Stone World

Are My Bad Weather Blues Good News For You?

January 29, 2009
Will I be able to use my deck before August?


Living in Michigan has many perks. Unfortunately, I can’t think of any right now.

I’ve cleared my driveway for the 200th time this winter (OK, it just seems like 200 times) only to have it recovered with a fresh blanket of snow before I drive away.

I am hoping my pain translates into good news for construction, service and maintenance professionals. Based on my totally unscientific observations, many of you should benefit from my bad weather blues.

Heating Pros. Much of our country has been locked in a deep freeze for weeks. Boilers and furnaces are under great strain. I hear my neglected furnace running nonstop and my humidifier doesn’t seem to be working. A phone call to an HVAC pro is in my future.

Roofing Pros. With this much snow, there will be leaks galore. The big boom might not come until a sustained heat wave, or even spring. But I know that I’ve got two leak areas that need attention come spring--I just hope I don’t have any waterfalls before help arrives.

Carpet Cleaners and Floor Maintenance Pros. The entryways to every commercial building, institution and retailer are looking pretty sad. Salt and slop are winning the war on floors.

Wall and Ceiling and Remediation Pros. Last week, the little store in our office complex received an unwelcome visit from dripping water. I’m not sure if it came from a broken pipe or if the water penetrated from outside. Regardless, six industrial fans and a dehumidifier were brought in to dry out several walls. The fans helped, but new drywall appears to be needed in several spots.

Road and Bridge Repair Pros. With the amount of road salt used in Michigan alone, I have started to wonder why we don’t just build roads out of salt. Think about it…self-snow melting roads would solve a lot of problems.

Green Energy Pros. Once we add up our winter heating bills, we’ll be clamoring for more efficiency from every sector of our economy. This is good for anyone who can help people save energy.

Plumbing Pros. Frozen water pipes, clogged and broken drain lines, and sump pump failures (especially once spring arrives) are just a few of the fun tasks facing plumbers.

With all this weather-related business coming your way, life will be good, right?

I know--it’s not that simple. For every bit of good news that bad weather brings your way, you’re dealing with new headaches. Here are just a few:
  • Work vehicles need more maintenance.
  • The cost to heat your office or building may increase.
  • Equipment and tools break more easily in freezing temperatures.
  • Employees get stranded or arrive late to work.
  • You might be paying a lot of overtime for emergency work.
What about you? Do snow, ice, freezing temperatures, water leaks and other bad-weather byproducts help your company more than they hurt? What have you done to come out ahead?

I’d love to know. Post your experiences in the comments section below this blog or e-mail me at fauscht@bnpmedia.