Are you worried about your scaffoldings being out there in the open exposed to some really rough weather condition? Well, it’s a real reason to be worried about! Whenever there is inclement weather, customers turn to their vendors for support. Scaffolding must be dismantled in extreme weather conditions and placed in a secure area with all its platforms tied down neatly.
However, it is easier said than done in most cases as there may not be ample knowledge about impending bad weather. There are many ways in which an erected scaffolding can be affected like hail, wind, snow, and rain. We shall look into these factors one-by-one in the following sections.
- A hail may not be desirable for a scaffolding – In Australia, hails are quite common and they can prove to be a disaster for objects as big as a car! However, they may not be much damaging to a scaffold’s physical components. Anyway, it is always recommendable to carefully inspect the component surface for any evidence of dent or buckling or for any type of cracks in the welding. In some types of sheltered scaffolding, hail may stay unaltered for a fairly long period of time without melting down, and that can make the surface slippery.
When it finally does meltdown, some places on the ladder or platform where wears are there may get slippery. Hence, post hail, a scaffolding should be looked into and only after conducting a satisfactory physical check, work should be resumed on it.
- High-speed winds can topple a scaffold – When there is a cloth screening or an encapsulation to create a substantial sail space, scaffolding can be prone to wind damage due to the exerted wind force. Encapsulation is generally attached to the frame by rubber straps that can detach during high-speed wind. However, screened or hoarded scaffoldings are installed by professionals so that they are either braced or tied to an RCC wall for sufficient support. For a standalone structure, it is essential that a scaffold must have enough weight at its bottom so that a sail effect of a banner or sign does not topple it. Hence, while hiring a scaffold, take into account the effect of any banners or signs that may be there in it.
- Snow also has its effects – Although there is not much chance of snow in Australia, it can be useful to know that snow can have a disastrous impact on a scaffolding. A mere 10 cm of snow can weigh-in about 50 Kg on a 2.5-meter platform length. As it compresses and more snow accumulates, the combined final weight can be as high as 250 Kg! Moreover, compact snow can behave like ice on the ladder and platform so that slippage can be a real threat. Therefore, if snow is accumulated, it must be shoveled or swept off and a detailed physical examination should be undertaken before re-commencing a job.
- Rain cannot alter the structure – However hard torrential downpour it may be, rain will not affect a scaffolding’s build integrity. Water will also flow off its edges and there will be no accumulation. For encapsulated scaffolds, there will always be a sloping roof so that extra water may run away. Only a physical examination after a rain can be enough to ensure that there is no water on it that can create a slippage issue.
Hence, take care of your scaffolds and the scaffolding will surely take care of your needs for a long time.