As temperatures drop and crews begin filling their schedules with cold weather concrete work, a few key considerations come into play. After all, even the best concrete and construction companies must take steps to ensure their product, people and equipment are up to the task. Although General Chipping is based out of Houston, Texas, we do work throughout the United States — and we’re no strangers to cold weather concrete work. Here are a few things to keep in mind as the seasons change and those jobs come rolling in.
Winterize Your Vehicles
Now is the time to make sure the vehicles your company depends on are prepared for when temperatures truly take a dip. Stock vehicles with emergency supplies such as road flares, blankets and nonperishable snacks, and keep cat litter or tire chains available to aid in icy conditions. Check tire pressure regularly, as pressure levels can decrease in colder weather, and have a qualified mechanic check everything from hoses and belts to batteries and fluid levels to ensure you’re ready for the road ahead. You might even consider oil formulated specifically for colder weather when you go in for your oil change.
Keep Crewmember Safety Top of Mind
Concrete and construction projects take place largely outdoors, so it stands to reason that crewmembers will need to prepare themselves for frigid conditions. Take stock of the coats, gloves and other protective clothing your company has available, and make additional purchases if needed. Schedule jobs out during the warmest parts of the day whenever possible, and consider road conditions — and the fact that the sun sets earlier — when determining drive times. For additional crewmember safety tips, check out our past blog: “How Can I Encourage Cold Weather Safety for My Crew?”
Consider How the Cold Affects Your Concrete Work
Temperatures affect concrete blends in different ways. In order to ensure a strong finished product that serves its purpose well, crews must adjust their technique and/or blends. Consider adding an accelerator to encourage quicker setting. Having heaters, electric blankets and the like on the jobsite can also help you thaw the area and keep it workable. The Concrete Construction website offers other tips to keep in mind.
Cold weather concrete work might require a few special considerations, but planning now can keep your crew’s work moving forward without a hitch. If you have questions on this or any other issue associated with concrete work, feel free to contact the General Chipping crew. We’re glad to help — and we look forward to hearing from you!