products header

FAQs

  

General Questions


Q: Are there issues with jobsite sand piles?

A: 

The biggest issue with a jobsite sand pile is the moisture content… and moisture expands sand. In other words, the water in the sand pile changes the weight and volume of every shovelful of sand. This expanded sand makes it difficult to measure the correct amount of sand when adding to the cement in the mixer.



Q: How can I order Amerimix products?

A: 

Please visit our Contact page or email us at support@amerimix.com.



Q: How do I estimate the amount of Amerimix product required for my project?

A: 


Mortar*:
An 80 lb. bag of mortar contains 0.033 cubic yards or 0.88 cubic feet.
A 3,000 lb. bag of mortar contains 1.25 cubic yards or 30 cubic feet of dry material.

Grout*:
80 lb. bag contains 0.023 cubic yards, or 0.63 cubic feet.
3,000 lb. bag contains 0.88 cubic yards or 23.75 cubic feet of dry material.

Stucco*:
80 lb. bag yields 24 square feet of coverage at 3/8" or 12 square feet of coverage at 5/8".
3,000 lb. bag yields 900 square feet of coverage at 3/8" thick or 450 square feet of coverage at 5/8" thick.

* Coverage / yield information is approximate and is subject to jobsite conditions and requirements.



Q: How do the building codes relate to these systems? Are there rules for putting stucco systems together?

A: 

There are three general guidelines for every stucco system: First there are broad national specifications to consider. EIFS and conventional stucco applications are part of the International Building Code (IBC.) Next there are specialty codes (fire & energy) and ASTM standards that apply. And finally one-coat stucco systems – like Amerimix 750 Fiber Base Coat will have an ICC report as an application guideline.



Q: How does a contractor get aggregates for the base coat?

A: 

The applicator has sand piles delivered to the jobsite along with pallets of cement - they can blend together in a mixer.



Q: What are hard coat stucco systems?

A: 

These are terms associated with the one-coat and three-coat systems described above. They are described as hard coat systems because the base coats used for these wall assemblies are formulated with portland cement as the ‘backbone’ of the product. EIFS as described above are synthetic systems – portland cement, if used at all - is a very small component of the materials used to construct the wall. EIFS wall assemblies depend on additional components such as fiberglass mesh reinforcement to add durability to wall surfaces. Water barrier and water management are also terms associated with stucco systems.



Q: What components are blended together to make stucco?

A: 

1. portland cement

2. lime

3. fibers

4. additives

5. and aggregates – usually around 70% of the mix



Q: What is a conventional stucco system?

A: 

Conventional – or three-coat stucco will have a weather barrier of either from asphalt impregnated or synthetic building wraps or sprayed or rolled air and moisture barriers. Over that will be expanded or woven wire lath then a scratch and brown coat applied of portland cement base coat.
AMX 740 FBC (Fiber Base coat) is the amerimix product used in three-coat stucco systems. The finish over the top can be paint, colored stucco, or synthetic and elastomeric coatings.



Q: What is a one-coat or a two-coat stucco system?

A: 
  • The weather barriers and lath for these systems is similar to what’s described above for three-coat stucco. Typically in one or ‘two’ coat systems an intervening layer of foam insulation (referred to as continuing insulation) is between the lath and the Portland cement base coat.
  • In the early 1970’s these were truly one-coat systems: The one-coat stucco had fibers and colored pigments in a single coat - it was a true one-coat application. The color tended to be washed out and inaccurate because the use of field mixed sands and the fibers would show in some areas as well.
  • By the 1980’s a topcoat of colored stucco finish was being used over one-coat stucco and the appearance of the finished product was greatly enhanced. Many people started calling that system “two-coat” but today just as many people still use the term “one-coat” to describe the two-coat system.


Q: What is a typical EIFS wall assembly?

A: 

Typically, EIFS is a layer of foam laminated or mechanically fastened to a substrate with mesh and a polymer base coat over the top of the foam – and then an acrylic finish over the top of everything.



Q: What is Hydrated Lime?

A: 

Hydrated lime is a type of dry powder made from quicklime, a calcination process of raw limestone. It is then re-hydrated to form the hydrated lime. When combined with water and sand or cement, hydrated lime is most often used to make mortars and plasters. Its chemical name is calcium hydroxide, or Ca(OH)2.



Q: What is Portland Cement?

A: 

Cement is manufactured through a closely controlled chemical combination of calcium, silicon, aluminum, iron and other ingredients. Common materials used to manufacture cement include limestone, shells, and chalk or marl combined with shale, clay, slate, blast furnace slag, silica sand, and iron ore. These ingredients, when heated at high temperatures form a rock-like substance that is ground into the fine powder. This powder is combined with gypsum for set control and other additives to produce what we commonly think of as cement.



Q: What is stucco?

A: 

Looking from the street all stucco looks very similar. Actually, there are three different stucco systems commonly used:

1) Exterior Insulating Finish Systems or EIFS

2) Portland cement based three-coat or conventional stucco system

3) Portland cement based one-coat stucco or two-coat system



Q: What is the Amerimix Silo System?

A: 

Amerimix manufactures preblended mortar, grout and stucco in bulk bags. Typically weighing 3000 lb but can be adjusted to meet jobsite requirements. Bulk bags are often used on large, high-volume jobs where production is important. The 3,000 lb bulk bags are loaded into a steel silo. This silo is portable, requires no power source and can hold up to 18,000 pounds of Amerimix material. Just pull the lever and mix.



Q: What is the difference between "cement," "concrete" and "mortar?"

A: 

Often, the terms "cement," "concrete" and "mortar" are used almost interchangeably. The terms refer to substances that have three different purposes:

  • Cement: The binding element in both concrete and mortar.
  • Concrete: A product composed of cement, sand and gravel or other coarse aggregate. When water is mixed in with this product, it activates the cement, which is the element responsible for binding the mix together to form one solid object.
  • Mortar: A product composed of cement and sand. When water is mixed in with this product, the cement is activated. Whereas concrete can stand alone, mortar is used to hold together bricks, stones or other building materials.


Q: What is the difference between Mortar Mix & Concrete Mix?

A: 

Concrete and mortar are ubiquitous materials in construction, but with different purposes. Both contain Portland cement, water and aggregate, but the mixes for each reflect the desired characteristics: Mortar is used to bond masonry units together. It doesn't need the strength of concrete; however, it needs good bonding characteristics. Mortars with a high water-cement ratio bond best. This is the opposite of concrete, where concrete mix is formulated for strength and lower water content makes it stronger and more effective for its purpose. Additives or plasticizers may be added to mortar mixes to increase their flexibility.
Concrete is categorized into two primary categories, plain concrete, and structural concrete. Plain concrete is any structure supported by the ground, such as walkways, driveways, slabs, and spread footings to support masonry walls. Plain concrete is often reinforced with steel to increase its tensile strength against temperature fluctuations that threaten its structural integrity. Structural concrete is any structural piece made of concrete that has points of support and requires the capacity to hold loads, such as concrete beams, suspended concrete slabs, or concrete pilings.
 



Q: What is the role of aggregates in a hard coat stucco system?

A: 

Aggregates – also called plaster sand when used for stucco - give cement plaster the body to be able to work in three dimensions. When the aggregates are graded and proportioned correctly - and combined with portland cement – the matrix cures into a hard and durable wall. Properly graded and proportioned aggregates save you money - because they provide the maximum yield for a stucco base coat.



Q: What products does Amerimix manufacture?

A: 

Amerimix manufactures commercial grade preblended mortar, portland lime mortar, colored mortar, water resistant mortar, core fill masonry grout and stucco products.



Q: What's the alternative to a jobsite sand pile?

A: 

The answer is an ‘Engineered Mix’
An Engineered Mix is a stucco base coat blended at the factory-with cement, additives, fibers, and DRY -graded & proportioned plaster sand…
Every bag…every batch…everyday… is designed to maximize the base coats yield, strength and long-term durability.



Q: What's the difference between water management systems and water barrier systems?

A: 

Most stucco systems are exposed at one time or another to large volumes of water in the form of wind driven rains. Because of this any wall system must have a ‘strategy’ for protecting the structure from water damage. The two most common approaches are water barrier systems and water management systems:

  • The strategy behind water barrier systems is to never let any water inside the building assembly – in other words when built right - the water never penetrates past the outer surface of the wall. This is difficult but possible to do; however, once there is a failure - it can easily become catastrophic because large volumes of water can be trapped for an extended time before someone knows it: That can result in rot, mold, and expensive repairs.
  • The predominate strategy used now are ‘water management’ systems. These systems make the assumption that water will eventually work its way past the outer surface of the wall – but when it does a system of flashings, weather barriers, and metal or plastic screeds will direct water back to the outside of the structure. All portland cement, hard-coat systems – either one coat or three coat, are built based on the ‘water management’ strategy.


Q: When can you apply stucco?

A: 

There is a temperature range for the application of portland cement stucco base coats and finishes.



Q: Where can I find your data sheets and SDS sheets?

A: 

Visit the Technical Downloads page of our website.



Q: Where have Amerimix products been used?

A: 

Amerimix has been supplying the construction industry for over a decade. Our products can be found on high rise commercial projects, schools, hospitals, correctional institutions, retail centers, federal buildings, warehouses, condominiums and single family structures.



Q: Why use Amerimix preblended mortars, grouts and stuccos?

A: 

Amerimix preblended mortar, grout and stucco are manufactured under controlled conditions, using quality raw materials. Inconsistencies associated with field mixing is eliminated. Job site efficiencies are realized and waste is reduced. All Amerimix preblended building products are manufactured to the governing ASTM standards.



Q: Will you supply certification letters for projects?

A: 

Yes, our technical services team can help with this.   Please click here for our contact us page.  Use the dropdown to select technical services and request a letter.  Someone will reach out to your right away.  Alternatively, you can call our technical services at 1-800-334-0784.



Call Amerimix Technical Services at 1-800-334-0784 for more information.