What problems does your project face during winter? [Blog]

What problems does your project face during winter? [Blog]

A blog written by ForceDry

The winter months are drawing in and the temperatures are starting to drop, however the construction industry does not stop. Work must continue throughout winter to maintain a level of productivity. With the changing of the seasons there are several issues that may arise on a site that can be of detriment to the site’s productivity.

Low temperature on site can impede many processes and materials on site. As water freezes it expands 9%, this volumetric expansion of water can lead to a 3% increase in the diameter of pipework which can cause problems both to the pipework itself and any screed laid over UFH. Not only does winter bring lower temperature but it also brings a much higher average relative humidity (RH) due to increased rainfall and decreased evaporation.

So, what implications can these conditions have? Fundamentally low temperatures can greatly impede the drying of a screed floor, not allowing the water to escape the screed. This may have severe knock-on effect further down the line such as costly delays and remediations.

With these low temperatures come the water expansion when frozen, which can lead both to cracks and leaks within the UFH pipework and the warping or de-levelling of the screed floor as it dries. The relative humidity can adversely affect the time it takes for screed to dry, if a dwelling has an atmospheric humidity of 85% which is not unusual in the winter months, then a screed floor drying naturally within that dwelling is physically unable to dry any further than that 85% RH.

This is significantly below the industry advised RH levels for dry screed, subsequently the laid screed will be unable to sufficiently dry for work to progress and for the floor finish to be laid.

Winter conditions don’t just affect the way in which a screed floor dries but also other trades working on site. Wet trades are unable to work in temperatures below 5°C, for example plaster is unable to chemically set below 5°C and if below 0°C it can freeze and become weak and crack.

Winter conditions can also have severe effects later in the construction process. Second fix carpentry, kitchen fitting and timber floor fitting can also be adversely affected by low temperatures, leading to warping and damages that may have large remediation costs.

What ForceDry can do

ForceDry provide specialist equipment which enables the management of the temperature and humidity counteracting the problems faced on sites during the winter months. ForceDry create the ideal atmosphere for wet trades to work, ensuring that pipework doesn’t freeze and aiding with the aclimatisation of sensitive materials in situ.

ForceDry boilers only require a manifold, no first or second fix plumbing, and operate using a minimal electrical input.

ForceDry’s high spec dehumidifiers and fans help to create a consistent flow of air through an environment, and effectively remove the moisture from both the air and the screed.

ForceDry’s equipment gives you the opportunity to manage and control your environment even when external conditions are unfavorable.

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ForceDry are the UK’s leading screed floor testing and drying company.

Established in 2012, following many years experience in underfloor heating, ForceDry is the UK’s leading speed drying and independent moisture testing company. Their...
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