The Effects of Weather in Landscaping – Fall and Winter
One of the biggest factors that can affect your landscape construction project is the weather. As we are in full swing of fall and gear up for winter, here are a few effects the weather can have on a landscape project along with a few helpful tips.
In the fall when temperatures are transitioning from the heat of the summer to the freezing cold of the winter, significant amounts of precipitation can be expected. Rain can shutdown slow draining sites for numerous days due to the ground being saturated from any areas where the rainwater is ponding. Sites with slopes fair far better because rainwater will runoff almost immediately.
In anticipation of the rain, you can ensure all ruts from machine traffic are graded out to prevent them from catching water. If your site has drainage tile to be installed, this should be considered one of the first items to be completed. Another grading to be considered is the use of temporary swales or temporary berms to direct the rainfall away from your work area. If that project deadline is looming and the crew must push through wet weather, rain jacket and pants are a must. Without appropriate rain pants, water can run off of the rain jacket and onto the workers legs soaking their pants.
The winter months can be pretty frigid and the cold temperatures limit your options for work onsite. The frost from the negative temperatures will enter the ground from the surface and as the negative temperatures persist day after day, the frost will continue to go deeper. If there is a significant amount of snow on the ground the speed and depth at which the frost penetrates the ground is slowed due to the snow acting as an insulator. During winter months, we construct armour stone retaining walls because the area of the sub-base is smaller and can be protected from the frost by insulted blankets.
Ensure your crew dresses for the weather with numerous layers. Frostbite is a major concern to areas of low circulation like the hands or feet. Your equipment will need extra care in the winter months. All tracks and buckets must be clean of soils so that it does not freeze to the machine. Keep the fuel level topped up everyday and if the machine has glow plugs please use them before starting.
By: Robin Cleland, Project Manager