How To Stay Warm When Working Outside In Winter

Who hasn’t wished to work outdoors on a beautiful warm day?  Would you want that same job during the frigid winter months?  My first professional position after college was with the National Park Service.  Unfortunately, I was unprepared for the challenges of working outdoors in cold weather.  Luckily, my savvy winter co-workers made sure that I stayed safe.  I learned that the key to working outdoors in the Winter is figuring out how to keep warm.  This article gives some tips on how to maintain proper body heat when working outside in winter.

 

Winter Wear

 

Dressing to conserve body heat is an essential rule for working outside in cold weather.  Body heat escapes quickly through an uncovered head and bare hands.  You will stay much warmer if you make sure to wear a winter hat and gloves.  Glove liners provide additional warmth.  Make sure to layer your clothing.  If you’re working in see your breath kind of weather, insulated coveralls are worth the investment.  Keep your toes toasty with wool socks.  Do not leave your house without a good scarf.

 

Warm Area

 

You’ll need a warm space for breaks.  It is an excellent benefit if the rest area allows you to take your outerwear off.  Depending on your work, the rest area is in everything from inside a building to a car.  The location of it doesn’t matter.  All that matters is that it is warm enough that you can remove your outerwear and relax during breaks.

 

Cold Weather Diet

 

Your body requires extra fuel in cold weather.  Winter is not the time to reduce calories!  Instead, feed your body by including plenty of energy-rich foods and hot drinks in your diet.  Professional construction workers rely on staples such as hot soup, trail mix, hot tea, and hot cocoa for snacks.  Meals often consist of warm, calorie-heavy fare like warm pasta.  It’s a good idea to eat multiple times throughout the day rather than just at lunch.  Experts suggest avoiding caffeine.

 

Extra Clothes

 

A unique challenge to cold weather outdoor work is keeping dry.  Wet clothes will cause you to lose body heat.  It is imperative that you remove wet clothes as soon as possible.  Professional construction sites usually include a storage area for extra clothes.  Storing extra clothes on the worksite reduces lost work time.  No matter what your work setting, pack a bag with extra clothes.

 

Skin Protection

 

Treat your skin to a spa experience.  The regular application of a protective layer of skin creams and lip balm help to guard against frostbite.  A friend of mine keeps lip balm in her pocket and makes sure to reapply it whenever she takes a sip of water.

 

All in all, it is possible to work outdoors in cold weather.  The most important thing to remember is to stay warm.  The careful planning it takes to design a cold weather work strategy will keep you safe and warm no matter how low the temperature reads.


4 Winter Construction Tips

Construction does not stop during the Winter.  Indeed, construction work continues through the snow, sleet, and frigid cold of the Winter months.  Construction teams understand the hazards and challenges involved in working in freezing weather.  They pay attention to the weather forecast and make sure that the work site stays safe.  When developing a comprehensive plan for your construction project, there are four construction tips to help make sure that your construction site stays warm as the weather turns cold.

 

Warm Area

 

Cold construction workers need a warm space to go to during breaks.  Thoughtful project managers make sure that the comfortable area includes warm drinks, such as hot tea and cocoa.  The key to creating a good warming space is to make sure that it is comfortable and allows the workers to take off their outdoor clothing during their break.  It’s also helpful to schedule more frequent breaks so that the workers are not outdoors for long periods of time.

 

Thermal Clothing

 

Cold weather can be deadly.  Project managers can protect their workers from the dangerously cold weather by providing thermally insulated coveralls.  Construction professionals also recommend the use of helmet liners.  Of course, workers should wear appropriate gloves to protect their hands.  Glove liners are a vital component.  Pocket warmers are necessary if the workers cannot use gloves.  One savvy manager I know even hands out brand new scarves to her workers on winter sites.

 

It is also a good idea to prepare for the fact that construction workers might need to change their clothes on the worksite.  So, set aside a storage area for extra clothes.  A big bag of extra thermal socks is a  nice touch.  Keeping work garments on site minimize lost work time because a worker can change quickly from wet clothes into a set of warm and dry ones.

 

Skin Creams

 

Turn your construction site into a mini spa!  Smart managers suggest keeping a selection of skin creams on hand.  As everyone who has spent any time in cold weather knows, skin exposed to the harsh elements becomes dry and cracked.  In addition to cream, lip balms are a principal part of a skincare routine.  Your workers will thank you for caring for their skin.

 

Food Bar

 

People need more calories when they spend their day working in cold weather.  Your workers will appreciate you if you keep them well fueled with healthy snacks and drinks in the warm area.  Specialists do not recommend serving caffeinated beverages so regular coffee should stay off the menu.  However, fuel in the form of hot drinks, soups, nuts, cheese, and fruits will help keep your construction crew healthy and happy.  Foods should be high energy to provide the extra fuel needed for a long day in the cold.

 

Construction projects scheduled during the Winter months do require extra planning to keep everyone safe and comfortable.  However, this extra action is essential to the overall success of your project.  Good luck!


Choosing the Right Insulation for Your Home  

Choosing the Right Insulation for Your Home   

There are a few variables you should take into consideration before settling for a specific type of insulation for your home. And since there are in fact many different types of insulators, each perfect for certain situations, it is important to do some research into the best insulator for your needs. Therefore, the following is a brief rundown on the different types of insulators available, and which one works best in certain situations.

Concrete Insulators

Blocks of concrete can be improved in terms of their insulating abilities through several means. One way is by stuffing the interior core of each concrete block with insulation (this can include foam insulators or even wooden chips or straw). However, the problem with having wood in the core of cement blocks is that these areas are susceptible to mold and bacterial growths due to any water that may seep inside.

Some concrete blocks also have special bead-like structures incorporated into the mix that greatly improves their ability to regulate temperatures.

Spray Foam

Most commonly this type of insulator is applied in attics or basements due to the ease at which they can be applied in tight spaces, as well as the ease at which they can be dismantled and replaced. Spray foams can also be used to seal cracks or areas where

Most commonly this type of insulator is applied in attics or basements due to the ease at which they can be applied in tight spaces, as well as the ease at which they can be dismantled and replaced. Spray foams can also be used to seal cracks or areas where air is most likely to leak through such as in windows panes or surrounding doors.

Foam Boards

Foam boards are probably the most commonly used insulation material as it can be placed in virtually any part of the house, all the way from the basement to the top of the attic. These boards are also extremely easy to install and can be used in both the exterior sheathing as well as the interior insulation.

Reflective Insulation

This type of insulation is a bit different compared to most in that it reflects heat away from a living space, ensuring that your home is cool and requires less air conditioning. This material involves, as the name suggests, a reflective material on the exterior that helps bounce light and heat away from one’s home.

Radiant Barriers

Similar to reflective insulation, radiant barriers also do a great job in preventing excess heat from entering your home, helping to lower cooling costs dramatically. This type of insulation is usually found in the roof to help prevent the transfer of heat into the attic.

Anything Else?

As you can see, there are many different types of insulators that can be placed in various different parts of your homes. Many people often think though those insulators help to trap heat inside the home, when in fact there are many types of insulators that actually help reflect light and keep one’s home nice and cool.

It should also be noted that each category of insulators also has a subset of insulator types that are made from varying materials which ultimately impacts their effectiveness in either trapping heat or helping to prevent heat from coming in. Regardless of which you choose, it is essential to do the necessary research and recognizing what it is exactly that you are trying to accomplish by installing insulation.

 

 

This post was sponsored by Kansas City Bathroom Remodeling based out of Lenexa, KS.  We appreciate our bruds over there in KC for their continued support of the craft!


Steps to Constructing a Home 

We often take our homes for granted and don’t really take note of how much time, energy, and manpower was put into constructing a standard house. And though we may see the obvious things like electrical outlets and plumbing, there is so much more going on with your home that you don’t even see. If you’re someone who is a bit curious in learning the steps to making a house, the following is a brief guide for just that.

Build the Foundation

The first step is ensuring that the foundation of clear of debris and is suitable for a house to be built upon. Normally a crew will bring in a bulldozer to clear away any obstructions including rocks, tree stumps, and even old septic systems that need to be rerouted or entirely replaced.

If your home is going to have a basement, a hole is dug up and a concrete foundation is constructed. Other holes are also dug up for the eventual septic lines.

The Frame is Brought Up

A skeleton of the house constructed from wood is set up. Any doors and windows are also put into place, and then a protective sheathing is applied to the entire frame to help prevent water damage when it rains.

Plumbing and Electrics are Established Usually, the site manager will have the blueprints that dictate which room will have

Usually, the site manager will have the blueprints that dictate which room will have to plumb and which rooms will need electricity. Based on these blueprints, the plumbing and electrical lines are brought through the walls, floor, and ceilings. At this point, bathtubs and toilets are also put into place.

Internal heating and air conditioning is also established at this stage.

Insulation is Brought In

Once a couple of inspections are done to ensure the skeleton of the house along with sewer and electrical lines are properly installed; insulation is placed in the floors and exterior walls. This is extremely important in ensuring a comfortable home during the harsher winter months. There are different types of insulators, and depending on which you choose will provide better or worse insulation.

Finish the Exterior and Hang Up Drywall

Drywall is brought in to give the interior a more cohesive look. On the exterior, things like brick or stone are put into place.

Other Exterior Amenities are Installed 

Next up are the driveways and walkways leading to the house. If your house is to have a patio, then that is also constructed.

Floors and Faucet Fixtures are Completed

At this stage, the floors are completely finished up and smaller things such as water fixtures both indoors and outdoors are put into place and connected with the rest of the plumbing. Bathroom mirrors and outdoor hedging are also finished up.

Anything Else?

At this point, your contractor has everything prepared and is ready to show off the new home to you! Depending on the region you live in, these steps might different in order just a bit, but in the end you will have the same beautiful results.

 

This incredibly information post was sponsored by the roofing and construction company that Wichita, KS trusts – Clark’s Roofing and Construction.  These guys have been cranking out great quality and craftsmanship for years now and we are glad to have them as trusted partners!


Preparing Your Plumbing for Winter 

Your plumbing, needless to say, is extremely important for a well functioning home. Without it working as smoothly as possible, even the smallest tasks like showering or washing your hands can be difficult. However, your plumbing could run into even bigger problems that could ultimately damage your home. The colder months of winter are the perfect time for a number of problems to occur. Therefore, it is extremely important to maintain your home’s plumbing during these colder months.

How to Prevent Freezing

The largest threat to your plumbing are frozen pipes. Pipes that are left frozen for a long time could potentially burst, causing severe property damage. As such, it is important that homeowners keep the heat on constantly, even when not at home, to prevent pipes from freezing over.

If you do notice that a pipe has been frozen, then be sure to thaw it as quickly as possible.

 

Prevent Snow From Accumulating Around Your Home

You most likely will be facing at least one heavy snowstorm this winter season and will need to shovel you way out your front door to get to your car. However, it is even more important to shovel snow away from your home to prevent a lot of water from seeping into your foundation. If too much water is allowed to affect your foundation, your entire house could be in jeopardy. Water accumulation could also severely damage your basement and lead to mold and bacterial growths.

Ensure a Proper Functioning Sump Pump

A sump pump is almost essential in preventing water from seeping into your basement. During heavy snowfall, your sump pump will undoubtedly have a lot of work to do, and that’s why it’s important that it is functioning as smoothly as possible. Before winter even begins, test to see if your sump pump is working. Also make sure that any debris is cleared out.

A common mistake many homeowners run into is not having their sump pump connected to a direct power source or neglect to replace any damaged parts. Needless to say, there’s no point in having a sump pump if it’s not working efficiently or not working at all!

Drain Outdoor Faucets

Disconnect any water connections like hoses that may be lying around in your backyard. Also, drain out any leftover water that may be in the faucet; if this water is left where it is, they will undoubtedly freeze up and damage your faucets. Shutting off water valves that lead to the outside can drastically help in preventing unnecessary water damage to your faucets and outdoor water connections.

Anything Else? 

A pipe burst can be quite expensive and lead to unnecessary frustrations when having to deal with such a huge problem. Therefore, it is better to just be prepared for the colder months and inspect your plumbing often to identify any potential risks before they turn into

A pipe burst can be quite expensive and lead to unnecessary frustrations when having to deal with such a huge problem. Therefore, it is better to just be prepared for the colder months and inspect your plumbing often to identify any potential risks before they turn into full-blown problems. Insulation and keeping your house warm is only the first step, but also ensuring that snow is quickly removed from around your house and ensure your sump pump is working actively are absolutely necessary for preventing damages.

 


Tips On Choosing a Good Roofing Service 

If you’ve noticed damage to your roof or simply want to redo the roof because its been getting old, choosing the right roofing service for your needs can be a bit confusing. After all, there can be dozens of roofing contractors in your area, but the question is: how do choose the right one? Therefore, the following are a few tips on choosing a roofing service that is efficient and affordable.

Check Their Website

Most professional roofing companies will have a website that lays out contact information and possibly even pictures of their equipment. If you’re unsure how old their equipment is, simply calling them can go a long way.

Also, be sure to check review sites for comments from past clients. Numerous bad reviews should usually be a warning sign to avoid that roofing service.

Make Sure Your Contractor has Insurance 

If after you do decide on a roofing service, ensure that they have insurance. In case something goes wrong, you have to make sure that the roofing contractors possess both worker’s compensation insurance as well as liability insurance. This way, in case a mishap does occur on your property then you aren’t responsible.

When ensuring that a contractor has insurance, always ask for tangible certification. On top of this, you can also call their insurance company to fully make sure they do in fact have insurance.

 

Ask for Several Quotes

It is recommended that you ask around at various different roofing services before settling on a single one. This way you can ensure that you’re getting the best deal and help you negotiate down prices if you really want to stick with a particular roofing service.

Asking for several quotes and checking out various roofing services also helps you figure out which service will offer the best service to you.

Always ensure however that the service comes to your property first and looks at your roof before issuing a quote.

 

Make Sure All Agreements are Down in Writing 

Before any work has been started, make sure that everything is in writing, including pricing, what exactly is going to be done, and even how long the work will take. This way, you can ensure that you are paying for exactly the work that is needed; this also makes sure that the contractor can’t increase the pricing unexpectedly.

Of course, make sure you have possession of these agreements or you may have to face trouble if things don’t go according to plan.

Anything Else?

Choosing the right roofing service for your needs doesn’t have to be difficult. Though it does take a bit of time and research, the work is well worth it when you know you have a reliable and affordable service. And at the end of the day, communication is key in ensuring that your roof servicing goes smoothly!