How Strong Winds Can Affect a Construction Project

Strong wind is one of the major threats to any construction project. Builders need to monitor the expected weather to determine if wind conditions are safe for the construction work. Besides personal observation, high-quality reinforcing mesharound your concrete construction project will protect the ongoing work from collapsing in case of strong winds. In this post, we examine how strong winds can affect concrete jobs.

Risk of Unfinished Structures Collapsing

One of the common effects of strong winds at construction projects is building collapse. Consider a situation where the force of gale force winds cause a weak steel bar to bend and move. The steelmight break and cause a weakness in the building. Eventually, the property will collapse. Therefore, it is always advisable to consult professional steel bar suppliers to provide strong steel reinforcing mesh that can withstand the back and forth swing that occurs whenever there is a storm.

Apart from the back and forth forces causing reinforcing mesh to break, wind tunnel effects like swirling and faster wind speeds can cause unfinished structures to collapse. Therefore, if you are working between tall structures, check wind speeds on a regular basis.

Windy Conditions Affect Cranes

Cranes are popular machinery at concrete construction sites as you have likely observed. These cranes use load charts specified by the crane manufacturers. The operators are warned that all crane operations must be shut down when winds speed exceed 35 MPH. Cranes are affected by the windy construction when:

  • The load being lifted has a wide surface that can catch the wind, affecting crane operations
  • Where the crane is used for higher lifting, the high elevation could mean gustier winds
  • Winds emerging from the side affect the verticality of the boom

When operating cranes, note that loads and hook lines tend to oscillate more with turbulence from strong winds. This increases the risk of damaging the structure or hurting the construction site workers and their equipment.

BlowConstruction Materials and Rubbish Off Construction Site

With high winds, expect that some construction materials will be blown off the site. This might cause damage to nearby property or even injuries tobystanders. Good housekeeping practices will prevent loose materials from being blown away by strong winds. Get rid of loose waste as soon as possible, to minimize the effects.

Delaying Project Completion

You might have to delay the project until the winds die down. You need to ensure regular wind measurements to avoid the risk of injuries and loss resulting from collapsing sections. Use a wind monitor to calculate turbulence intensity. Only resume working on the project when the wind speeds are safe for the structure and the cranes.

You can estimate wind speed at any height based on various measurements. However, you may not be able to estimate the turbulence due to its random and chaotic nature. It is worth noting that turbulence decreases with height since vegetation, terrain and even constructions, disrupt the wind near the ground.

Preparation is Key!

Strong winds can occur at anytime of the year. Preparing your concrete construction project for strong winds is fundamental to the business.  Therefore, you might want to observe the following guidelines when preparing the construction site.

  • Ensure that partially completed structuresare well supported to withstand higher than normal wind loads.
  • Secure construction materials such as roofing sheets, plywood, plasterboards, and other loose materials to prevent them from being picked up by the wind.
  • Tie scaffolds onto structures.
  • Use high-quality reinforcing mesh and work with professional ready-mix concrete suppliers to ensure strong concrete.
  • Use a weather service monitor to make sure a weather change does not come by surprise.

Conclusion

Weak structures are particularly at risk when strong winds hit a construction site. If the construction is still in progress, stop any crane operations. Use high-quality Mesh reinforcement to reduce the risk of building collapsing when strong winds hit.