Building a new construction in a cold climate or during the winter months in a moderate climate can be a challenge, but it's often necessary to stay on-schedule and on-budget. Thankfully, there are a number of products out there to help make your cold weather construction a little easier on everyone involved. 

Concrete Blankets

A concrete blanket works exactly how you would think: it's a warming device that stretches over wet concrete in the winter and helps it dry to regulation strength and durability. Sometimes referred to as concrete curing blankets or concrete warming blankets, these insulated covers look like tarps. They stretch over your concrete pour and help trap the heat that the concrete naturally generates, allowing the structure to dry more quickly. Typically, you have to weight your concrete blankets down to keep them from blowing away, but you should only have to apply them for a few days to allow the concrete to dry correctly. 

Concrete blankets are a lifesavers when you need to pour outdoor walkways or driveways in cold weather. They'll cut your dry-time down by significant levels to help keep you on schedule -- a huge factor to consider on any construction project. You can learn more by contacting a concrete blanket manufacturer.

Construction Heaters

If you're building outside and you've run into winter weather, you may be faced with a difficult choice: abandoning the project until spring or finding a way to heat the exposed rooms while you work. This is where construction heaters come into valuable play. A construction heater helps keeps you warm in an exposed area such as a partially constructed addition. There are several types of construction heaters available to rent or own:

  • Direct-Fired:  This type of heater can run on fuel or electricity. It works much like a regular fireplace in the room. Factors to keep in mind include the emissions generated by fuel-operated heaters. They pump heat into the area, but they also emit dangerous fumes that need adequate ventilation in order to be considered safe. If your construction still has plenty of open walls and windows, you're probably fine, but as the walls build up around you, so will the carbon monoxide. Play it safe when using this type of heater and get the advice of professionals. 
  • Indirect-Fired:  An indirect-fired heater works much like a furnace. It sets up outside, and the heat is applied to the space through duct work. This type of heater vents emissions into the outdoors, making it a safer choice for indoor construction work. 
  • Heat-Transfer:  This type of heater is ideal for thawing frozen areas of ground where you need to pour concrete or drill pilings. The heat is transferred through tubes that stretch over a surface, such as ground, under a blanket that both insulates and protects it. 

Cold-Weather PPE

Personal protective equipment is a vital part of every construction, whether you're working alone or with a crew. Make sure you have appropriate cold-weather gear to help prevent frostbite and hypothermia:

  • Neck Gaiters:  These insulated articles cover your neck and the lower portion of your face to both keep you warm and to help you breathe warm air instead of frigid blasts. 
  • Thermal Mitts:  Thermal mitts slip on over your gloves for added protection against frostbite. 
  • Hat Liners:  These insulated hoods slip on over your head and provide warmth under your hard hat. They typically come down over your ears and fasten under your chin. Coupled with a neck gaiter, hat liners give you superior protection against winter's abuses. 

Wearing the right gear and using the right equipment for cold-weather work will make your outdoor winter construction project much more comfortable for everyone who participates.