Winter Construction Best Practices

With billion of dollars in construction having started in 2015, it’s safe to assume that a portion of that work will be continued throughout the winter. There are a few things every construction professional should know about building through the season. REDCOM’s in-house professionals have put together a list of some of the essentials:

  1. Pour your concrete before the temperature takes an extreme dip.
    • Cold weather is defined in ACI 306 (American Concrete Institute Code) as “a period when for more than 3 successive days, the average daily air temperature drops below 5°C (40°F) and stays below 10°C (50°F) for more than one-half of any 24 hour period.”
    • Concrete needs to harden as quickly as possible to prevent any pressure caused by water, which can freeze in the concrete. Concrete hardens faster in hot and dry conditions.
    • Hot water and accelerators can be used to speed up set-time before water has a chance to freeze. Director of Construction, Sean Feeney, says, “this may cost extra, but it can make a big difference in the timing of your project.:
  2. Set your building foundations below the frost line.
    • If they are above the frost line, the freeze/thaw cycles that occur regularly can cause excessive structural movement.
    • Frost is essentially ice crystals that can burst, causing a shift in foundations.
  3. Keep fibrous materials dry and protected.
    • These include wood, insulation, drywall, and carpeting
    • All of these materials can and will absorb moisture, which can lead to mold
  4. Try to regulate temperature and humidity when painting.
    • Pay attention to the minimum temperature your paint requires. Some paints have a minimum of 50 degrees, while others have a minimum of 35 degrees.
    • Paint should only be applied to dry surfaces. If it has snowed or rained recently, or looks like it may in the future, you may want to hold off until there is no chance of precipitation.

Don’t be concerned if your building is still under construction this winter. Just make sure you are working with a professional team who knows their craft well.

If you are concerned about how your job site is being handled this season, please reach out to a reputable company like ours to ensure the proper procedures are being followed.

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