Cold Weather Safety for Construction

Cold Weather Safety for Construction

The construction industry is a high risk industry, regardless of the time of year.  But when cold temperatures, snow and ice, and wind are added to the mix, precautions must be in place to protect your workforce, your equipment and materials, and the job.

Taking precautions and educating your employees on cold weather winter safety best practices can reduce the rate of illness, injury and dangerous accidents. Always emphasize “safety first.”

Cold Weather Safety Tips for Winter Construction

    1. Know the forecast and pay attention to changing weather conditions.  Today we enjoy the benefit of real time updates on our phones and computers.  When the weather outside is unsuitable for outside work, reschedule.  
    2. Limit exposure to the elements. Wind chill can take an existing temperature from workable to downright miserable.  And when wind and low temperatures are combined, it can be hard to reduce exposure for workers. Your employees were not made to be outdoors in these elements for long periods of time.  Schedule outside work in shorter durations. Break up larger projects into smaller tasks.
    3. Establish a warm break area. Outside work is absolutely unavoidable for the construction industry, but workers need a place away from the elements to take a break. A heated trailer or a tent with portable heaters and appropriate ventilation works great. Educate supervisors and workers on proper safety procedures with heating devices.
    4. Emphasize proper hydration.  We forget that our bodies sweat, even when it is cold outside, and especially when we are wearing extra layers of clothing.  Keep plenty of water on hand.  While many workers think caffeinated drinks will get them through, water is what the body really needs.  
    5. Require clothing that will keep workers warm and dry.  Boots with non-slip soles, heavy coats, gloves, and hats are all essential for protecting the body from severe cold weather.  Proper clothing is the first step in preventing hypothermia and frostbite and for cold weather protection.
    6. Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Even when employers do everything they can to protect workers, issues can still arise. Supervisors and workers need to know the symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite so that if anyone shows these signs, they can receive immediate medical attention.
    7. Remove snow and ice. Check the job site early each day, before the work begins,for snow and ice accumulation and for any additional hazards.  Be prepared with salt or sand and remove large patches of snow and ice.  Snow and ice removal, if left to the crew, will slow down the job and deplete their energy.  
    8. Winterize and prepare vehicles. Before heading into the cold season, inspected all vehicles and equipment to determine if they are prepared for cold weather construction. Top off fluids, check tire tread and air pressure, and change filters.  Equip all vehicles with winter kits that contain an ice scraper, snow brush, shovel, tow chain, flashlight with extra batteries, emergency flares, a blanket, snacks and water.  Also, educate workers on what to do and who to call if they are stranded in a vehicle.
    9. Prepare and protect equipment. In addition to preparing vehicles for winter safety, smaller construction equipment also needs attention.  Air compressors work best in well-ventilated areas with an ambient temperature in the  ompressor system’s optimal range, typically 40-95°F. If the temperature around your compressor becomes too hot or too cold, the compressor may not start or may exhibit performance issues.  Moisture control also becomes a factor.  Moisture that becomes ice can accumulate and affect the way the system runs, blocking drainage and preventing efficient compression.  
    10. Protect Critical Materials.  Adhesives, concrete, shingles, paint, caulk, resins, epoxies, and other construction materials need additional protection during cold weather  construction.  Winter safety also includes keeping these materials at proper temperatures for application.  Failing to protect critical materials could result in shoddy work that affects the overall finished product.  

 

 

Put It in the Box

Hot boxes are ideal for cold weather construction safety, freeze protection, transporting, job site heating, remote location use, and winter roofing. Standard Hot Boxes hold product between 100°F and 120°F (38°C and 49°C) –optional adjustable thermostatic controllers allow precise temperature control.

Powerblanket Hot Box Benefits

bulk material warmers

  • Quick and easy assembly
  • Easily transport from job to job
  • Preserve temperature sensitive material
  • Heat materials and palletized products: adhesives, shingles, paint, caulk, resins epoxies, etc.
  • Access doors on two sides.
  • Certified to UL and CSA standards

Hot Boxes and Cold Weather Construction Safety

  • Preserve temperature sensitive materials
  • Quickly and effortlessly install the compact portable design
  • Localize heat and save money by not heating a warehouse or building
  • Lower energy-related costs with the highly efficient design

Cold weather safety for construction

Powerblanket Receives the AME Award

Powerblanket Receives The Association for Manufacturing Excellence Award

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) today announced four recipients of the AME 2017 Excellence Award. The AME Excellence Award primarily recognizes North American manufacturing plants that have demonstrated excellence in manufacturing and business. The award acknowledges continuous improvement, best practices, creativity and innovation. Recognized among those four recipients is Powerblanket, the smallest company ever to receive this award.

Powerblanket – Salt Lake City, Utah

The leader in total temperature control, Powerblanket designs and manufactures high technology smart controls and monitoring devices, heating blankets, and chilling products that solve a wide range of temperature problems in industries such as oil and gas, construction, industrial, mining, and railroad. The AME assessment team highlighted Powerblanket’s great culture throughout the company. The team also commended Powerblanket’s improvements and impressive turnaround, especially for only being three years into its lean journey. The award presentation will take place on Oct. 25, 2017.

How It All Started

Powerblanket is a great example of problem solving and innovation in industry. A concrete worker in Salt Lake City, UT wanted to work more efficiently year-round. He worked with an engineering professor at the University of Utah to create an efficient heating technology that would cure concrete quickly and with maximum strength. They developed an innovative concrete heating product and founded Powerblanket, which soon became a leading manufacturer in the concrete industry.  This technology proved to solve many temperature problems for applications across many different industries, and they began wrapping barrels, buckets, pipes, and tanks. From there they developed an expertise in temperature control, built a world-class custom design team, created control devices, and entered the industrial cooling industry with a new line of chillers and cooling blankets.

What started as a solution to a common constructi

on problem, has turned into an industry-leading company that engineers and manufactures temperature control solutions for many different industries all over the world.

More About the AME Award

The AME Excellence Award has a rigorous selection process that begins when a company submits an extensive achievement report based on the AME Excellence Award evaluation criteria. Achievement reports are evaluated by the AME award assessment team. For companies that score high enough in this achievement report review, an intensive site visit is completed, during which a volunteer team of manufacturing practitioners validates the submitted achievement report. Recipients of the Excellence Award are selected based on the combined results of the achievement report review and site visit feedback.

The AME Excellence Award is not something that can be achieved by one person or one company leader. It takes all team members working together to achieve the level of enterprise excellence that the AME Excellence Award recognizes. With that in mind, AME representatives will visit award recipients’ facilities to present awards in person so that everyone working in these facilities can participate in the celebration.

Recipients will also be honored at the AME 2017 International Conference, taking place Oct. 9-13 in Boston, Mass. Recipients will share their best practices with other lean and continuous improvement practitioners in attendance.  

To learn more about the Excellence Award and the 2017 recipients, visit www.ame.org/excellence-awards.

How Cold is Too Cold to Pour Concrete?

What Temperature is Too Cold to Pour Concrete?

Experts agree that the best temperature to pour concrete is between 50-60 °F. The necessary chemical reactions that set and strengthen concrete slow significantly below 50 °F and are almost non-existent below 40 °F. Even when daytime temperatures are within the satisfactory range, winter concrete setting creates risks that could result in weak, inadequate concrete. If nighttime temperatures are below freezing, the water in the concrete will freeze and expand, causing cracks. Additionally, if temperatures reach below 40 °F (but not freezing) during set time, concrete will take much longer to reach required strength. However, if the correct measures are taken, concrete can still be successfully placed during even the coldest months of the year.

Things to Consider with Cold Weather Concreting

Before embarking on a cold weather concrete project, it’s important to determine any special strength requirements or considerations. This will help as you schedule your pouring and determine which strategies you will use to keep your surroundings and materials warm. The predominant challenge you will face during a winter concrete project is ensuring that the concrete sets before it is exposed to freezing temperatures. You might take the following suggestions into consideration as you plan your upcoming project:

  • Use heaters to thaw frozen ground, snow or ice.
  • Use hot water to mix cement.
  • Keep dry materials in a dry, warm location.
  • Use products designed to set quickly. During cold weather, these products will not set as quickly as the instructions may indicate, but will set faster than conventional materials.
  • Use additives that accelerate set time. Use caution; if additives contain calcium chloride, any rebar or metal wire mesh in concrete will rust and cause concrete to crack.
  • Use extra cement (typically 100 lb/ cubic yard) to make the reaction hotter and cause concrete to hydrate more rapidly.
  • Remember that you still need to wait for bleed water to evaporate. Incorporating the water into the surface during finishing will weaken the surface. Bleeding starts later and takes longer during cold weather; you can use squeegees or a vacuum to remove water quickly.
  • Wait until concrete has reached desired strength to remove any framework. If the framework is removed too early, the concrete will be damaged and the surface could collapse.

Maintaining Ideal Temperature

After implementing the above suggestions, It’s important to consider how you will keep concrete at the correct temperature during the curing process. Concrete must maintain a temperature above 50 °F for approximately 48 hours for the correct chemical reactions to take place. Two popular options used during cold weather concrete curing are heated enclosures and insulated blankets. If using an enclosure, ensure that the structure is both wind and waterproof. Additionally, ensure that there is proper ventilation for the space heater. Heaters cause an increase in carbon dioxide that could cause carbonation in the surface of the concrete.

Powerblanket Concrete Blankets

Powerblanket® concrete blankets are an extremely effective option for attaining and maintaining the correct temperatures for concrete pouring and setting. Powerblanket® concrete blankets can be used to thaw ground before pouring concrete and again after finishing to keep concrete from freezing. Utilizing Powerblanket® concrete blankets will ensure that concrete is kept at the correct temperature for the necessary reactions to happen quickly and the desired strength to be reached.

Heat Authority Sells Powerblanket

Find Powerblanket Products at Heat AuthorityHeat Authority

Heat Authority has researched the leading products for industrial and job-site productivity and offers the widest variety of heating and cooling accessories to make working in any environment easier and more efficient. Cold weather got you stuck? Unfavorable warehouse conditions? Hazardous area environment? Construction site issues? Need better equipment to get the job done? Heat Authority has a product to help solve your problem.

Heat Authority Has It All

With products for almost any industrial application, Heat Authority is one of the very best resources for industrial equipment supply. With a low price promise and FREE shipping on almost every product site-wide, Heat Authority offers heated concrete curing and ground thawing blankets, drum and IBC tote heated jackets, hot plates, furnaces, lighting, machinery, welders & generators, including freeze protection products and warehouse lighting solutions. Construction contractors and utility excavators rely on the light towers heated construction blankets. Warehouse managers and manufacturers demand the drum & tote heaters. Concrete finishers require the concrete curing heated blankets to keep their crews working all winter long.  Everybody loves the low price guarantee on EVERY product site-wide. Heat Authority knows that time is money and do their best to help their customers save money & stay on schedule all season long.

Great Distributor

Distributors like Heat Authority are vital to the success of Powerblanket, and we appreciate and value these partners for all they do to help us deliver heating solutions all over the world. If you are in search of Powerblanket heating solutions, Heat Authority is a trusted and reliable source.

Powerblanket Heating Solutions at Heat Authority Include:

  • Bucket Heaters
  • Tote Heaters
  • Barrel/Drum Heaters
  • Concrete Curing Blankets
  • Bulk Material Warmers
  • Propane Tank Heaters
  • Pipe Warmers
  • Ground Thawing Blankets
  • Spray Foam Heaters
  • Hot Boxes
  • DEF Tote Heaters
  • Tank Heaters

 

What Temperature is Too Cold to Pour Concrete?

What Temperature is Too Cold to Pour Concrete?
What Temperature is Too Cold to Pour Concrete?

What Temperature is Too Cold to Pour Concrete?

Experts agree that the best temperature to pour concrete is between 50-60 °F. The necessary chemical reactions that set and strengthen concrete slow significantly below 50 °F and are almost non-existent below 40 °F. Even when daytime temperatures are within the satisfactory range, winter concrete setting creates risks that could result in weak, inadequate concrete. If nighttime temperatures are below freezing, the water in the concrete will freeze and expand, causing cracks. Additionally, if temperatures reach below 40 °F (but not freezing) during set time, concrete will take much longer to reach required strength. However, if the correct measures are taken, concrete can still be successfully placed during even the coldest months of the year.

Before embarking on a cold weather concrete project, it’s important to determine any special strength requirements or considerations. This will help as you schedule your pouring and determine which strategies you will use to keep your surroundings and materials warm. The predominant challenge you will face during a winter concrete project is ensuring that the concrete sets before it is exposed to freezing temperatures. You might take the following suggestions into consideration as you plan your upcoming project:

  • Use heaters to thaw frozen ground, snow or ice.
  • Use hot water to mix cement.
  • Keep dry materials in a dry, warm location.
  • Use products designed to set quickly. During cold weather, these products will not set as quickly as the instructions may indicate, but will set faster than conventional materials.
  • Use additives that accelerate set time. Use caution; if additives contain calcium chloride, any rebar or metal wire mesh in concrete will rust and cause concrete to crack.
  • Use extra cement (typically 100 lb/ cubic yard) to make the reaction hotter and cause concrete to hydrate more rapidly.
  • Remember that you still need to wait for bleed water to evaporate. Incorporating the water into the surface during finishing will weaken the surface. Bleeding starts later and takes longer during cold weather; you can use squeegees or a vacuum to remove water quickly.
  • Wait until concrete has reached desired strength to remove any framework. If the framework is removed too early, the concrete will be damaged and the surface could collapse.

After implementing the above suggestions, It’s important to consider how you will keep concrete at the correct temperature during the curing process. Concrete must maintain a temperature above 50 °F for approximately 48 hours for the correct chemical reactions to take place. Two popular options used during cold weather concrete curing are heated enclosures and insulated blankets. If using an enclosure, ensure that the structure is both wind and waterproof. Additionally, ensure that there is proper ventilation for the space heater. Heaters cause an increase in carbon dioxide that could cause carbonation in the surface of the concrete.

Powerblanket® concrete blankets are an extremely effective option for attaining and maintaining the correct temperatures for concrete pouring and setting. Powerblanket® concrete blankets can be used to thaw ground before pouring concrete and again after finishing to keep concrete from freezing. Utilizing Powerblanket concrete blankets will ensure that concrete is kept at the correct temperature for the necessary reactions to happen quickly and the desired strength to be reached. With Powerblanket, it’s almost never too cold to pour concrete!

Compressed Gas Sizes

How long does concrete take to set

How long does concrete take to set?

If you really want to know the truth, concrete never stops curing; it continually hardens forever.  However, for practical purposes, it reaches a point where further hardening will be so slow it becomes unnoticeable.  In this article, we cover the basics of what you need to know about “how long does concrete take to set.”

 

Concrete Never Stops Curinghow long does it take concrete to set

The continual hardening occurs because cement particles react with the water in the mix (hydration), and as long as cement is in contact with moisture, even miniscule bubbles, it will continue to form bonds.  This is minimal after “full strength” is achieved, but it is continual.  

 

Curing Time for Concrete

In standard industrial cases, full strength concrete is recognized at 28 days.  At seven days, you should have concrete that is cured to 70% full strength or greater.  But to answer the question of, “How long does concrete take to set?”, concrete setting time is generally 24 to 48 hours.  At this point the neighborhood dog will not leave his footprints in it, but you should keep it clear of heavy equipment during this time period. Most mixes are cured at 28 days.

 

Factors Affecting Concrete Setting Time

  • Moisture plays a critical role in curing time for concrete.  If there is not sufficient water in the mix, the concrete will cure too fast, resulting in weaker overall strength.  Too much moisture, often used in the finishing step will weaken the top layer and cause flaking.
  • Hot ambient temperatures and wind accelerate the evaporation of moisture–speeding concrete setting time.
  • The mix design has a lot to do with concrete setting time.  Some jobs will require accelerants because the area needs to be usable as soon as possible.  The accelerant will do its job and speed up the concrete setting time.  Accelerant mixes will show a weaker overall strength in the end, but will still meet strength requirements.

 

Powerblanket Concrete Blankets

If you are wondering about how long does concrete take to set, Powerblanket has a solution for your concrete setting needs.  If you are dealing with HOT conditions and your concrete setting too quickly, consider the FluxWrap.

The FluxWrap from North Slope Chillers is portable cooling equipment that will keep newly poured concrete safe from heat, regulating concrete setting time in both regular and hot conditions.

The FluxWrap is combined with either a cooler or chiller to achieve optimum results. The Circulation Blanket draws heat to the blanket in order to cool the concrete.

  • Use Powerblanket’s patented heat-spreading technology in reverse–the cooling blanket draws heat away and lowers the temperature of the concrete.
  • Take it with you on every jog.  It is easily portable.
  • Blanket cover and insulation are the same as the robust system used in Powerblanket heating products
  • Control the curing speed of newly poured concrete even in hot conditions

If conditions are cold, Powerblanket concrete curing blankets provide a manageable way to cure concrete effectively and confidently. Powerblanket curing blankets increase production by rapidly curing with consistent, even heat.

  •  Cure concrete 2.8 times faster than conventional, insulated blankets
  •  Maintain moisture throughout hydrating process
  •  Easily installed and removed
  •  Produce cold weather concreting strength of up to 3,925 psi in 72 hours
  •  Prevent a freeze cycle
  •  Thaw ground and frost from job site before you pour
  •  Reduce downtime & increase profitability
  •  Maintain ACI compliance for cold weather concreting

 

Concrete Curing Temperature Makes a Difference

How Warm Does it Have To Be To Pour Concrete?

Whether the conditions are hot or freezing, the ideal concrete curing temperature should be maintained at about 55°F to achieve the optimum concrete strength.

Curing the Hoover Dam

At its completion in 1935, the Hoover Dam was the largest dam in the world and a marvel of labor and engineering.  The first pour began on June 6, 1933. Rather than being a single block of concrete, they built the dam as a series of individual columns. The trapezoidal columns rose in five foot lifts. This method allowed the tremendous heat produced by the curing concrete to dissipate. If the dam were built in a single continuous pour, the concrete would have gotten so hot that it would have taken 125 years for the concrete to cool to ambient temperatures. The resulting stresses would have caused the dam to crack and crumble away (The Story).  

The heat and dryness of Nevada posed additional complex problems with the pour and concrete curing temperature.  When the concrete was first poured, river water circulated through cooling coils of 1″ thin-walled steel pipes. Once the concrete had received a first initial cooling, chilled water from a refrigeration plant on the lower cofferdam circulated through the coils to finish the cooling (The Story).

Concrete Curing is an Art

We live in a world where faster always seems better; however, concrete that cures too quickly or under hot concrete curing conditions can actually result in weak or unstable concrete.  If concrete is cured in cooler ambient  temperatures (32°F to 50°F) with moisture continually present, strength gain will be slow but the concrete will eventually reach a high strength. Concrete should not be allowed to get hotter than 90°F or to dry out during the curing period.

Best Concrete Curing Temperature

By “best” we mean “most thoroughly,” not the fastest.  High temperatures mean faster curing, but fast curing equates to weaker strength in the end.  The following study by Paul Klieger in the Portland Cement Association Research Bulletin 103 illustrates this concept.

concrete cure time chart with concrete curing temperature

Concrete Cure Time Chart with Temperature

At an age of 1 day the 120°F concrete was strongest and the 25°F concrete was weakest. By 7 days the high-temperature cured concretes had no more strength than the 73°F concrete or even less. By the age of 28 days the high-temperature concretes were weaker than the 73°F concrete. From 28 days to 1 year the 55°F concrete was considerably stronger than the 73°F concrete. All of this suggests that, provided there is continuous curing, concrete cured at about 55°F for the first 28 days ultimately reaches the highest strength (Concrete).

Hot Weather Concrete Temperature Limits

Hot weather concreting doesn’t simply involve temperature.  High ambient temperatures, winds, and relative humidity all play a role in “hot weather.”  Under hot heather conditions, the primary curing issue is having the top of the slab of concrete dry much faster than the bottom. As concrete dries it shrinks. This means that the top will be shrinking while the bottom is not. This creates internal problems with the concrete that will result in a damaged slab. The top and the bottom of the pour need to cure at the same rate (Placing).

Concrete Curing Temperature Solutions

Is it too HOT?

Powerblanket ICE is portable cooling equipment that will keep newly poured concrete safe from heat.  Portable, insulated, and efficient, Powerblanket ICE effectively regulates the temperature of concrete under both regular and hot conditions.

The Powerblanket ICE Circulation Blanket is combined with either a cooler or chiller to achieve optimum results. The Circulation Blanket draws heat to the blanket in order to cool the concrete.

  • Use Powerblanket’s patented heat-spreading technology in reverse–the cooling blanket draws heat away and lowers the temperature of the concrete.
  • Blanket cover and insulation are the same as the robust system used in Powerblanket heating products
  • Portable
  • Control the curing speed of newly poured concrete even in hot conditions

Is it too COLD?

Powerblanket concrete curing blankets provide a manageable way to cure concrete effectively and confidently in the cold weather months. Even in warm weather, Powerblanket curing blankets increase production by rapidly curing with consistent, even heat.

  •   Cure concrete 2.8 times faster than conventional, insulated blankets
  •   Produce cold weather concreting strength of up to 3,925 psi in 72 hours
  •   Maintain moisture throughout hydrating process
  •   Easily installed and removed
  •   Prevent a freeze cycle
  •   Thaw ground and frost from job site prior to pour
  •   Reduce downtime & increase profitability
  •   Maintain ACI compliance for cold weather concreting

 

Concrete Curing Temperature

Works Cited

Concrete Construction Staff.  “Best Curing Temperatures”. Concrete Construction Magazine. 16 May 2017. http://www.concreteconstruction.net/how-to/best-curing-temperatures_o

“Placing Concrete in hot or cold weather”. Sakrete Blog. 16 May 2017. http://www.sakrete.com/media-center/blog-detail.cfm/bp_alias/Placing-Concrete-in-hot-or-cold-weather

“The Story of Hoover Dam – Essays”. Bureau of Reclamation. 16 May 2017. https://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/history/essays/concrete.html

 

Powerblanket Curing Blankets at the Statue of Liberty

Powerblanket® Goes to the Statue of Liberty

Reilly Construction out of Wrightstown, NJ won a bid from the U. S. Department of the Interior, National Parks to replace the roof of The Great Hall Statue of Liberty National Monument.  The Great Hall, which now houses the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, is considered one of the most symbolically important structures in American history. The Great Hall-Ellis Island was proclaimed a part of Statue of Liberty National Monument and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Reilly nee
ded extra heat in the form of curing blankets to make this job happen.

 

The project involved removal of the existing inverted roof membrane assembly (IRMA) and replacement with a new multi-ply modified bitumen roofing system over a complicated tapered insulation deck assembly, approx. 60,000 Sq. Ft. The project also included the replacement of custom fabricated copper flashings and accessories throughout and the installation of a lighting protection system. Reilly worked with the NYS Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to coordinate all the work.

 

Challenges Faced by Reilly

  •     Cold winter weather and high winds at this waterfront facility
  •     Working safely around thousands of tourists visiting this historic landmark daily
  •    Implementing various overhead protection plans at this historic landmark daily
  •    Mobilizing materials and equipment on a small island
  •    Limited laydown and staging areas
  •    Coordinating construction schedule with NPS & U.S. Park Police for VIP visits
  •    Ensuring compliance with the NYS Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)
  •    Day & night work


Finding Powerblanket

Dan DeSantis, the Senior Project Manager for Reilly, found Powerblanket products online and left his contact information. Upon follow up, we discovered that Reilly needed a heating solution to cure the masonry block work at the proper temperature (~50°F/~10°C) during December in New York and with the added chill of the water. Reilly used five Powerblanket MD0520 concrete curing blankets for the application, and appreciated the increased temperature control.

A Cure for What Ails You

Powerblanket concrete curing blankets provide a manageable way to cure concrete effectively and confidently in the cold weather months. Even in warm weather, Powerblanket curing blankets increase production by rapidly curing with consistent, even heat.

Why Choose Powerblanket Concrete Curing Blankets?

  •    Cure concrete 2.8 times faster than conventional, insulated blankets
  •    Produce cold weather concreting strength of up to 3,925 psi in 72 hours
  •    Maintain moisture throughout hydrating process
  •    Easily installed and removed
  •    Prevent a freeze cycle
  •    Thaw ground and frost from job site prior to pour
  •    Reduce downtime & increase profitability
  •    Maintain ACI compliance for cold weather concreting


5 Helpful Tips for Winter Construction Efficiency

5 Tips for Winter Construction

Working outside during the cold winter months presents many obstacles; however, some jobs will not wait for better circumstances. Below are some tips and solutions to improve winter construction.

1) KEEP YOUR EMPLOYEES SAFE

Train your employees in proper winter construction precautions.  Encourage everyone to wear layers of loose-fitting clothing, to stay dry, and to protect from the wind and sun with gloves, hats and sunscreen.  If conditions become too cold/dangerous, employees should have access to shelter.

On the work site, remove ice and snow regularly to prevent slips and falls.  This can be a full-time job depending on the weather.  The act of shoveling snow can also be extremely strenuous, especially for those individuals who do not engage in regular cardiovascular activity. According to the Cleveland Clinic, approximately 11,000 people seek shoveling-related hospital treatment each year for injuries (93%) or cardiac issues (7%). To save time, energy, and your employees health, use Summerstep heated safety mats to keep the walkways on your construction site clear.

Summerstep Snow Melting Mats

  • ,  Protect personnel from winter weather conditions and keep stairs, doorways, walkways, and ramps free from snow and ice
  •   Prevent slips and falls
  •   More convenient than shoveling snow
  •   More effective for snow and ice melting than harsh chemicals (less damaging to the environment, reusable, won’t damage concrete or other flooring surfaces)
  •   Will melt approximately 2 inches of snow per hour when operating
  •   40 Watts/Sq ft heated area
  •   The ONLY snow melting mat product made in the USA

learn-more-summerstep-01

2) MAINTAIN INTEGRITY OF CONCRETE

Winter construction cold-weather operations aren’t just about safety. While most construction tasks can be carried out in cold weather, some operations, such as concrete work, can take much longer and even fail without proper precautions.

 

If concrete is to reach necessary strength levels, it can’t be allowed to freeze for the first 24 hours after being poured or placed. Sheeting the concrete can ensure the required temperature and moisture necessary for curing, if the weather isn’t too severe.  In severe conditions, supplemental heating systems or enclosures must be brought in to maintain the integrity of the concrete.

 

Powerblanket Concrete Blankets provide a manageable way to cure concrete in the cold weather months, save you time and money, and come in various lengths and sizes. We have you covered.

 

Powerblanket Concrete Curing Blankets

  •   Cure concrete 2.8 times faster than conventional insulated blankets
  •   Produce cold weather concreting strength of 3,925 psi in 72 hours
  •   Maintain moisture throughout hydrating process
  •   Easily installed and removed
  •   Maintain ACI compliance for cold-weather concreting  Certified to UL and CSA standards

learn-more-concrete-blankets-01

3) DON’T LET FROZEN GROUND SLOW YOU DOWN

When it’s cold and the ground freezes, the job suffers.  Often prep for winter construction takes longer than the actual job.  Some industrial companies try heating the ground with massive coils or large heating systems, which become expensive and cumbersome. This approach requires rental fees and transporting equipment.  

Powerblanket has considered the difficulties and delays associated with winter construction and cold/freezing temperatures and has created a solution.  With Powerblanket’s patented heating technology you can prep the ground with little to no effort or supervision on your part.

Powerblanket ground thawing blankets have a higher power density and hotter temperature than our concrete curing blankets. The higher power is iideal for ground thawing applications and curing epoxy or resins.

Why Powerblanket Ground Thawing Blankets?

  •   High power density thaws frozen ground quickly
  •   Remove frost prior to concrete pour
  •   Melt snow and ice from roofs, walkways, and construction areas
  •   Easily placed and removed for repeated use in harsh winter weather
  •   Can be used to cure epoxy and resins
  •   Certified to UL and CSA standards

learn-more-ground-thawing-01

4) KEEP MATERIALS WARM

Masonry, roofing, paint, and plaster/stucco materials are all sensitive to cold weather.  Maintaining the integrity of these materials is critical for their success in winter construction.

Powerblanket Hot Boxes save you money by keeping your products from freezing without the risk of overheating. The Hot Box pallet warmer is easily assembled, taken apart. Hot boxes are ideal for cold wea
ther storage, freeze protection, transporting, job site heating, remote location use, and winter roofing. Standard Hot Boxes hold product between 100°F and 120°F (38°C and 49°C) and optional adjustable thermostatic controllers allow temperatures to be precisely controlled.

Powerblanket Hot Boxes:

  •   Quick and easy assembly
  •   Preserve temperature sensitive material
  •   Heat materials and palletized products: adhesives, shingles, paint, caulk, resins epoxies, etc.
  •   Access doors on two sides.
  •   Certified to UL and CSA standards

learn-more-hot-boxes-01

5) USING A PROPANE HEATER

Winter construction professionals often use temporary, propane-powered heating equipment on the jobsite, making it easier to finish projects on time and on budget. In addition to providing more comfortable working conditions, propane-powered heaters can also maintain the ambient temperatures necessary for common tasks like drywall installation or painting. However, like any portable heating device, propane-powered heaters must be used and maintained properly.

When temperatures get too low, the propane will not flow consistently or effectively, and you may lose your heat altogether. Propane-tank efficiency will fall substantially as the temperature drops. As the temperature drops, so does the pressure in your propane tank, and the pressure in your propane tank directly affects the volume of propane you have to work with. Your extraction rate (how quickly and smoothly you can extract propane from the tank) will suffer as well. Without a heating source to assist in the pressure maintenance of your tank, you will have to keep it as full as possible in order to keep it working, even if temperatures are mildly cold.

Powerblanket Propane Tank Heater

Powerblanket has the best propane tank heating solution on the market. These heating blankets will help maintain pressure and efficiency on just about any size tank. All Powerblanket heating blankets are certified to UL and CSA safety standards

Benefits of Powerblanket Propane Tank Heaters:

  •   Increase performance and efficiency of propane tanks
  •   Eliminates unnecessary cylinder refills in cold weather
  •  Even heat distribution in the areas where it is needed most
  •   Save money by optimizing gas and material usage
  •    Certified to UL and CSA standards

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Concrete Cooling: Curing Concrete in the Summer Months


We talk a lot about the dilemmas posed to concrete curing during the cold winter months, and for good reason too. It’s difficult to get concrete to cure well when the temperature drops. But what about when the weather is hot? True, fewer problems exist for concrete curing during the summer, but excessively hot temperatures can cause concrete to cure too quickly. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered here too, with our concrete cooling:

 

canstockphoto3975308Concreting in the Summer

We all know that summer is the ideal time for construction projects, and concrete pouring is no exception. But when the summer months get really hot, it can be a little too much of a good thing. In fact, concrete cures best in a range somewhere between 70° to 80° F. As you approach numbers as high as 90°, however, you’ll start to run into problems. Concrete experts suggest that if you anticipate experiencing temperatures higher than 77° F after pouring your concrete, you should have a plan for remedying the effects of the high temperatures. Since temperatures above 77° F are very common in the summer months, you’ll need to have a concrete cooling solution in place.

Why, you may ask? Because when concrete is poured in high temperatures, it can cure too fast. One of the major concerns with really short curing times is the reduction of strength due to the demand for high water content during high curing temperatures. Pouring concrete in hot weather also poses the risk of dehydrating the concrete, which will lead to shrinkage and cracking. With these risks in mind, it becomes imperative to have a plan in place for combating the hot weather, and we have just the solution for it too.

 

Powerblanket® ICE for Concrete Cooling

Our new Powerblanket ICE cooling blankets allow you to simplify the concrete work you do in the summer by eliminating the side-effects associated with hot weather concreting. Just look at these features:

  • Powerblanket ICE uses Powerblanket’s patented heat spreading technology in reverse to draw heat away from the concrete while simultaneously circulating coolant throughout the blanket surface.
  • All three types of Powerblanket ICE cooling products are portable. (Both the ice box and chiller driven systems require 120VAC). See the Powerblanket ICE cooling product pages on our website for details.
  • We can provide Powerblanket ICE cooling products for custom applications quickly and cost effectively, just like our heating products. Just get us the details, and we can have a product in your hands in just a few weeks.
  • Powerblanket ICE prevents shrinkage and cracking by maintaining the ideal curing temperature during hot weather.

 

Don’t take a chance with the hot weather this summer. Reach out to us today for a quote on Powerblanket ICE products.

 

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Concrete Blankets From Powerblanket®

Cement Curing Blankets

Cement curing has always been a challenge in cold weather. Historically, experts have employed many different methods in order to aid in and speed up the curing process. Some methods are better than others. The best, in our opinion, is using concrete curing blankets from Powerblanket. Here’s why:

Concrete Curing Blankets

 

Why Electric Curing Blankets?

When placing concrete in cold weather, protecting the asset (the concrete) is not optional. For years now, experts have used insulated blankets to both protect the concrete and speed the curing process at the same time. Concrete cures due to a chemical reaction that generates heat as a byproduct. So insulating the concrete allows that heat to be trapped and used to aid in the curing process. Concrete cures fastest in very warm conditions, so this makes the use of an insulated blanket a practical and theoretically sound practice.

Of course, the use of traditional concrete curing blankets isn’t the only method employed among professionals. Other common curing interventions include:

  • Chemical additives
  • Hydronic heating systems
  • Electrically-powered concrete curing blankets
  • Poly/tarp cover with forced air heat applied

Sometimes the circumstance will allow for the luxury of a postponed pour, in order to take advantage of an expected temperature change.  But more often than not, schedules and deadlines make it imperative to institute curing assistance to get through less-than-favorable weather.

This is where Powerblanket Concrete Curing Blankets come in. As much as traditional curing blankets aid in protecting and accelerating the curing process, Powerblanket curing blankets provide both insulation and heat, protecting and accelerating all the more. Our patented blend of technology delivers an even distribution of electrical heat to the surface area of the blanket, trapping the heat of the chemical reaction in the concrete and adding the additional heat needed to accelerate the process even further.

Since Powerblanket Cement Curing Blankets insulate and heat, they effectively accommodate the hydration of the concrete as well. How well do they really work? Take a look at our case study to see an example of curing nearly three times as fast with our blankets.

The technology behind Powerblanket curing blankets serves to achieve several primary objectives, including:

  1. Preventing damage as a result of freezing in the early stage of curing
  2. Producing sufficient, specified strengths in a timely manner
  3. Insuring durability and long-term structural integrity
  4. Keeping projects on schedule, regardless of weather

So before you’re faced with a project that must go on despite inclement temperatures, make sure you have a plan on how to protect your concrete and keep your deadlines met. When considering the options you have before you, we’re confident you’ll find our solution to be the best answer out there.

 

Read the Case Study for Evidence that Powerblanket Cement Curing Blankets:

  • Cured concrete 2.8 times faster than conventional insulated blankets
  • Cured concrete 1.7 times faster without adding additional heat (un-powered)
  • Produced cold weather concreting strength of 3,925 psi in 72 hours

 

Additional Features:

  • Maintain moisture throughout hydrating process
  • Maintain ACI compliance for cold-weather concreting

 

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Custom Tank Heaters: The Perfect Approach to Heating Solutions


custom tank heatersIt would be absolutely ridiculous to assume that all tanks come in the same shapes and sizes, whether they hold water, gas, chemicals, or some other matter. We all know that this simply isn’t the case. While there are certainly standard measurements for specialty gas tanks, water tanks, and others, the range of variance between size, construction, and purpose is vast enough that there simply isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for tank protection. That’s why Powerblanket® Custom Tank Heaters are the perfect approach to the need for a heating solution.

 

Customized for Your Tanks and Needs

Regardless of the size of your tank, the purpose it serves, or its shape, Powerblanket can help you protect it against cold weather and keep it running at the ideal temperature year round. Our custom approach to providing tailored heating solutions to a myriad of industries and applications has allowed hundreds of customers to protect their precious assets from the ravages of cold weather.

In addition to freeze protection, our custom tank heaters enable increased efficiency in gas and other kinds of tanks. Anywhere flow rates and extraction rates are affected by temperature, Powerblanket custom tank heaters can ensure the flow of liquids and extraction of gas is always at its best. Take, for example, the nature of a gas such as propane.

When gases are stored in tanks, they are stored under considerable pressure. Due to this fact, they reside in the tank in both a liquid and gaseous state. Extracting a gas means you must evaporate some of the liquid and that evaporation process requires an input of heat energy. If the gas extraction rate is fast enough, it could cause the tank to frost up and the extraction to be impeded. However, with a custom Powerblanket propane tank heater you can keep the extraction flowing fast and full, without the side effect of frosting or icing.

What’s more, whether a tank holds gas or liquid, freezing temperatures pose big problems. Using a custom tank heater allows you to fully insulate and heat your tank to whatever temperature is best, regardless of the surrounding climate.

 

custom tank heaterGetting a custom tank heater from Powerblanket is as easy as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Contact us with the details of your application.
  2. We’ll design a custom tank heater for your application, based on your information and feedback.
  3. We’ll build your custom solution and ship it to you within two weeks. (Sometimes, we can even turn a project around in as little as one week.)

 

In the end, there’s no reason to leave your tank out in the cold. Powerblanket can cover it and keep it safe and functioning well through the most inclement weather.

 

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Custom Heating Solutions Don’t Take as Long as You Think

Custom Heating BlanketsOften times when we think of customization, or taking a custom approach to something, the first thing that comes to mind is time. “How long is that going to take?” we ask ourselves. Well, in the case of Powerblanket custom heating solutions, not too long at all. Our custom approach to heating solutions doesn’t take as long as you might think. In fact, in most cases, Powerblanket can turn around a custom project in one to two weeks.

 

Custom is the Way to Go

Many applications can be adequately covered by our ready-to-ship product line, but there are equally as many projects that need a custom solution. Powerblanket works with many companies in a myriad of industries to supply custom heating solutions to a wide range of needs. So what does a custom heating solution process look like when working with us? We’ll show you.

Powerblanket’s custom heating solutions can be tailored to fit just about any application. If you can build it, produce it, or store it, Powerblanket can cover it. What’s more, completing a custom project with us can be summarized in three easy steps:

 

  1. Contact us and tell us the details of your application. (Many of our custom projects start with a simple phone call to one of our reps. From here, you can send any and all information we’ll need to form the proper heating solution for you. Additionally, we do offer what we refer to as the white glove treatment. In other words, we can come onsite and get all the details on our own.)
  2. We’ll design a custom heating solution for your application, based on the information and feedback we gather or you deliver to us. (Whether you choose to send us information or want us to come onsite, we will get all the details we need.)
  3. We’ll build your custom solution and ship it to you within two weeks. (Sometimes, we can even turn a project around in as little as one week.)

 

Case In Point

When Enduraplas’s plastics manufacturing process needed heating assistance, Powerblanket was able to deliver a custom tank heater that increased efficiency beyond expectations. Enduraplas’s manufacturing process uses propane extensively—making their large propane tanks an invaluable asset. However, cold weather threw a real damper on the whole thing, impeding the flow of propane significantly.
With the Poweblanket custom heating solution in place, however, Enduraplas was able to run their manufacturing processes through the coldest of weather.

 

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Gold Coast Yachts is another great example of how Powerblanket custom heating saved immense amounts of time and money. Gold Coast Yachts builds custom, carbon-fiber yachts, and the curing process for the large sections of carbon-fiber frames needs high-temperature exposure for long periods of time. Previous to implementing the Powerblanket custom curing blankets, Gold Coast had to architect, build, and utilize large custom ovens for every cure. In other words, they had to build a large shed around every frame in order to pipe heat into the enclosure and cure the resins at the proper temperature. This process, as you can imagine, took a whole lot of time, manpower, and money. With Powerblanket, however, Gold Coast Yachts was able to save thousands of dollars and hours of time on each project.

 

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When Cenovus turned to Powerblanket to design a custom valve and transmitter heating solution, Powerblanket was able to turn the product around with ease and speed. Powerblanket set out to create a custom heating system that eliminated the risk Cenovus had of losing money to freezing valves and transmitters. After Powerblanket completed the project, Cenovous no longer had to worry about the cost associated with downtime and the thawing of frozen instrumentation and valves.

 

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Precast Concrete and Throughput: How to Improve Cure Times

The business of precast concrete manufacturing is one where you often have to hurry up and wait. Once you pour a precast form, you then have to wait for the time-consuming process of allowing the form to fully cure. The importance of proper curing can’t be undermined, but what if it could be efficiently and safely sped up?

 

Precast Concrete InfographicCure Precast Concrete 3 Times as Fast

What if we told you that you could speed up your precast concrete curing process, without the use of any additives, by as much as 300%? If you’re first thought is: prove it, then we would love to. In fact, it may interest you to know that the inception of Powerblanket heating solutions all started with concrete curing in the first place. We’ve been in the business of increasing concrete-curing efficiency for many years, and our solutions have been proven and tested innumerable times over to increase curing efficiency without any of the common side effects related to other forms of acceleration.

Additives can dehydrate your concrete and leave you playing a game of gains and losses. But Powerblanket custom precast concrete curing solutions keep your concrete insulated and hydrated throughout the curing process. Our patented blend of technology allows for the even and consistent curing of precast forms of all shapes and sizes.

So rather than balancing the pros and cons of using additives or accelerators in your concrete forms, let us show you a solution that creates no setbacks, only progress. To learn more about our precast curing blankets, select the button below for the infographic.

 

Precast Infographic

 

Propane Tanks and How to Care for Them

Whether you’re a homeowner who relies on propane for heating, or a business leader who uses if for industrial purposes, propane is a versatile and important commodity. However, as helpful as propane is to us, we often overlook the need of caring for our propane tanks year round.

 

2016-01-05 09_16_31-Powerblanket___Propane_Tanks_Guide___v3__1_ (1).pdf - Adobe ReaderCaring for Your Propane: Tank and All

When it comes to caring for your propane storage, it’s imperative that you have a working knowledge of your tank and all the potential threats that could impede its proper functionality. Understanding the warning signs of a damaged or inefficient tank is important, not only for reasons of economical operation, but for the safety of all involved.

Several factors play into the safe and efficient operation of any size propane tank. These factors include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Shutting off valves when the tank is not in use
  • Keeping reserve tanks at a minimum
  • Not leaving portable propane tanks inside a vehicle
  • Securing portable tanks properly
  • Replacing weathered and/or worn canisters

Knowing how to properly manage all these aspects of propane storage and usage is very important. But there are many other factors to consider, too. Matters such as storage, setup, protection, government regulations, and the warning signs of hazardous circumstances are equally important. For more information on how to care for your propane and the tank in which you keep it. Access our free e-book below.

 

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DEF Tank Heaters: Storage and Beyond

If you run any sort of diesel engine, then you know how important DEF is these days. You can’t do business without it. However, wintertime poses a real problem to storing DEF. Then again, storage is only half of the problem. What do you do with your DEF in transit? Or worse yet, what do you do when your engine isn’t running. Thankfully, we have the answer with our DEF tank heaters.

 

DEF Tank HeaterDEF Tank Heaters

Protecting your DEF in storage is very important, but like we said already, it’s only half the problem. Protecting your DEF from freezing temperatures once it’s in the truck tank becomes equally important. The transportation and commercial trucking industries know just how frustrating it is when DEF freezes in the truck tank.

This problem has been around since the inception of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF). But innovative truck manufacturers solved the problem by running their coolant system through the DEF tank. And it worked too, as long as the truck was running. That’s the catch, you see. This type of DEF heating solution only works when the engine is running. After parking a truck overnight in cold weather, the DEF could freeze up entirely. What’s more, it could take as much as 30 minutes to several hours of idling to thaw out a DEF Popsicle. Running the truck with frozen DEF will likely trip the sensors too, indicating a false reading within truck computer and adversely affecting its performance.

Instead of taking a chance with winter, and losing valuable time as a result, trucking companies can turn to Powerblanket for an innovative solution to this dilemma. Powerblanket has developed an insulated heating blanket designed to fit the DEF tanks installed in commercial trucks. These DEF tank heaters offer both insulation and regulated heat that will keep your DEF at the ideal temperature. The Powerblanket DEF tank heater is certified to national and international safety standards and is easy to install, remove, and reinstall.

With options for either AC or DC voltage and the choice of a ten or fifteen-foot cord, our DEF tank heaters are easy to apply on your truck and plug in to keep your DEF warm when the engine isn’t running. So put the worry of frozen DEF aside this winter, and reach out to us for your DEF tank heaters today.

 

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Powerblanket Receives Manufacturer of the Year Award from UMA

If you haven’t seen this headline somewhere else on the web by now, we’re happy to tell you all about it here. Utah Manufacturers Association recently awarded Powerblanket something we’re pretty happy about. Read on to learn more about the UMA Manufacturer of the Year Award.

 

UMA AwardUMA and Manufacturer of the Year

Utah Manufacturers Association (UMA), recently awarded Powerblanket the prestigious award  of Manufacturer of the Year. This award is given annually to the Utah-based manufacturer that proves to be the most innovative contributor to their space. There’s even more to it than this, but we’ll get to that.

UMA has been around since 1905. The organization prides itself on offering the “voice of industry” in the state of Utah, and they’ve been doing so for over 107 years now. UMA has clearly been talking Utah economy for a long time, but talking isn’t all they do. UMA is a trade association, and their goal is to enhance and improve the business climate in the state. UMA doesn’t only offer insight and expertise in the business of manufacturing, but the organization also has considerable experience in the legislative processes of state government. This is how they can do so much to vie for the interests of Utah businesses and the overall economic prosperity of the state.

UMA’s Manufacturer of the Year Award embodies the mission of UMA in multiple ways. By awarding the company that not only proves innovative in their respective markets, but also offers leadership in their industry, UMA’s award encourages and rewards the same idealism by which their organization operates. Powerblanket was chosen to receive this award for 2015, based on the embodiment of these characteristics and more. In fact, why don’t we just give it to you in their own words. According to UMA, Powerblanket received the award “for their outstanding performance in operational excellence, economic achievement, workplace safety, community outreach, and fidelity to the principles of free enterprise.”

Powerblanket is honored to receive such accolades from a high quality establishment like UMA. The credibility of UMA and the Manufacturer of the Year Award lends a great addition to our own image and ethos as a company devoted to “operational excellence, economic achievement, workplace safety, community outreach, and fidelity to the principles of free enterprise.”

So, from all of us here at Powerblanket, thank you, UMA for this great privilege.

 


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Precast Concrete and Powerblanket: A 300% Increase in Efficiency

If you’re in the business of precast concrete, then you know how frustrating it is to have to pour once a day. When it comes to precast production, the curing time for concrete simply isn’t very conducive to a good production turnaround. But what if you could increase your cure rate by 300%? Well, read on, because you can.

 

7454758636_064f8a4ec8_oConcrete and Powerblanket

The inception of Powerblanket over one decade ago actually spawned form the use of certain technologies (our innovative approach to heating solutions) in order to cure concrete faster and more efficiently. The idea for accelerated concrete curing was no new idea. Chemical admixtures were used to increase the cure time of concrete before Powerblanket came along to change the game. But the problem with chemical additives is that they dehydrate the concrete as they speed up the curing process. And as any concrete expert knows, that’s a big problem.

The Powerblanket solution, on the other hand, keeps the moisture in the concrete while producing insulation, protection, and heat—all of which increase the curing efficiency by 300%. That’s right, and in the case of pouring concrete into forms, well, such an increase makes a real difference. Adding customized Powerblanket heating solutions to your precast concrete business means that you can increase your throughput substantially. If you’re pouring only once a day, adding a Powerblanket solution to your process means you’ll be able to pour three times a day.

And the beauty of Powerblanket heating solutions is that they’re easy to install, remove, transport, and store. So when a form of concrete is cured, you can remove the blanket quicker than the form itself. Additionally, Powerblanket heating solutions can be customized to fit just about anything. So if you use unique precast forms, there’s no need to fret. To put it simply: if you can build it, produce it, or store it, Powerblanket can cover it.

 

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The Hot Box Now Comes in 3 Options

If you know about our Bulk Material Warmer (also known as the Powerblanket Hot Box), then know how handy it can be when it comes to keeping your materials warm and protected from freezing temperatures. However, what you may not have known is that this savvy product now comes in three different performance levels.

 

Product Spotlight- Hot BoxGood Better Best

We recently expanded on our tried and true Hot Box heating solution in order to provide variable offerings for varying use cases. We realize not every job needs the most robust, durable, and powerful product in order to offer efficiency and economic heating capabilities. So with this in mind, we set out to create a good-better-best approach to the Powerblanket Hot Box product line.

The Powerblanket Hot Box (also referred to as a Bulk Material Warmer) is now available in three different performance levels to accommodate a wider range of heating needs. When we first introduced their Bulk Material Warmer, it was immediately implemented among our customer base as a viable and helpful solution for bulk material prep and protection.

Take Vern Fiehler, of Quick Road Repair in Alaska, for example. Vern was one such individual who benefited substantially from the Powerblanket Hot Box. Prior to the inception of the Hot Box, Vern was using a forced-air, ceramic heater to bring his Instant Road Repair (IRR) product up to working temperatures. But the use of this heating solution burned his product during a presentation in front of a group of decision makers for the Juneau Alaska International Airport. Shortly after this setback, Vern discovered our Hot Box and has used it ever since.

Whatever bulk material warming you may be in need of, you can benefit from the security, efficiency, and safety of our Hot Box heating solution, just like Vern did. Whether you need a little or a lot of heat, whether you need durability or extreme durability and regulatory heat, we have the right box for you. With our Powerblanket Lite, Powerblanket, and Powerblanket Premium options, you can get portable, storable, and reliable heating to protect your assets, whatever they are.

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How to Keep Water Tanks from Freezing

If you’ve ever had a water storage tank freeze, then you know just how much of a disaster it can be. As the colder months are fast approaching, now is the time to consider what you can do to keep your tanks protected from failure.

 

How to keep water tanks from freezingFreeze Protection for Water Storage

When it comes to freeze protection for water storage, the water itself is only half the equation. Surely it’s obvious that your priority would be to protect your storage from freezing, but have you stopped to consider that your storage tank needs just as much protecting? If you’ve stored water before in cold temperatures, then you probably have, because you’ll be well aware of water’s unique characteristics.

Of all the pure elements on earth that we know of, H₂O is the only molecule that expands when it freezes. Everything else contracts. With this being the case, one can imagine, and most of us have experienced firsthand, the dilemma posed by water’s frozen state. As it has to do with tank storage, well, potential damage to the tank is a very real concern. Consequently, having your water storage tank freeze can create a very big problem.

Most water storage tanks are equipped with two different types of systems for churning the water within the tank. These systems only work well within the proper environments, however. One such system is known as a passive system. These are hydrodynamic mixing systems. Another type is a jet aeration system. Jet aeration systems create movement in the water only during the filling process, which means that are completely incapable of preventing ice buildup in the tank once the temperature drops.

Then there are your active systems, and there are two kinds: pulse hydraulics and solar. These types of systems are known as active because they can be programmed to respond to various needs in the tank environment. However, only the most powerful active mixers can prevent ice buildup all winter long.

So here’s the moral of the story: unless your environment is just right, simply moving the water around in your tank isn’t going to prevent freezing. Even if you have a large and powerful active mixer, you’re still gambling with Mother Nature. When ice develops in your water storage, it can damage your controls, the interior of the tank, or it can even puncture the walls of your tank. What’s more, all this can happen before you even realize you have ice buildup.

 

The Answer

So how to keep water tanks from freezing, it’s a good question. But as you can already tell, the answer section to this topic is much shorter than the problem, and that’s because the solution is simple. In order to eliminate the damage associated with freezing water, you simply have to keep your tank at the ideal temperature. To be quite frank, the traditional methods for reducing ice formation inside water tanks are expensive, difficult, and only partially effective, hence the word “reducing” instead of “eliminating”.

So when seeking a solution for preventing ice buildup inside a storage tank, the most important thing to remember is uniformed heat. In order to properly prevent ice buildup, you need to maintain the same temperature at the bottom of your water tank, as you do at the top. In order to do this, you need to have a solution in place that can keep your tank at an ideal, regulated temperature year round. And thankfully, it just so happens that we provide that very solution here at Powerblanket®.

 

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Concrete Curing: Not Just a Wintertime Problem

If you’re in the business of concrete, then you know that winter poses the most complications when it comes to proper concrete curing. However, you’ll be equally aware of the fact that summertime also has its challenges.

 

Concrete Curing- Not Just a Wintertime Problem

Summertime Concreting

Sure, winter is a far more difficult time to deal with when pouring concrete. Proper curing involves ideal temperatures, and winter imposes on these ranges more than any other season. That’s why when it comes to pouring concrete in winter, you need the assistance of a good concrete curing blanket. But what can be done to counter the challenges of summer, and what are those primary challenges?

In the summer months, you don’t have to worry about freezing temperatures. Instead, you need to watch for levels of relative humidity, temperature fluctuations between night and day hours, and an increase in the water demand for concrete curing. With these factors to consider, careful monitoring of the concrete is still an important element of the job. Hotter temperature and low humidity can increase the need for additional water, and large fluctuations between the daytime and evening temperature can pose significant problems too.

If there is the risk of a rapid drop in temperature, then there is the risk that your concrete could crack. Even though the temperature may be ideal for curing during the day, that doesn’t mean it will be at night. Certain regions can experience significant temperature variances between daytime and evening hours, and these variances should be considered potentially problematic.

 

Using a Concrete Curing Blanket in the Summer?

It may seem a bit of a stretch to suggest the use of a curing blanket during the summer months, but the reality of the situation is that it can be a very reasonable call. Think about the potential scenario of dropping temperatures at night. If your concrete is curing well during the heat of the day, and then experiences a drastic drop in temperature at night, then it’s going to affect the cure and even cause potential cracking.

Using a concrete curing blanket at night would allow you to regulate the temperature range even if it’s dropping. This would produce a more uniform cure and would also speed up the process significantly. The blanket likely wouldn’t be needed during the day, but applying it at night could greatly decrease the fail rate of an expensive and time consuming project.

 

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Winter Preparation: Now’s the Time

As the temperatures around the nation rise into the hundreds, cold-weather preparation may be the furthest thing from your mind. What’s more, there are plenty of warm-weather applications that Powerblanket technology is used for. But we would be completely remiss if we didn’t say enough of proper winter preparation. After all, when it comes to preparing for winter, you don’t want to be a grasshopper…

 

Winter Preparation- Now’s the Time

Aesop’s Fable: The Ant and the Grasshopper

Perhaps you’re already familiar with the old fable of The Ant and the Grasshopper from Aesop. If you’re not (and even if you are) we’ve recited it here. Below follows the most popular English renditions of the story:

“In a field one summer’s day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart’s content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.

‘Why not come and chat with me,’ said the Grasshopper, ‘instead of toiling and moiling in that way?’

‘I am helping to lay up food for the winter,’ said the Ant, ‘and recommend you to do the same.’

‘Why bother about winter?’ said the Grasshopper; we have got plenty of food at present.’ But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil.

When the winter came, the Grasshopper found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing, every day, corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew it is best to prepare for the days of necessity.”

Of course, the implications of this story can go far deeper than the need for good winter preparation. But for the sake of comparison, the story’s plot is rather poignant for the industries we serve. When cold weather does hit, it’s best to already have the systems and products you need in place to brave the effects of winter. So if you have assets to cover come late October, now’s the best time to start getting together the protection you’ll need.

 

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A Report From The World of Concrete

You may recall the article we posted about our recent involvement at the 2015 World of Concrete. If not, you can read all about it here. But if you’re wondering what the latest is in the world of concrete, just read on.

 

A Report From The World of Concrete

Good News For the Concrete Industry

The 2015 edition of the World of Concrete (WOC) was apparently the largest and most celebrated in six years. More than 55,000 attendees were present with access to 1,459 exhibitors. Among those exhibitors was Powerblanket and our concrete curing sample. Helping to cure concrete faster and more efficiently is one of our proudest contributions to the construction industry. And to speak of the construction industry as a whole, this year’s WOC was a great illustration of the growth and recovery the industry has experienced lately.

Concrete projects are on the rise for the same reason that so many other projects are. The construction industry has been experiencing a real rebound lately, and when both single-family housing and commercial construction are on the rise, it’s always good news for the concrete industry. The WOC this year brought hundreds of opportunities for industry leaders to network and present cutting-edge technologies fit for a sector experiencing considerable growth and increased opportunity.

The Powerblanket exhibit was a chance for us to collaborate with Structural Service Inc. to showcase the amazing curing capabilities of our concrete curing blankets. A 600 square-foot concrete slab was poured for use in a concrete polishing and repair workshop for the event, but before that slab could be used for such, it had to be fully cured. This is where we had our chance to shine. Under traditional circumstances, concrete cures for a minimum of ten days before it’s ready for polishing. But for the sake of the showcase, Structural Services needed the slab to reach minimal strength requirements within 24 hours. To make a not-so-long story even shorter, Powerblanket concrete curing blankets made it all possible.

 

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The Construction Industry: An Outlook On The Labor Force

If you read our article on the upswing in the construction industry (see “Construction Industry Experiences a Turnaround In 2014”), you’ll know that the future looks bright. The economy has started to rebound and construction projects are increasing again. But after a general increase in business, construction companies now face a new challenge: a shortage of skilled workers. That’s the theory, at least.

 

The Construction Industry- An Outlook On The Labor Force

Skilled Labor Lacking for the Construction Industry?

We touched on this problem in the article we mentioned above, but it’s been an important topic ever sense, and the theories around why the problem hasn’t gotten any better yet are twofold.  Since the upturn in the economy, theconstruction industry has begun picking up again. This has been the case with many other sectors too, but not all of them are experiencing the same dilemma that construction is.   

When the economy started to decline and building projects began to wane, many people were left without the steady employment they needed. Construction looked like a dead end for some, and frankly, companies couldn’t afford to keep their skilled workers employed for jobs they didn’t have. So, sadly, many construction workers lost their jobs or left to find employment elsewhere.

Now, some are saying that this large migration has caused a shortage in skilled labor for the industry, and that the increase in business has created a void that needs to be filled. Others, however, suppose that those laborers are still out there, that there are likely many still unemployed or looking for work, and that the claim of a shortage is just another way of saying that the upturn in business is slower than many had hoped.

Well, whatever the case may be, and perhaps it’s a combination of both, one thing is certain. Interest in the industry is something that leaders of companies are really focused on improving. The word in the news is that many schools are actively participating in the education process regarding jobs in the construction sector. With business on the rise, interest is on the rise, and where there’s a will, there’s a way for companies to find, recruit, or educate the skilled laborers they need.

 

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Heating Mortar Ingredients for Cold Weather Masonry

If you’re a mason, or you run a construction company employing masons, then you know how much the cold retards masonry work. With today’s technologies and old-school techniques for cold weather masonry, many companies continue their work well into the winter months. Heating mortar ingredients is one way to keep working when it’s cold, but if you’re doing so through traditional means, let us show you a better way.

 

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Keep It Hot

Every mason knows that when the water in your mix is exposed to near freezing and subfreezing conditions, it drastically retards the curing time of your work. In addition to this, it also compromises the strength of your project. When the temperature drops, the setting time for mortar increases almost tenfold. Because of this, the amount of water left in the mortar is also affected. An extended set time means that the water has more time to evaporate or make its way into the masonry units. After this occurs, you have less water to react with the mortar, and thanks to the cold temperatures, it’s really not reacting much anyway.

These are the dilemmas posed by cold weather masonry, but the solution to the problem is pretty straight forward. Masonry work can be continued in cold weather if two precautions are adhered to. The first precaution is to heat your mortar ingredients, especially the water. Heating the water before mixing will allow it to stay at the ideal temperature for much longer.

The second precaution to take is to keep the masonry unit above freezing after it’s all been laid. There are different techniques masons employ to accomplish this, but one of the more effective and economical approaches is the use of curing blankets. A curing blanket that both heats and insulates is the ideal choice. This will allow the units to remain at the ideal temperature for the duration of the cure. In fact, a good blanket will actually speed up the curing process significantly, ensuring a fast and strong cure.

 

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Powerblanket® Can Help

As far as both precautions are concerned, Powerblanket can help. When it comes to preheating the water for your mortar mixture, Powerblanket®Barrel, Bucket, and Tote Heaters can heat any of your ingredients to whatever temperature is needed. And for the curing process, consider Powerblanet® Concrete Curing Blankets.

 

Powerblanket® Barrel/Drum Heater Features:

  • Works with both steel and poly containers
  • Full wrap-around design provides complete insulation and ensures equal heat distribution
  • Drum warmers deliver safe, uniform heat to expensive materials without overheating or burning
  • Drum heaters design decreases and prevents product waste among temp-sensitive materials by maintaining consistent storage temperatures without significant fluctuations
  • Highly energy-efficient GreenHeat Technology™ and design lowers energy-related expenses and overall project and equipment costs

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Features of Powerblanket® Curing Blankets

  • Cure concrete 2.8 times faster than conventional insulated blankets
  • Produce cold weather concreting strength of 3,925 in 72 hours
  • Maintain moisture throughout the hydrating process
  • Easily installed and removed
  • Maintain ACI compliance for cold-weather concreting

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Construction Industry Experiences a Turnaround in 2014

Not too long ago, the news for the construction industry was less than favorable. However, after a period of recessed business, the industry is on the rebound in the western states and across the nation. Now the challenge is finding enough skilled workers.

 

Construction Industry Experiences a Turnaround in 2014

From Homes to Commercial Buildings

The steady increase in new single-family homes has been one factor to contribute to moreconstruction projects over the last year. But some companies have also reported nearly doubling their efforts in commercial construction.

After the recession took a toll on the amount of money people and companies had for building, the construction industry has been in decline itself in all areas, including commercial projects. But with the tides turning, leaders and managers of construction companies now face a new and growing challenge.

 

A Workforce for the Future

In today’s world of technology and computer-aged professions, it seems fewer young people are expressing interest in construction jobs, and this waning interest has many leaders in the industry concerned about its future. With construction projects now on the climb again, an increasing workforce is needed as much as it has ever been.

However, despite the demand for professions in the construction industry, there isn’t widespread interest to match it. In fact, some experts suggest that by the year 2020, as many as 2 million construction jobs will be available nationwide. And yet, the inevitable truth is that there won’t likely be 2 million skilled workers ready to fill the void.

When the industry took a hit years ago, like so many others did, skilled construction workers were forced to reconsider their future careers. Many left construction for other pursuits, and few have returned. With this reality as an ever-present challenge for leaders and managers of construction businesses, they are taking initiative to help fuel the interest in the youth of the nation. Seminars at colleges and in schools are helping to spark interest in the minds of many. So while the construction industry has this particular challenge on the horizon, there is hope for a supporting generation of new construction-minded individuals who will work to build America’s future.

 

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5 Ways To Improve Your Construction Productivity

Any given construction job could benefit from increased productivity. Apart from equipment costs and the expense of labor, inefficiency in the execution of a project can eat into your profit margins like nothing else. But the solutions to increase and maintain productive work can be relatively simple to employ too.

 

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#1 Spend Enough Time Planning

It’s an easy thing to start into a project without much planning to go ahead of it. This is especially true as your experience grows in certain project types. But regardless of your experience, a well-thought-out plan can help you limit your costs and improve your construction productivity. There are enumerable examples that could be cited to support this case, but here’s a simple one to think about.

Suppose you’re pouring concrete for a sidewalk outside of a private community college in your hometown. You have plenty of space to bring the trucks in close enough for the pour, but what you didn’t anticipate, until you started, was the rain clouds gathering overhead.  Perhaps this is an overly simplistic scenario, but it can help you think about what sort of matters can throw a wrench into productivity. Taking a few moments to check into the weather forecast could save you a lot of time and headache in such a case as this.

 

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#2 Train Staff on the Project

The ideal situation would be to have a crew that is directly experienced in every job you undertake. This may not always be the case, however. So you should keep in mind the need for training and planning with your crews regarding the tasks that need to be accomplished and the most efficient way to go about accomplishing those tasks. A little bit of game planning with your team can go a long way in preventing the need for reworking misunderstood initiatives or subpar results.

 

#3 Use Good Equipment

Another way to ensure that you limit your losses when executing your construction projects it to keep the necessary equipment on hand, and not only the necessities per se, but equipment that is high in quality too. It goes without saying in most cases, but it’s worth mentioning here that lower-quality equipment can end up costing you a lot more money in the long run should it fail.

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Not only does quality play a main role in making use of productive equipment, but efficiency is equally important. Obviously, if you’re still framing with hammers, then you’re missing out on the massive increase in efficiency offered by a pneumatic nail gun. Along with apparent examples like this one, there are other tools that you may not be using that could help you with your planning and execution. Consider the many communication tools that help keep your crew on the same tight schedule, which can inform them of changes to a plan at a moment’s notice. Think also of the many options in management software that can help you with your supply, inventory, and assignment protocols.

 

#4 Use Good Vendors

When it comes to supplying your crew with the building materials needed, having vendors and manufacturers you can count on is an essential element to the equation of productivity. If you’re constantly having to deal with slow turnaround times, backorders, or costly delivery charges, it’s going to eat into your profit margin really fast.

Just because one particular supplier has the cheapest price for a certain material doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best value. If they can’t provide timely and consistent deliver of supplies, then they’ll be costing you money in downtime, and downtime adds up a lot faster than product prices that are slightly higher.

 

#5 Communicate Goals

And finally, perhaps the most important step to take in increasing productivity on the job site is to communicate the goals and expectations to everyone involved. Getting everyone on the same page is paramount when it comes to maintaining a productive workflow. This concept should be first applied in the planning and training phases of the process, but should also be reaffirmed many times throughout the project.

Help everyone understand that completing the project in a timely and efficient manner creates positive results for everyone. Incentivize good work and prompt completion of tasks from your crew. Keep your people a closely knit team and success will certainly follow.

 

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How to Make Construction Season Last Year Round

It’s apparent to anyone who works in the construction industry that the summer months are the prime time to get things done. When winter rolls around, however, construction projects often move to a slow crawl or a screeching halt. But what if you could remedy that fact?

 

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Year Round Construction

How great would it be to possess the ability to work your construction projects year round? Any construction company would love to be able to continue temperature-sensitive tasks into the winter. But in a lot of cases, it just doesn’t work. Thanks to the effects cold weather has on curing, storage, and application of common construction material, construction season doesn’t do too well outside of the warm months. There just isn’t any real way to cure concrete in the cold, apply spray foam in below-freezing temperatures, or thaw topsoil for digging preparations…or is there?

 

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The Answer to the Conundrum of the Cold

Thankfully, there is a way to ensure that certain construction projects remain operable in the cold-weather months. Of course, there’s no way for us to change the weather patterns, but we can lessen the effects freezing temperatures have on material usage and application. For example, concretedoesn’t cure in cold temperatures nearly as well as in warm weather, but if one could add a curing blanket to speed up the process and make it even faster than a natural cure in 90°, well, that would be phenomenal. This is even more apparent in epoxy applications, where the necessary temperature range for curing is even higher.

And what about spray foam? How can you keep the proper consistency for application when cold weather compromises its characteristics? Wouldn’t it be great if you could apply a heating element that enabled an evenly-distributed amount of heat to warm the mixture to the ideal temperature and keep it there?


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Frozen topsoil is another project dampener. Whether you need to dig to repair a pipe or simply need to get past that frozen topsoil, Powerblanket® Ground Thawing blankets got it covered. From concrete curing to spray foam storage and prep, Powerblanket products can enable cold-weather construction and help keep your business going year round.

Find out how Powerblanket has helped other companies like yours by downloading these free case studies!

 

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