Cold Weather, Sealants and Adhesives

30 Sep 2011
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United Kingdom
As this has come up both here and elsewhere recently I thought it might be a good idea to remind/inform people about the effects of cold weather on some of the materials we use:

PVA glue is water based and needs to be stored indoors in the coldest months because if it freezes it will separate and split. Once that has happened it is time to throw it out.

Similarly PVA glue when used on materials at temperatures below about 5 degrees C it often "chalks out" or turns back to powdered starch, which doesn't stick stuff together all that well

Polyurethane products such as expanding foam sealant and glues whilst not water-based are effected by very cold weather and can crystallise and cure prematurely. Conversely, if used on extremely cold materials (e.g. below 3 or 4 degrees) they don't expand as much, if at all.

Another material badly affected by very cold weather is 2-pack filler which will either not set properly or be so brittle when it sets that it will either crack or just plain fall out

Finally solvent-based grip adhesives (e.g Grip Fill green, Pink Grip, etc) become very stiff when extremely cold and so can be hard to apply, but they will also set a lot more slowly (if at all when sub-zero). The "non-solvent" varieties (e.g Grip Fill yellow) contain water so the same applies to them as applies to PVA glue.
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