The winter months mean longer curing times for render & longer drying times for texture.  Southern walls are particularly uncooperative.  Here are a few factors and a few tips to keep in mind:

Product Choice

Avoid render products based on grey cement.  The lower air temperatures, moist conditions and cold, damp substrates all contribute to increased hanging time for render and a slower rate of curing.  Render products made on off-white (HE) cement promote a more efficient process in these conditions.  Rockcote’s QRender Off White, PM100 High Build and Quick Float products, and RSA’s MR range are recommended.  Whilst render needs water to cure – there is a balance.  Consider your product alternatives and adjust your process to balance out the excess elements.

Planning & Timing

Plan the job according to conditions.  Follow the heated walls, use the sun to your advantage.  It is ill-advised to start on a southern wall at 2:00pm in the afternoon.  Assess the trickiest areas and plan accordingly.  It only makes sense that a retaining wall on the southern side under a full canopy of trees with the risk of precarious impending weather will need a more informed application judgement.

Application & Finishing

You might consider leaving the render coat to cure longer before the application of the finishing product. A few Acrylic Texture products such as Rockcote’s Sandcote are manufactured in a winter grade to better suit our southern environment during this period.  Even so, choosing your timing and time of day to work walls subject to extreme circumstances or design is good trade practice.  Some applicators have used fan-forced heaters on walls subject to extreme conditions to promote drying.

Communication

Chat to your homeowner client or builder about your process and timing.  The pressure of modern construction time-frames can end up compromising the end result.  Modern render products promote an overall relatively efficient process and the investment in a coating system is invaluable.  Therefore logic must prevail.  Open communication will support the reasoning that the risk of re-coats or unsatisfactory uniformity is more costly than a small amount of patience.