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How Long Earthbags Need to Cure: Avoiding frost.  RSS feed

 
Posts: 11
Location: Montana, USA
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Hi everyone,

So I'm caught in a bind... I've got a rubble foundation near ready for an earthbag shed in eastern Montana, but it's almost mid August. Here, most years we get at least a few nights in October that are a few degrees below freezing. Right now days are anywhere from highs 93-103 and lows in the high 50s low 60s. October will have days with highs between 45-75, and the one or two light frosts at night. November is just plain downhill into miserably painful icy doom.

Anyways, the shed will be absolutely all I do sunup to sundown, but I'm mostly doing it alone. Thoughts about me moving forward? We are a hot and desert-dry climate right now. September is usually less hot, but still warm. How long approximately will a standard earthbag between 10-20  percent clay take to dry in the wall? Was planning to use a wetter mix, as the clay here squeases concrete hard when heavily wetted,  but will I have time? If I do, when should I set my deadline approximately? Like I said, nothing I've found says how quick the bags cure in a similar environment. Please help!
 
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Normally you do not "wet" the mix for earth bag construction you tamp it tight. What you are describing is more like cob.
Also lifting and setting bags of wet mix would be a bear for two people, you want to be able to set the bags tight to each other, then you pull the slide sheet to the next bags positon and work your way around, that's how the barbed wire works to hold the courses together.
Keep in mind that wet clay in an enclosed environment will take 4 times as long to dry out as the same shape would out in open air, so if a block of your wet mix takes a week to dry completely in the open air, a bag of it will take a month in the same conditions.

Redhawk
 
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