When winter sets in, the true mettle of an individual is tested. While most people shed their responsibilities, a craftsman’s desire to get the job done is only fortified by the cruel weather. Besides, those DIY projects don’t stop in the cold season. Grit might get you to the starting line of an at-home project, but you’ll need a robust strategy to carry you through to the finish line. These 8 pro tips for working during the winter will make sure your characteristic craftsman touch is preserved no matter the conditions.
One of the 10 Craftsman Commandments instructs craftsmen to work smarter, not harder. This sage advice is especially relevant when braving a frigid climate. In reality, some projects are better put on the back burner until the warmer weather arrives. Winter raises the stakes regarding the potential for injury and even financial burdens.
The harsh winter weather isn’t just tough on you. It also takes a toll on your equipment. Low temperatures can drain batteries, thicken lubricant, stall engines, break plastic, and even contract metal. Protecting your construction tools in winter is essential for maintaining their longevity, efficiency, and functionality.
Dawning the toughest winter gear is essential for improving comfort, optimizing safety, and maintaining the integrity of your craftsmanship. Layering is the name of the game as it allows you to shed a few articles of clothing as you warm up without getting too exposed to the elements. Don’t forget a water and wind-proof outer layer!
You might not work up as much of a thirst bundled up in a thick jacket as you would sweating away in the summer. But, hydration is even more important in the biting cold. Ironically, you’re at greater risk of dehydration because of the drier air. Make sure you’re getting enough water throughout the day, especially when working for extended periods.
If your DIY projects are taking you on the road, put together a makeshift winter emergency kit just in case. Here are some essentials:
- Thermal blankets
- Extra gloves, hat, and socks
- Non-perishable snacks
- Hand and feet warmers
- Small shovel and ice scraper
- Flashlights or road flares
- First-aid kit
- Power bank
No matter the stress level of your DIY project, you’ll want to do a little warm-up beforehand. A quick set of jumping jacks, minor stretches, or light jogging should do the trick. It doesn’t have to be a full workout routine. Just enough to loosen up the muscles, get the blood pumping, and elevate your core temperature to prepare your body for the physical activity ahead.
Suggested Reading: What It Takes to Work Hard, Stay Healthy, and Live Well
It might go against your get-’er-done instincts, but taking regular breaks is important when crafting in merciless winter weather. Finding a warm and sheltered area to keep your body temperature elevated is vital. Shockingly, hypothermia can get you within just 5 minutes in 50-degree weather or lower. Plus, your work will be all the better for it.
The curse of winter is shorter days which means less time to tackle those never-ending projects. A little forethought can go a long way in maximizing the limited daylight Mother Nature throws your way. Instead of trying to tackle everything in one go, break up the project into smaller parts. That way, you can hack away at it for a few hours a day when it’s still bright.
Is the cold weather slowing down your job search? The industrial staffing experts at Madden Craftsmen can help unthaw it and speed it up! With decades of experience matching talented craftsmen like you with leading industrial employers, we have the knowledge and connections to help you find the perfect gig. Check out our job search to see immediate job openings near you.