Winter is on its way, and that may present challenges for your upcoming construction project. Let’s look at what you need to know about construction in winter and how seasonal conditions can affect your project.
When you start construction in cold weather, the freezing temperatures, snow, and ice all affect how certain materials behave. They also affect construction workers’ availability and safety during winter weather conditions. Let’s look at some specific challenges that construction in winter presents.
If you pour concrete on frozen ground, it may seem fine at first. But when the weather warms up, the ground thaws and settles into new positions. If thawed ground has concrete on top of it, that concrete could break or crack. It’s bad enough if you have a new sidewalk that cracks, but imagine if the broken or cracked concrete is part of a building. This could set your commercial construction project back if you don’t pay attention. Your contractor can help you take precautionary measures that keep your concrete installation safe.
Similar to frozen ground, winter precipitation that freezes on your new structure or addition hinders the construction process. This applies to rain, snow, and ice. Construction workers could slip on the ice, which creates a significant safety hazard. Also, if precipitation freezes on your construction site, it could expand and then thaw, leaving a host of cracks and breaks in its wake.
Freezing temperatures limit how much construction workers can do on a jobsite. Exposure to extremely cold temperatures could lead to frostbite or hypothermia. Luckily, the average winter temperatures in Colorado range from 16 degrees to 49 degrees Fahrenheit, so frostbite and hypothermia aren’t as likely here as they are in other regions of the U.S., but it’s good to know about this possibility just in case.
If a winter storm or a set of high winds barrels through your area, it could knock over scaffolding, ruin unfinished construction, and topple stacks of high loads on your site. This adds danger to a situation already made unsafe by frozen precipitation and cold temperatures.
No, construction doesn’t stop during the winter months, despite all of the challenges listed above. Even with the potential problems and hazards, winter construction offers some benefits, including:
Because construction contractors and subcontractors have less work coming in during the winter, they need to offer competitive bids. These bids are lower than those in peak construction seasons (spring and summer). Contractors and subcontractors also have more availability during the winter, providing the scheduling flexibility to meet your project’s needs.
Fewer contractors and subcontractors apply for construction permits during the winter. Because of this, your contractor can apply for and receive permits for your project quicker than they could in spring or summer. Better permit access allows your contractor to start your project faster than usual.
If you need to complete construction during winter, you need a contractor who has experience working in harsh weather. Fortunately, Calahan Construction offers comprehensive construction services that include safety precautions for winter construction. Whether you need new construction or an addition to your building, we have the solutions you need. We work with a wide range of industries and know how to complete winter construction projects for each of them.
If you’re ready to start construction for the winter, reach out to us today. We can assess your project, determine which parts can be completed safely, and work as much as the weather allows. We use ground heaters, blankets, and other tools to help us complete roofing construction safely throughout the winter. Our services keep your project on schedule and within budget.