An educational effort by Amerimix, the bagged product brand in Oldcastle Architectural’s Echelon Masonry portfolio, encourages block and brick building professionals to “Ditch the Sand Pile” and embrace pre-blended mortar, which can be mixed 50 percent faster and provide economic and time advantages on the jobsite compared to field mixing. The latter method requires cement and lime to be mixed with sand (usually in a pile), while eyeballing the right material combination, avoiding clumps or having the fine aggregate compromised by weather or environmental factors.
The campaign challenges field sand pile mixing on digital and social media platforms, calling out such facts and figures as: a) the use of 445 Amerimix bulk bags equates to repeating the mixing of cement, lime and sand 4,000 times; and b) Amerimix yields 30 percent more mortar on the job and can save up to $5,000 per block or brick project.
“Sand Piles have been used for generations and the practice is often passed down. Think of it like recipes[:] Each mason swears by their formulation but it’s ultimately a guessing game,” says Echelon Masonry Director Sales Trip Jobe. “Where the sand is sourced, the region, availability of aggregates—all contribute to having little consistency from batch to batch. Add in our industry’s labor shortage and that you might have a different person mixing mortar on any given day. With advancements in manufacturing and engineering, masons can eliminate the guesswork and find immediate efficiencies, along with cost savings, by using our pre-blended mortars, grouts and stucco products.”
Available in bags or bulk silo systems, Amerimix offers both portland and masonry cement mortars, as well as specialty water repellent and tuck-pointing mortars. Proportionally pre-blended for consistency and superior bond, they offer increased workability and yield compared to field mixed mortar, and are formulated for extended board life so less re-tempering is required in hot or windy climates.
Amerimix offers a portfolio of mortar colors as well as the ability to develop or custom match hues to meet specific job needs—all per ASTM C 270 and ASTM C 1714 requirements. The company’s silo systems reduce mixing times by up to 50 percent, resulting in significant labor savings and requiring no site-power source. The automated batching systems and production quality control vs. coupled tickets help eliminate testing issues on fast-track projects. — www.ditchthesandpile.com; www.EchelonMasonry.com