Prepare construction jobsites for cold weather
To be productive during the winter months, prepare construction jobsites for colder weather now.
Winter impacts each region differently. For some areas of the country, winterization involves protecting plants and preparing pipes for a temporary dip into freezing temperatures. For other regions, winter often brings harsh, cold weather that can lead to costly damage and potential safety hazards on a jobsite. Here is how to prepare construction jobsites for colder weather.
As winter approaches, don’t wait until the last minute to start prepare construction jobsites for cold weather. Focus on simple exterior and interior projects that will create a safe and secure working environment so your construction crew can stay productive throughout the winter months.
Hidden gaps and cracks in and around windows and doors can potentially create as much airflow as an open window. Sealing and insulating around a home or building not only improves energy efficiency but also can create a much more comfortable and productive jobsite.
Look for high-quality caulks, such as OSI Quad Max, which is effective for interior or exterior applications, sticks on wet, cold surfaces and resists bubbling and shrinkage. Attic insulation has similar advantages – helping to more effectively maintain temperature inside a home especially. Buy at least 10 bags of blown-in insulation at The Home Depot, and you’ll get free rental on the blower machine.
A high-quality generator is perhaps the most critical piece of equipment on a construction jobsite – not only during the winter but often throughout the year, depending on the kind of work you’re doing.
If you haven’t fired it up in a while, make sure your generator is running smoothly before cold temperatures arrive. If it’s time for a new model, consider DeWalt’s 7000W gas-powered electric start portable generator or the RIDGID 6,800W gas-powered electric start portable generator that uses a 357cc commercial grade Yamaha engine.
With less sunlight in the winter, it’s important to have lights set up on the construction jobsite. Decrease hazards due to insufficient lighting with the Husky multi-directional LED work light. This work light is cool to the touch and has easy mobility so it can be transported to any location. Another great option is the Husky 1,200W halogen work light. It comes with a tripod, extends up to 78 inches tall and detaches for portable use.
Pipe insulation and repair
Cold air can cause water flowing through pipes to freeze and expand and burst pipes. Installing heat cables, pipe wraps and insulation will prevent freezing as the temperature begins to drop. Use fiberglass or polyethylene pipe insulation to cover a variety of pipe sizes, making sure to also purchase elbow and tee connectors to cover the pipe entirely.
In case a pipe does burst, keep a variety of sizes in SharkBite quick connect fittings nearby for quick repair. And of course, have a wet/dry vacuum nearby for cleanup.
If your area gets snow, and before the first signs of it, check to see if the roof is equipped to handle the cold. Ensure that the shingles are intact and gutter and downspouts are free and clear of branches or leaves.
To help prevent or minimize the impact of ice dams or icicles that can damage the roof, try a de-icing kit like the Frost King Roof De-Icing Cable Kit, which keeps gutters and downspouts flowing using a cable that runs in a zigzag pattern. Keep a telescoping roof rake on hand so you can easily remove snow that starts to pile up on rooftops.
Jobsite heating to prepare jobsites for cold weather
Maintain a safe work environment and keep productivity high by keeping the jobsite temperature comfortable. Heat the job space with the portable DynaGlo-Delux convection gas fired heater that covers up to 600 square feet.
This heater is economical to run and provides long-term solutions for space heating. It also has an auto shut-off safety feature and runs on liquid propane, making it perfect for construction sites with limited electricity.
Equipment to prepare construction jobsites for cold weather
Preventive measures will save time and money later, so make sure to stock up on snow equipment, such as shovels, ice scrapers and snow blowers to help with clean-up. If snow is likely, invest in higher power products, such as the Toro Snowmaster snow blower, which clears 25 percent more snow per minute.
If you don’t plan to use equipment like this regularly, take advantage of The Home Depot’s Tool Rental service for unexpected jobsite conditions and challenges.
When buying products to help weatherize a construction jobsite, make sure they are Energy Star rated whenever possible. These products will save energy while cutting down on operating costs.
–By J.T. Rieves, Vice President, Pro Business, The Home Depot
J.T. Rieves has been with The Home Depot for 27 years. During that time he’s held many positions including hourly associate, store manager, district manager, regional vice president and two rotations in the corporate office. Rieves has spent time working in hardware and store operations. He is currently in his fifth year as Vice President, Pro Business.