While we all love summer, for contractors and others who work outside, the summer heat, humidity and unfavorable working conditions can be hard to beat.
If you are motivated and ready to get to work on your curb appeal despite hot weather, consider the following advice.
Keep Cool While Working on Summer Curb Appeal: What to Wear
When you set out to work on your landscaping or home exterior, you’ll want to be sure you have dressed appropriately. This means wearing cool colors, as dark colors such as navy or black will absorb sunlight.
Meanwhile, make sure your clothing is tightly woven. You shouldn’t be able to see through the fabric. Tightly woven fabric ensures that you’ll remain protected from the sun.
You can also consider wearing a hat. This provides further shade and protection, especially if you aren’t near trees while you work. Add sunglasses to protect your eyes from the bright sun.
The best course of action is to avoid the sun as much as you can. You can work outdoors early in the morning or in the evening when the sun isn’t inetnse. Try to avoid working outdoors near high noon.
Wear Sunscreen While You Work
Speaking of sun protection, it’s imperative to wear sunscreen on all exposed areas. This includes your face, arms, chest, and legs. You should wear sunscreen of a minimum SPF 30, which blocks 97% of the sun’s rays.
Aim to apply at least 1 oz of sunscreen to exposed areas. This is about the same amount that you’ll find in a shot glass. Apply sunscreen about 15 minutes before heading to work outdoors.
Now that you have your clothing and sunscreen in check, another important element of preventing heat stress is by way of hydration.
Priority: Stay Hydrated
While you’re working outdoors, keep a large bottle of water on hand. The first step to staying hydrated is to drink at least a cup of water in the morning before you head outside. A key to staying hydrated is to drink gradually throughout the day.
To stay hydrated while working outdoors, stick to water. Avoid sugary drinks and caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic which can cause you to lose water.
If you notice yourself sweating a lot as you work, make it a point to stop for a drink of water. You’ll want to replenish the water you are losing through perspiration.
An excessively hot or humid work environment can lead to fatigue and poor decision-making. It can even lead to death in the worst circumstances. If you work outdoors normally or are even just thinking about tackling a few outdoor home improvement projects, make sure you know the warning signs of heat related stress and illness.
Heat-related illnesses (heat exhaustion & heat stroke) can be reduced by monitoring yourself and others for the following signs of heat stress:
Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stress:
- Excessive sweating
- Red, flushed skin
- General body weakness
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Muscle cramps in the hands and feet
- Dark-colored urine
- Allow breaks in the shade, cooler areas.
- Drink plenty of decaffeinated drinks. Sports drinks such as Gatorade are preferred, as they will replenish lost electrolytes.
- Drink up to 10 8-oz. cups of water in an 8-hour shift. Be careful not to over-hydrate.
- Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink water. Thirst is an indicator of heat stress.
- Wet your hair, neck, and face as frequently as possible with water or a spray bottle.
By recognizing heat-stress signs and symptoms at their onset and following the above simple guidelines, you can help ensure that you and your coworkers will be safe on the job and at low risk for heat-related illnesses this summer season.
Stay Safe While Working Outdoors this Summer
We’re happy to help tackle outdoor projects during the summer months! Contact us now to get a quote and learn about our windows, roofing, vinyl siding, and entry doors.