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  • Working in the HEAT???

    All,
    I think it is reasonable to assume that everyone has noticed it is summer and it can get hot. However, it has also been a little warmer than most years in my part of the country. Maybe I'm just getting a little older and cranky, but I don't like the heat. I just returned from a vacation trip to Texas. Folks down there are having some fun dealing with the heat. I happened to see a commercial construction site being worked on when it was about 107*F with a heat index about 108*F. It occurred to me that maybe I can learn something about how to work in those conditions from some of the locals. So what are your strategies for dealing with what might be called dangerous levels of heat?

    Don
    I started out with nothing. I still have most of it left.

  • #2
    Re: Working in the HEAT???

    right now we are working from 630 to about 130 on a framing job. We use a pop up tent for shade for the cut man (71) and its working out ok. And just stay hydrated... i carry a water bottle in my bag and keep it filled... I like this a lot better than the 730 to 530 w an hr. lunch we used to do but the hours arent there... I have some little jobs always lined up that i go to in the afternoon that are indoors (I put those off for july-sept.). the lunch break is the killer to me. leave at 12 and its 98-99, come back after being in the AC and it those 2 or 3 degrees make me dread working... I dont know how the roofers are doing it but they are...
    "I'm not convinced that the world is in any worse shape than it ever was . It's just that in this day and age of almost instantaneous communication, we bear the weight our forefathers only read about after they were solved." - Burton Hillis

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    • #3
      Re: Working in the HEAT???

      I rigged a tent from my blue tarp and some 2x4's last week at a job in the sun.

      I'll be in the sun tomorrow. First on the list I'll pick up a silver tarp that reflects better.

      I've thought about the hydration backpacks that you fill with water, stick in the freezer, and keep on your back during the day.

      Anyone try them?

      http://www.camelbak.com/Sports-Recreation/Packs.aspx

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      • #4
        Re: Working in the HEAT???

        Where we are it's hot but very dry. We bought a couple of big floppy straw hats with wide brims for $2.00 each and wet them down every so often.
        It made a huge difference. One time I'm thinkin "damn it's hot!" then I realize I'm not wearing the hat. Put it on "Aaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!"

        roger

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        • #5
          Re: Working in the HEAT???

          For me, I notice that I do better in the heat if I'm working outdoors all spring and summer. That way my body has the time to acclimate to the temps as they increase.

          And yes, it's been friggin HOT this summer, worse than all the years I've been in this business (I heard we broke a record this year for hottest summer on record, ever, so that confirms my gut feeling.)

          All in all, I'm actually surprised that I've handled it pretty well overall, for not working outdoors the last couple of years.

          Tom
          1) Unconsciously Incompetent: He knows not, and knows not that he knows not. He is a fool. Shun him.
          2) Consciously Incompetent: He knows not, and knows that he knows not. He is simple. Teach him.
          3) Unconsciously Competent: He knows, and knows not that he knows. He is asleep. Wake him.
          4) Consciously Competent: He knows, and knows that he knows. He is wise. Follow him.

          May we all endeavor to progress from not knowing that we know not, to knowing that we know.

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          • #6
            Re: Working in the HEAT???

            During a normal summer, Houston has about four 100 degree days. Today will mark the 22nd 100+ degree day in a row with forecasters calling for at least another week at the century mark and possibly the entire month of August. We started June with a record 105 degree day and have already hit 100 or more 33 times this summer. Yes, it's been the hottest on record.
            Joe Adams
            Deep Creek Builders, Inc.
            Houston, Texas

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            • #7
              Re: Working in the HEAT???

              Austin is approaching their record number of days above 100 in one season. I think the record dates back to 1925.

              Where was Gore in 1925 to warn us about global warming?

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              • #8
                Re: Working in the HEAT???

                Like Tom said, acclimate.

                Keep any tools with metal handles in the shade.

                Think positively about the heat. At least it's not raining.

                Bring fruit and cold salads for lunch.

                Electrolyte replacement is essential. I prefer Vitalyte over Gatorade for a number of reasons.
                www.telianconstruction.com
                Criticism comes easier than craftsmanship. - Zeuxis, 400 B.C.

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                • #9
                  Re: Working in the HEAT???

                  Good tips here.

                  I use a pop up canopy like in the pix.

                  Lots of water

                  Don't forget the electrolytes as mentioned. I did, and in the middle of the night I woke up with two ....yes I said.... TWO charlie horses in my hamstrings.....


                  Wife asked why I was standing up against the dresser crying.... and I told her that I sweat too much during the day.
                  Chuck

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                  • #10
                    Re: Working in the HEAT???

                    This has been probably the mildest summer I have seen in the last 15 years of living in AZ. Sounds like everyone else's has got worse. Usually we hit 100 plus the 2nd half of April and never look back with temps between 116 to 122 for most of July. This year it didn;t even get warm until June. The temp has measured 130 degrees on my rear patio in years past. The concrete guys will start when its still dark and use lights. The framers start at about 5:30 and work until about 1:00 although this year has been mild so they have been working longer hours.
                    Randy

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                    • #11
                      Re: Working in the HEAT???

                      When I lived in AZ - we did the same Randy - started working outside by 5:30 and in before the heat of the day...

                      Shade and hydration works great and acclimatization as Tom suggests surely helps.

                      In AZ I was not bothered working until about 105 - then it sucked. I get hot now at 80 degrees but have no problem working at 20 degrees or colder. Funny how that works.

                      We are getting into the upper 30's for overnight lows at the house now and snow is showing up in the mountains these days....

                      Randy - looks like AZ was spared from most of the record heat in July - seems to be affecting the east coast mainly.
                      http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/...s_20110723.png
                      “Racism is man's gravest threat to man - the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.”
                      Abraham J. Heschel (Jewish theologian and philosopher, 1907-1972)

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                      • #12
                        Re: Working in the HEAT???

                        Dave
                        Yes it was strange this year. I took a vacation to Texas end of May and first part of June. I was looking at the temps of various cities on my iPhone and i was sweating in 99 degree weather in San Antonio and it was 20 degrees cooler back home in AZ. Roughly June 1st and it's 79 degrees? I couldn't believe it.
                        Randy

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                        • #13
                          Re: Working in the HEAT???

                          Originally posted by S.Joisey View Post

                          I've thought about the hydration backpacks that you fill with water, stick in the freezer, and keep on your back during the day.

                          Anyone try them?

                          http://www.camelbak.com/Sports-Recreation/Packs.aspx
                          Try them? Hell no...I use one every time I work outside (and yes...I still do work from time to time!) in absurd heat. I have a 2L unit that I will fill twice in a day.

                          They make all sorts of complicated backpacks. For construction, look for a a very low profile one with minimal bells and whistles. Many times, the milspec versions are better for this than the consumer units. I have milspec one.
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                          • #14
                            Re: Working in the HEAT???

                            I happen to find this picture of me working with a Camelbak for your viewing pleasure.

                            We were installing helical piles in July in this pic and it was HOT!
                            Your source for:
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                            Remodeling and Home Improvements in Bergen County | EPA Approved Lead-Safe Contractor
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                            • #15
                              Re: Working in the HEAT???

                              Di, you're leaning on your shovel. Want me to get you another one to use for digging?

                              Seriously, no problems with heat here at the moment. I solved this problem by signing a huge and awful foundation/crawl space job. Lots of work right next to the house and under the decks, so there's always somewhere to get in the shade. You're covered with so much dirt that the sun never hits your skin. We'll move on to some outdoor work right about the time it starts pouring rain.
                              Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
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