At this time of year, building activity tends to start to slow, and there is a noticeable (and unsurprising) transition from outdoor to indoor work. Therefore, it is important for merchants to understand what equipment and products the industry is going to need over the coming months.
Fences in particular often fall victim to high winds, so itís likely that specialist pre-packed concretes will be in high demand. These products are made up of a number of different cements and additives and they are remarkably effective in enabling fences to be replaced quickly.
Other common repair work includes checking the roof and chimney stacks, ensuring that there arenít any loose tiles and that there arenít any damaged or missing bricks.
For outdoor work that canít be avoided, plastic packed products or products in tubs are ideal as they prevent products getting wet and ruined on site. Plus, they help eliminate waste as they allow users to select the exact amount of product they need, and then put the rest away to be used at a later date.
Itís likely that rapid hardening or rapid setting products will be in higher demand than during warmer months. The setting and hardening of cement slows considerably in cold weather, particularly in temperatures below -5 degrees Celsius. Therefore these kinds of products are a good way of preventing delays on site and minimising the negative effects of low temperatures.
However, once winter has really set in and most work has moved indoors, it is at this point when projects involving internal floor screeds, construction of internal block work walls and sealing around holes in the external skin of buildings start to become more common.
For these kinds of projects, pre-packaged, pre-blended products are popular, as they allow users to minimise the number of materials needed to complete the job, thereby saving storage space. These products can be mixed indoors Ė a massive plus for those who want to avoid any contact with the British winter weather.
What this shows is that while winter might not be the traditional season for building works, with proper preparation there is no reason why people canít continue to be as productive as ever- so merchants need to stock in advance and meet the demand.
Bill Price is national commercial technical manager at Tarmac.