As fall approaches, people in the Midwest are busy preparing. They plan for upcoming holidays. They travel to watch their favorite football team and anticipate another basketball season just around the corner. Retailers prepare for another big selling season. It’s like we are all running a race against cold weather.
When one works inside during winter, less thought is given to the brutally cold temperatures outside. The weather forecast is an aid for deciding which coat to grab on your way out the door. When one works outside, the weather forecast is a very important tool you use on the job. In the construction business the weather forecast can mean the difference between success and failure.
Everything on a construction site is more difficult as temperatures start to fall. Imagine a winter day when holding on to a cold steel structure all day is part of the job. Imagine masons who place concrete block after concrete block that only a few hours before were coated with overnight frost. At most construction sites in the Midwest, fall means getting the building “dried in” before winter. It is a race against anticipated colder temperatures or worse yet, frozen precipitation.
Last winter was relatively mild and this fall is cooler than normal. Perhaps this is some kind of an indication of climate change. Construction workers are practical people who work outside every day. Experience that tells them that very severe winters often follow unusually mild ones. “Old Man Winter” can be an erratic and inconsistent adversary. You start running your race early and hope your opponent will be weaker or slower this year. Yet you know cold winter temperatures are inevitable, so you prepare.
It is not easy working outside in the winter. What our crews do in very extreme weather conditions never ceases to amaze. Being outside all day on cold days takes endurance. Producing quality structures in cold weather also takes knowledge and ability. This time of year I applaud the skills and endurance demonstrated by our craftsman.
J. Bramlage – Director of Marketing