Building in the rain

From 40 degree days to thunderstorms (not to mention sinkholes), Sydney's weather has been a wild ride since the start of 2017.

So what does this mean for construction? While we're sure you don't mind getting wet, the materials you use don't respond as well. In fact, pushing ahead in the rain can lead to permanent structural issues in a build. High wind and electrical storms can also be dangerous.

Below are a few things to keep in mind concerning how your materials respond to the wet. Got any further tips? Let us know in the comments below.

Concrete

The strength of concrete is inherently linked to its water content. When a supplier loads up a mix, they've precisely calculated the quantities of cement, water, sand and aggregate required to achieve the strength, workability and drying properties you need.

If it's raining, pouring a house slab or other exposed surface can lead to a weak surface that may crack or dust down the track. It may also fail to support structures built on top of it.

Timber

Timber will usually dry out after a few days if it is exposed to rain meaning that an exposed frame usually doesn't represent a significant issue in the rain. Covering a timber frame before it's dry can however create problems. Adding insulation, plasterboard or roofing to wet timber may see the timber decay, warp or splinter. So if you're using timber, make sure it's dry before carrying on with your build. Don't forget to watch out for high winds when working with timber also.

Soil, sand and aggregates

Landscaping in the rain isn't advisable. Heavy rain will turn your site into a sludge-filled mess that is likely to kill young plants and wash away sand, soil and aggregates if their placement hasn't been finalised.

Plasterboard

Plasterboard is made with a paper lining and is therefore highly susceptible to damage with even slight exposure to rain. If you're transporting plasterboard across a site on a rainy day, make sure it's adequately covered to avoid the need for expensive replacement materials.

Good practice in the wet

Avoid running into regulatory issues and angry neighbours by ensuring your site is equipped to cope with rain. Run off of building materials (particularly gravel, sand and concrete) can be prevented by using sand bags, filter socks and straw.

Got some time to kill in the wet?

Don't waste it ringing around for quotes, use MaterialsLink's online quote app to source everything you need for your upcoming jobs and then take advantage of the day off!


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