4 Ways to be Safe When Doing Home Projects this Summer
Take these precautions when working in a hot climate so you can be safe this summer.
The summer solstice marks the first day of summer and the longest day of the year. It’s also a time when temperatures begin to sizzle, which can make home improvement tasks particularly challenging. There are precautions that you can take when working in hot weather that will protect your health and render more favorable results.
1) Keep Your Cool
Working in a hot environment puts stress on the body’s cooling system. When heat is combined with other stresses-like hard physical work, loss of fluids, or fatigue-it may lead to heat-related illness or even death! Summer is the time when your air conditioning unit works the hardest, so it only makes sense to inspect it beforehand.
Individuals over age-40 need to take extra care when the weather is hot, because our ability to sweat declines as we age. However, heat stress can also affect individuals who are young and fit. Water is crucial to helping the body adjust to high temperatures. The rate of water intake must equal the increased rate of water loss by perspiration to keep body temperature normal. When it’s hot, drink plenty of water! Don’t push yourself beyond your limits. It could be harmful to your health, and could put you at increased risk of having an accident.
2) Make Your Painting Project a Masterpiece
Your painting project can turn into a disaster if air temperatures are too hot or humid. Most exterior paint is formulated to perform best when applied at temperatures between 50 degrees F and 80 degrees F. As the days become increasingly hotter through summer, the application and proper curing of latex and oil/alkyd paint can be negatively affected by excessive air and surface temperatures.The proper formation of the paint film can be seriously affected if paint is applied when air temperature is above 80 degrees F. Pinholing (tiny surface craters) can occur during application and direct sun on fresh paint can cause the film to blister. In addition, when the temperature of the surface is above 80 degrees F, it can significantly affect the dry and cure process and prevent proper film formation of the paint. Lap marks may result when the coating is applied to a hot surface.
3) Cementing the Deal
Concrete is also affected by temperature — too hot and it dries with cracks; too cold and it takes forever to set-up. Most small concrete projects should be poured when temperatures are between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, the concrete will begin to set-up in a reasonable time but won’t set-up before you have a chance to touch it up.Wet down all forms and substrate just before you pour in the concrete. This will reduce the rate of evaporation of the moisture in the concrete mix. Avoid adding water to the mixture because it will lower the strength, increase cracking and reduce the durability.Limit the time between placing the concrete and final finishing. Use a fog type spray nozzle to maintain surface moisture and to prevent evaporating away the “bleed” water out of the concrete mix before it can be troweled smooth. As soon as the concrete is finished, begin a moist cure by keeping the finished surfaces damp for a few days. On extremely hot or windy days, it may be best to reschedule the pour for a day with more favorable conditions.
4) Keeping Your Garden Green
Adequately watering your lawn to keep it lush and green is vital for giving that inviting first impression so needed in today’s real estate market. Giving your lawn an adequate hand soaking with a hose, covering all the bare spots that your sprinkler may miss can help green it up during hot spells. Avoid mowing your lawn too close during the summer months. Always keep grass an extra inch above normal during hot weather to avoid “burning” the grass. A nice soaking immediately after you mow will help revive your lawn. Avoid watering your lawn and plants too late in the evening. Watering at night can encourage diseases that can threaten the appearance of your plants and lawn. Keep potted plants well watered to prevent wilting. On particularly warm days, a saucer full of water underneath the pot will help plants thrive in scorching heat. Avoid severe pruning of hedges and shrubs during hot spells. This can cause browning at the top and sides where trimming was done.
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