inter is a tough time for commercial construction projects. Unfortunately, we don’t always have the luxury of being able to work in perfect weather conditions. With a little preparation and planning, you can keep your projects moving forward even when winter weather sets in. Here are a few tips to keep you moving ahead.
- Be Flexible and Build in Extra Time: Make sure you plan for winter weather interruptions and build in extra time for your project. Use typical winter weather history as your guide. You’ll also need to plan to be flexible. Winter weather can possibly delay material delivery or even prevent working all together. That’s why it’s important to build in extra time during winter projects.
- Watch the Forecast: This may sound like a no brainer but being able to anticipate bad weather and plan accordingly can help avoid delays and possibly shift your attention to other projects that may not be affected by the weather.
- Worksite Preparation/Sensitive Material Storage: Make sure anything that could potentially be damaged, like water pipes and construction materials that require a controlled temperature are properly protected from sub-freezing weather. And cover any surface areas that could be compromised by freezing weather and moisture.
- Floor Protection: With snow, sleet, and freezing rain, comes the potential that whatever has fallen along with the mud it creates can be tracked onto floor surfaces. Be sure to keep those surfaces covered to protect them from damage.
- Snow Removal: Be obsessive about snow and ice removal. With workers, supply deliveries and foot traffic on the site, being conscientious about snow and ice removal will go a long way to prevent accidents and injuries.
- Dress for the Weather: Everyone should dress appropriately for the weather. If you are required to wear hard hats on site, make sure they are lined to keep out the cold. Also, be sure to dress in layers so as the temperature comes up, the layers can come off. Because there will likely be wet conditions, waterproof steel toe boots are a must. Finally, be sure to choose gloves that not only keep hands warm but are easily removed when gloves prevent the dexterity required for the job.
- Frozen Ground: When the ground is frozen, it can cause lots of problems for both excavation and the pouring of concrete. Ideally, excavation and concrete pouring can be scheduled to be done during warmer weather as this is your best bet to reduce the risk of foundation problems down the road. But if this cannot be avoided, make sure you contract with an excavating company and a concrete company that has a proven track record with winter weather construction projects. Even if they are a little more expensive than their competitors, it will be well worth the additional expense.
As we said at the beginning of this article, winter can be a challenge when it comes to commercial construction projects. But it can’t always be avoided. We hope the tips we have provided will help you get through your winter projects smoothly and with fewer delays and headaches.