Safety Tips and Best Practices for Roofing in Frosty Temperatures

Installing a roof in cold weather is nothing to sneeze at. While roofing contractors in the deep South may not have to worry about business slowing down in the winter, the majority of contractors must contend with cold temperatures, snow, ice and sleet. And even when these extreme weather conditions allow work to be done, they can still create many product and safety issues on the job. 

No matter how well you’ve honed your craft, roofing in cold weather is a challenge for any seasoned contractor. In addition to thinking about the safety of your workers, you must also consider the usability of supplies and equipment, which may be susceptible to the elements. 

For instance, in lower temperatures, certain types of asphalt shingles can become less flexible and equipment may freeze. Also, you should ask yourself: Can I keep my workers motivated and focused on the quality I expect? When roofers are uncomfortable or can’t work safely, they begin to worry about themselves more than the work they’re doing — and justifiably so. 

Before proceeding with your next cold-weather roofing job, consider the following precautions and recommendations. 

Product Considerations

The first rule of cold-weather roofing is to follow all manufacturers’ cold-weather installation guidelines. Different manufacturers specify different minimum temperatures for their products. If the temperature is below that minimum, you will need to take extra precautions to ensure the roof shingles are handled correctly and the product seals properly. 

For example, while asphalt shingles have been successfully used in cold climates for more than a century, they become less flexible at temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 

When asphalt shingles lose their pliability, they become prone to cracking and other problems, including failing to lie flat and not holding their shape, which can result in granule loss, humping and other damage. Lower temperatures will also keep the shingle sealant lines from achieving proper thermal activation. 

Because of the increased risk of shingle damage and the shingle not sealing correctly in cold temperatures, workers should keep the following things in mind:

  • Never throw or drop shingles. 
  • Give shingles time to warm up before installation if they have been stored in freezing temperatures. Cold shingles — especially fiberglass shingles — may crack on the back when nailed to the deck, which can cause roof leaks. Best practice: When installing shingles in low temperatures, nail them by hand to avoid the “blow through” that a high-powered nail gun can cause.

Remember that most sealants won’t thermally activate at temperatures below 40 degrees. Instead, seal strips must be hand sealed with an approved asphalt roofing cement or other manufacturer-approved adhesive. 

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) recommends that shingles be pressed into the asphalt cement so that the adhesive reaches almost to the shingle edges, but is not exposed. For laminated shingles, ARMA says at least three spots of sealant may be used. If not sealed properly, eaves and rakes can be extremely susceptible to wind blow-off. 

The association also suggests the use of open metal valleys in cold weather because installing closed and woven valleys require shingles to be bent, which could result in damage. 

To prevent ice dams — the frozen water that can build up at the eaves of a roof — be sure to install proper roof and attic ventilation in addition to a premium ice and water roof underlayment, which provides a second layer of protection in cold-weather conditions. Ice and water underlayment can be used along eaves, valleys, flashings, hips, ridges, dormers, rakes, skylights and chimneys. Properly ventilating a roof will help ensure maximum protection against ice dams.

Before installing roofing underlayment, be sure that the deck is completely dry so the moisture doesn’t cause wrinkling or buckling of the underlayment. This wrinkling can telegraph through the shingles, creating cosmetic and performance concerns. In addition, trapped moisture can contribute to shingle blistering. 

Overall, when roofing during cold-weather months, check the forecast and plan for potential delays. Better yet, try to work on bright, clear days, when the sun can bear some of the burden and help warm up the roof deck. 

Safety Concerns

Near-freezing temperatures not only create issues with supplies, they can also pose safety risks to workers.

To avoid frostbite, roofers should layer up in clothing such as ClimaWarm and Hyperwarm, which provide warmth, breathability and protection from wintery weather. Even with the proper attire, workers should beware of the signs and symptoms of frostbite, which include prickling skin, numbness and — worst of all — clumsiness caused by stiff joints and muscles. 

In addition to following the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) safety regulations for harnesses and fall-protection systems, roofers should always wear shoes with good traction — but especially in cold weather, when surfaces can become slippery. 

Also, encourage everyone to take regular warm-up breaks throughout the day, limit work schedules during extreme weather conditions and consider investing in on-site heating equipment, such as portable foot warmers.

To best prepare yourself and your crew for winter jobs:

  • Plan work around the shorter daylight hours, as well as weather conditions that may prevent roofers from safely being able to put in the necessary hours. 
  • Expect work performance to slow down due to dexterity issues and other natural body-responsive reactions caused by cold temperatures. 
  • Anticipate the extra time that will be required to clear snow from roofs and protect the surface from the elements while work is being performed. 
  • Remember that even a thin layer of snow can camouflage skylights, other materials and debris, which could pose a tripping or falling hazard. 
  • Because working in cold weather takes just as much, if not more, physical exertion as working in warm weather, roofers should be sure to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. 

Ultimately, the best advice is to be prepared. Take a cold hard look at the weather forecast and plan accordingly, taking into consideration worker safety, product usability and equipment functionality. Being flexible and ready to adjust work as needed can keep winter business from freezing up altogether.

About the author: Paul Casseri is the product manager of the Roofing Shingles and Underlayment Division for Atlas Roofing Corporation. For more information, visit www.atlasroofing.com.

Heated Insoles Feature Temperature Settings Controlled by a Wireless Remote

ThermaCELL Heated Insoles products have temperature settings controlled by a wireless remote, allowing for easy temperature adjustment without removal from shoes or boots.

ThermaCELL Heated Insoles products have temperature settings controlled by a wireless remote, allowing for easy temperature adjustment without removal from shoes or boots.

ThermaCELL Heated Insoles products have temperature settings controlled by a wireless remote, allowing for easy temperature adjustment without removal from shoes or boots. The wireless remote control allows the user to choose from two temperature settings (medium 100 F and high 111 F), as well as no heat. Both ThermaCELL Heated Insoles products are equipped with high-tech wireless thermal technology and boast many benefits.

ThermaCELL Heated Insoles feature these benefits:

  • Regulated heat — Advanced heat sensors maintain consistent temperature up to five hours per charge.
  • Remote control — Easily adjust temperature settings with a small wireless remote.
  • Three temperature settings — Select Medium, High or No Heat on the remote control to maintain desired temperature.
  • Wireless and rechargeable — Lithium-Ion Polymer batteries fully recharge in less than four hours and are completely wireless, requiring no external straps or packs.
  • Water resistant — Insoles are protected against moisture and perspiration.
  • Custom fit — Insoles come in five sizes and can be trimmed to fit most types of boots and shoes.
  • Quality tested — SATRA tested ThermaCELL Heated Insoles for durability and heating.

Wireless Remote Control Benefits include:

  • Designed to hang from belt, keychain or zipper.
  • Small enough to easily fit in pocket.
  • Activates insoles and allows the user to select from two temperature settings plus no heat.
  • Controls the insoles from a distance up to 7 feet away.
  • Programmed to control one specific pair of insoles and works in a variety of environments.

Sizing

  • Both styles of ThermaCELL Heated Insoles are customizable to fit any shoe size from women’s 4.5 to a men’s 14, and are available in: small, medium, large, x-large and xx-large.

Now Introducing ProFLEX ThermaCELL Heated Insoles that have all of the benefits of ThermaCELL Heated Insoles, with additional product features including:

  • One-of-a-kind — The only insoles on the market today with removable, rechargeable batteries and remote control operation.
  • Rechargeable, removal battery — Battery can easily be changed without removing insole from footwear. Simply pull out the battery and replace with a spare for extended heat. Additionally, battery is covered is covered in Poron, an antimicrobial, shock-absorbing cushion.
  • USB or wall charging — Wall charger is included, and contains a USB cable so insoles can be charge from any USB powered port or wall outlet. The wire on the battery charger can be disconnected and used as a protective carrying case for the batteries.
  • Highly water resistant — Insoles are highly water resistant to protect electronics from moisture and perspiration, and were manufactured using a unique protection process.
  • Advanced comfort — Created with a superior material for advanced comfort and flexibility. Made from polyurethane foam that is breathable, conducts heat efficiently, has great retention and shock absorbency for continued comfort.
  • Developed with SATRA — SATRA contributed to the development of the ThermaCELL Heated Insoles ProFLEX model, including extensive testing on durability and heating performance.

Heated Insoles Keep Feet Warm in Cold Weather

ThermaCELL Heated Insoles and ProFLEX ThermaCELL Heated Insoles

ThermaCELL Heated Insoles and ProFLEX ThermaCELL Heated Insoles

ThermaCELL Heated Insoles and now ProFLEX ThermaCELL Heated Insoles give heat to your feet to beat the cold weather. For outdoor enthusiasts of all levels, ThermaCELL has solutions to keep toes cozy, whether it is for a few hours or a full work day. Utilizing patent-pending technology, Schawbel Technologies LLC is introducing ProFLEX Heated Insoles in 2014 with a suggested MSRP of $179.99

Both ThermaCELL Heated Insoles products have temperature settings controlled by a wireless remote, allowing for easy temperature adjustment without removal from shoes or boots, ultimately offering convenience as well as comfort. The wireless remote control allows the user to choose from two temperature settings (Medium 100 F and High 111 F), as well as no heat. Both ThermaCELL Heated Insoles products are equipped with high-tech wireless thermal technology and boast many benefits.

ThermaCELL Heated Insoles are the leader in comfort technology, featuring these benefits:

    • Regulated Heat – Advanced heat sensors maintain consistent temperature up to five hours per charge
    • Remote Control – Easily adjust temperature settings with a small wireless remote
    • Three Temperature Settings – Select Medium, High or No Heat on the remote control to maintain desired temperature
    • Wireless and Rechargeable – Lithium-Ion Polymer batteries fully recharge in less than four hours and are completely wireless, requiring no external straps or packs
    • Water Resistant – Insoles are protected against moisture and perspiration
    • Custom Fit – Insoles come in five sizes and can be trimmed to fit most types of boots and shoes
    • Quality Tested – SATRA, a worldwide leader in footwear research and development, tested ThermaCELL Heated Insoles for durability and heating.

Wireless Remote Control Benefits include:

    • Designed to hang from belt, keychain or zipper
    • Small enough to easily fit in pocket
    • Activates insoles and allows the user to select from two temperature settings plus no heat
    • Controls the insoles from a distance up to seven feet away
    • Programmed to control one specific pair of insoles and works in a variety of environments

Both styles of ThermaCELL Heated Insoles are customizable to fit any shoe size from women’s 4.5 to a men’s 14, and are available in: small, medium, large, x-large and xx-large.

Now Introducing ProFLEX ThermaCELL Heated Insoles that have all of the benefits of ThermaCELL Heated Insoles, with additional product features including:

    • One-of-a-kind – The only insoles on the market today with removable, rechargeable batteries and remote control operation.
    • Rechargeable, removal battery – Battery can easily be changed without removing insole from footwear. Simply pull out the battery and replace with a spare for extended heat. Additionally, battery is covered is covered in Poron, an antimicrobial, shock-absorbing cushion.
    • USB or Wall Charging – Wall charger is included, and contains a USB cable so insoles can be charge from any USB powered port or wall outlet. The wire on the battery charger can be disconnected and used as a protective carrying case for the batteries
    • Highly Water Resistant – Insoles are highly water resistant to protect electronics from moisture and perspiration, and were manufactured using a unique protection process
    • Advanced Comfort – Created with a superior material for advanced comfort and flexibility. Made from Polyurethane foam that is breathable, conducts heat efficiently, has great retention and shock absorbency for continued comfort.
    • Developed with SATRA – SATRA contributed to the development of the ThermaCELL Heated Insoles ProFLEX model, including extensive testing on durability and heating performance.

Heated Insoles Are Controlled By Wireless Remote

ThermaCELL Heated Insoles

ThermaCELL Heated Insoles

ThermaCELL Heated Insoles and now ProFLEX ThermaCELL Heated Insoles give heat to your feet to beat the cold weather. ThermaCELL has solutions to keep toes cozy, whether it is for a few hours or a full day on a construction site. Utilizing patent-pending technology, Schawbel Technologies LLC is now introducing ProFLEX Heated Insoles with a removable battery and more flexibility.

Both ThermaCELL Heated Insoles products, priced at $130 and $180, have temperature settings controlled by a wireless remote, allowing for easy temperature adjustment without removal from shoes or boots, ultimately offering convenience as well as comfort. The wireless remote control allows the user to choose from two temperature settings (Medium 100 F and High 111 F), as well as no heat. Both ThermaCELL Heated Insoles products are equipped with high-tech wireless thermal technology and boast many benefits.

THERMACELL HEATED INSOLES
The product offers these benefits:
· Regulated Heat – Advanced heat sensors maintain consistent temperature up to five hours per charge
· Remote Control – Easily adjust temperature settings with a small wireless remote
· Three Temperature Settings – Select Medium, High or No Heat on the remote control to maintain desired temperature
· Wireless and Rechargeable – Lithium-Ion Polymer batteries fully recharge in less than four hours and are completely wireless, requiring no external straps or packs
· Water Resistant – Insoles are protected against moisture and perspiration
· Custom Fit – Insoles come in five sizes and can be trimmed to fit most types of boots and shoes
· Quality Tested – SATRA, a worldwide leader in footwear research and development, tested ThermaCELL Heated Insoles for durability and heating
· Wireless Remote Control Benefits include: – Controls insoles from a distance up to seven feet away
· Sizing – Both styles of ThermaCELL Heated Insoles are customizable to fit any shoe size from women’s 4.5 to a men’s 14, and are available in: small, medium, large, x-large and xx-large

ProFLEX ThermaCELL Heated Insoles
The product offers additional features including:
· Rechargeable, removal battery – Battery can easily be changed without removing insole from footwear
· USB or Wall Charging – Wall charger is included, and contains a USB cable so insoles can be charge from any USB powered port or wall outlet
· Highly Water Resistant – Insoles are highly water resistant to protect electronics from moisture and perspiration
· Advanced Comfort – Created for advanced comfort and flexibility and shock absorbency for continued comfort
· Developed with SATRA – Extensive testing on durability and heating performance

How to Identify and Treat Hypothermia

Cold environments present a real hazard to workers. Just being in the cold can limit a person’s range of motion, creating a possible workplace hazard. Illnesses caused by the cold include trench foot, frostbite and hypothermia. The most serious of the cold stress illnesses is hypothermia, a condition in which core body temperature drops below the required temperature for normal metabolism and body functions. Symptoms of hypothermia vary depending on the level of hypothermia: mild, moderate, severe and critical. To ensure a safe winter workforce, you must be able to identify the symptoms of hypothermia and treat them.

Mild Hypothermia

When a person’s body begins to cool, the body’s natural reaction is to shiver to create internal heat. As the body cools, surface blood vessels begin to shut down to prevent the further loss of heat through the skin. Numbness to the extremities occurs, resulting in a loss of dexterity. Although the victim will be alert, other symptoms of mild hypothermia include a body temperature of 97 to 93 F and pain from the cold.

Moderate Hypothermia

As the victim’s body temperature decreases, shivering will become more violent. Movements are slow and labored, accompanied by a stumbling pace and mild confusion, although the victim still may appear alert. Surface blood vessels contract further as the body focuses on keeping the vital organs warm. The victim becomes pale. Lips, ears, fingers and toes may be blue. His or her body temperature now is around 93 to 90 F.

Severe Hypothermia

The victim now is showing obvious signs of the cold. Less blood flow causes confusion. Other symptoms include:

  • A body temperature of 90 to 82 F.
  • Shivering has decreased or stopped.
  • Confusion and loss of reasoning.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Semi-conscious to unconscious.
  • Muscular rigidity.

Critical Hypothermia

This is a life-threatening condition. The victim will die if not treated. Symptoms include:

  • A body temperature of less than 82 F.
  • Unconscious and may appear dead.
  • Little breathing.
  • Slow pulse.
  • Dilated eyes.
  • Rigid body.

Treating Hypothermia

The basic principles of rewarming a hypothermic victim are to conserve the heat he or she has and replace the body fuel he or she is burning to generate heat.

Victims of mild to moderate hypothermia are still conscious and can be treated without medical attention. Follow these guidelines:

  • Handle the victim gently and minimize his or her exertion.
  • Remove wet clothing and get the victim into warm, dry clothes. Wrap the victim in warm blankets, ensuring his or her head is covered. Place something warm and dry under the victim. Move him or her to a warm environment. Do not make the victim exercise to warm up.
  • Do not suppress shivering, even if violent. Shivering is the most effective way to generate body heat.
  • Do not massage the extremities (hands, arms, legs, feet, etc.) or the trunk.
  • Do not place the victim in a warm bath or shower.

Victims of moderate to severe hypothermia have an altered level of consciousness and fluctuating changes to their heart and respiratory rate. They may be shivering and their core body temperature is usually below 91.4 F. If someone is suffering from critical hypothermia, dial 911 immediately. Then follow these steps:

  • Handle the victim gently. Rough handling can cause heartbeat irregularities and death.
  • Check for airway obstructions and breathing or circulation problems and take appropriate action if there are any abnormalities. Initiate CPR only if no pulse is present after a one-minute assessment.
  • If CPR is necessary, assist breathing at 10 to 12 breaths per minute. Do not start cardiac massage unless it can be continued effectively without a break. It is more dangerous to start, stop and restart CPR rather than to wait until proper care is available.
  • Remove all wet clothing and replace with dry, warm blankets or a sleeping bag. If this is not possible, cover the victim with warm dry clothing, ensuring his or her head is covered. Place something warm and dry under the victim.
  • Move the victim to a warm, dry environment.
  • Do not suppress shivering, even if it is violent. Shivering generates body heat.
  • Do not give anything by mouth because of the high risk of vomiting.
  • Do not massage the trunk or extremities of the victim.
  • Do not place the victim in a hot bath or shower.
  • If available, heated, humidified air or oxygen should be administered.
  • Continue first-aid treatment even if the victim appears lifeless. The body can sometimes survive for hours at very low body temperatures without signs of life.
  • Arrange rapid transport to the nearest medical facility.

Hypothermia Prevention

Hypothermia can happen on a mild winter’s day or damp day in fall or spring. The basic principle for preventing hypothermia is to stay warm and dry and be prepared for a sudden emergency. You must know how to assess hypothermia and give help when it is needed, even if the victim resists help. He or she may be confused and unaware of what is happening, so it is up to you to recognize the signs of hypothermia and administer treatment.

Cold-weather Considerations

During the next several months, it will not be unusual to see roofing crews working hard to complete projects or trying to get an early start on spring projects. Executing roofing projects during the cold months of winter creates a unique set of safety hazards and challenges for designers, contractors and building owners. Not understanding or failing to address cold-weather considerations will impact installation quality and long-term roof performance.

In many cases, designers don’t plan on specifying a roof system specifically for installation during the cold winter weather. However, anticipated funding approval and construction schedules can change, quite often forcing a designer to make changes to accommodate the cold weather. Designers should consider changes related to roof installation methods, as well as adhesive type, to ensure the roof can be installed as designed in colder, potentially snowy, wet weather.

Materials

This adhesive is not stored properly.

This bonding adhesive is not stored properly.

When choosing materials to install, it is important to remember most roofing materials are not designed to be installed in cold-weather situations, especially when ambient temperatures dip below 40 F. Membranes, adhesives, equipment and contractors will perform differently in colder temperatures, so planning ahead and considering how the cold weather will impact material selection, installation time and quality is critical.

Membrane: Storing roof membrane at the job site during warm months is straightforward: Keep the rolls off the ground and protect them from moisture using breathable tarpaulins. As the weather grows colder, the dew point and temperature typically come closer together, increasing the potential for condensation and frost forming on materials. Keep material goods warm and dry by storing them inside a conditioned space or in a heated job trailer. Keeping materials warm and dry will reduce the risk of moisture being introduced into the roof system during construction and minimize the possibility of blisters and other deficiencies in the completed roof system. In addition, material rolls will become more rigid as they get colder, requiring additional time to kick out and relax before installing.

Adhesives and asphalt: When dealing with membrane adhesives, there are generally two main categories to consider solvent-based and waterborne adhesives. Recently, the use of waterborne adhesives has been growing steadily as a result of low odor and VOC code requirements. Both types of adhesives have similar manufacturer recommendations for storage temperature, typically between 60 and 80 F.

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