It wasn’t so long ago that building homes or commercial properties during the winter months wasn’t just hard, it seemed impossible. After addressing winter safety and cold weather equipment care, it’s time we get to the meat and potatoes of why we do what we do—the opportunity.
Get an Early Start
We’re not just talking about waking up early, but despite numerous advances in cold weather building, one task that is nearly impossible to do mid-winter is pour a foundation. That’s why you’ll see endless numbers of concrete trucks roaming the streets and excavators cutting into plots in the Fall. Once temps drop below 50 as an average, it’s best you not attempt to pour, lest you be stuck with a foundation that is structurally compromised or never fully sets. In the Midwest, this can mean we dig and pour foundations until mid/late November or nearly until Christmas, depending on the year. After that point, there’s a myriad of other stages that aren’t temperature-sensitive.
Maintain An Organized Job Site
In Chicagoland and into Wisconsin we get anywhere from a handful of inches to a few feet in a single storm, so that dwindling stack of material or a box of fasteners or straps can be covered quickly. To prevent accidental loss and creating tripping hazards, maintain an organized job site and try to tarp what’s left outside. This ensures you’re working with dry, straight, and rust-free material.
Stock Up On Tarps
It goes without saying moisture adversely affects lumber, so snow, like rain, can be the enemy of construction. At the end of a workday or work week, cover any holes in the roof, insulation, drywall or any susceptible materials. Heavy, canvas tarps are great, but for large jobs or in a pinch, hardware stores typically sell a plastic or rip-stop tarp with eyelets that may last you a handful of projects.
From portable heaters to weather-sealed power tools and pressure-treated materials, building in the winter is no longer a pipe dream; just takes a little more care and planning. If you need help with tree protection or securing your job site, give us a call or fill out a quote request form today!