have noticed that the cement part is powder, not liquid. To make concrete, stones and water are all mixed together with cement powder, part of the water used to hydrate the microscopic cement particles, the ‘glue’ part in concrete (the other part of the water is used to make the concrete mix flow/workable). Snowcem is similar other than its cement part is very special. Like normal cement, however, it can only be stored as a powder, ready for mixing with water. Once mixed with water it similarly cures to a solid state.


Q. WHY IS MY PAINTED SURFACE BLOTCHY


I have applied SnowcemPlus and it is blotchy. Is this normal, have I done something wrong or is there something wrong with the paint?

A. Nothing wrong here, just a matter of time and water! The best way to reassure you on this point is to look at the colour of the paint powder, what you see is what you eventually get. Colour outcome from painting can only be this in the long term, when the hydration process and balancing of the excess internal moisture content of the wall is complete. Like all vapour permeable (breathable) materials, SnowcemPlus paint will predictably darken during rain and revert to normal colour on drying. Polymer paints, which tend not to be so breathable, do not tend to exhibit this visual effect. So, what causes the blotching? It is caused by temporary local variations in the water content of the paint as it cures and dries on the surface.

If the surface of the paint is dry, it is powder colour, if not darker. Strong influences are local variations in the base wall permeability, excess internal moisture content and the thickness and stage of curing of the paint. The base wall will predictably have excess internal moisture content, which can vary tremendously over the wall, even in warm weather.

It might take many months of hot weather to uniformly dry the wall surface, although unnecessary when using SnowcemPlus (polymer paint failure issue). If there is residual old paint, filler, finely cracked render (normal), bricks, blocks and mortar, there will be differences in drying rates. Areas near ground, eaves, corners and around windows and doors are often high in moisture content, which complicates this.

It is interesting to note that Laboratory testing (ISAT test: Initial Surface Absorption Test) on render confirms wide variations in surface sorptivity for a single render mix, uniformly applied, so blotches are normal. Although vapour permeable (breatheable), SnowcemPlus cures to become water resistant, thus the rate of base wall drying slows down as it cures, in extreme cases taking many months. Such spots/areas will tend to remain darker longer. Contrastingly, vapour permeable wall areas not affected by excess internal moisture content will tend to suck out water from the paint mix, rapidly drying to the powder colour, especially is warm weather. In extreme cases, temporary surface dusting may occur.

It is also important to also recognise that ‘perceived colour’ can be confused by surface texture. It is, therefore, important to make sure sufficient paint is applied in a consistent way, using one type of brush. However, any normal thin paint application cannot reasonably correct notable differences in surface texture of a wall, they are not render. An example of this would be a moderately textured wall having cracks filled with a smooth polymer modified filler (best to fill with a SnowcemPlus paste).


Q. WHY WET DOWN BEFORE PAINTING?


Why do people dampen down a wall before painting it with SnowcemPlus?

A Whereas even slight moisture content leads to the failure of most modern polymer based paints, traditional paints such as SnowcemPlus use water to cure and become tightly bonded to the surface, tough and durable. With Polymer based paints, we speak about them drying. In the case of SnowcemPlus, we actually do not want it to lose water to fast. In fact, the fastest way to cure SnowcemPlusto rock hard is to completely submerge it in water. This is the reason why it can be applied between tides for example. So, dampening down the surface, especially in warm weather, is a good move, a ‘trick of the trade’.

 

We have a growing network of Snowcem Paints stockists throughout the UK.
Click on the map to find one near you.

CUSTOMER COLLECTIONS
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

Please contact us on:
Northern Paints
Unit 8 Sawmill
Industrial estate,

Alnwick,
Northumberland
NE66 2QW

Tel: +44 (0) 1665 494014
sales@northernpaints.co.uk

Cemcoat and Cemprover have been approved for use by Transport for London and London Underground.

Watch all our instruction video on how to use Cemcoat and the range of products we offer click here.

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