When Weather Affects Your Construction Project
As a project manager, you spend tons of time planning, ordering, scheduling, getting necessary permits and the like to ensure your construction project moves ahead on time and without any hold-ups. But there’s one thing you can’t control—the weather.
Springtime in the Kansas City area means sunny, warm weather one day followed by days of rain and colder temps. There may be some hail or the possibility of a tornado. On many occasions, the city can experience all these scenarios in the same day!
While you can’t control Mother Nature, an understanding of what weather can do to your building procedures is essential to limit weather delays as best possible and take steps to mitigate their impact on your project.
Some of the Most Common Weather Challenges
One of the most prevalent weather challenges is precipitation. Even a light rain can make it difficult to pour concrete or paint exteriors. In addition, heavy rains can cause flooding, which can damage equipment and materials. Snow and ice can also slow down construction progress, making it difficult to move around the job site and perform tasks such as welding or bricklaying.
Temperature extremes can be problematic for construction workers, too. High temperatures can make it uncomfortable to work outside and can potentially lead to heat-related illnesses for your employees. In addition, extreme heat can cause construction materials to degrade. Hot weather can cause asphalt to soften, making it difficult to lay pavement. But it’s not just the heat that wreaks havoc. Cold weather can make it difficult to pour concrete and can cause metal pipes to freeze. And if your project gets hit with wintery weather like snow or ice, construction sites can be entirely inaccessible and equipment difficult to operate.
Will your construction project take place in an open area where wind could be a factor? Strong winds can damage equipment, loose materials, and partially constructed structures. In addition, high winds can create dangerous conditions for workers who are working at heights.
Ways to Stay Ahead of Weather Delays
Awareness of these potential impacts of weather on your construction project is key, and you can take steps to minimize those impacts and keep your project on track.
- One way to prepare is to monitor conditions and forecasts closely. By doing so, you can anticipate when bad weather is coming. Consider even establishing a good relationship with your local meteorologist so you can stay up-to-date on the latest weather conditions.
- Another option is to schedule workers for shorter shifts on days when the weather is expected to be particularly bad. This makes it easier to adjust the work schedule if there are delays, and it also ensures that workers don’t exhaust themselves by working long hours in challenging conditions.
- You can help the project move along if you stock up on materials that are likely to be needed when bad weather is expected. This includes items like tarps and sandbags, which can be used to protect equipment from the elements.
- Lastly, build some time into your production schedule from the start. It’s inevitable that weather will cause some sort of delay, so proper planning and estimation helps when it comes time to look at the bottom line.
All of these weather challenges can be mitigated with proper planning and preparation. By understanding the potential weather challenges that your construction project may face, you can be better prepared to deal with them when they occur so they don’t put a major crimp in your operations.
If you’re in the Kansas City area, consider Rose Design Build for your construction and design needs.