Sometimes construction knows no seasons. You may find yourself working in conditions that are less than ideal. When mud season hits, it can cause all kinds of havoc on your job site and beyond. That’s why keeping your site clean and as mud-free as possible is important. There are a number of things you can do to deal with and sometimes even prevent the mud. Here are some suggestions to keep your site as safe and clean as possible during mud season.
If you want to avoid a mess, try placing some kind of protective covering over soil that is exposed to water and wind to prevent erosion and hopefully mud. You should also avoid doing any sort of grading work when it is raining or even just when rain is predicted. You can also make sure that building materials are covered or have a safe place to store materials where they are protected from the elements. Finally, you can walk the site before mud becomes a problem to determine what areas might be the most vulnerable to mud and take action before it rains.
Reinforce Driving Surfaces
One of the first things you can do to mitigate your mud problem is to lay down some geogrids. Geogrids are grid-like structures that can be laid down over the soil. They are generally made from polymer materials and are used to reinforce the soil, like when a retaining wall is being built. They are also used to reinforce subsoils like those found beneath roads. Laying down a geogrid will help to prevent ruts from forming by distributing the weight of the construction vehicles more evenly over the ground. This can prevent mud from caking up on tires and the undercarriage of your vehicles.
Have a Cleaning Station
Have a cleaning station near the work site exit. The cleaning station should provide a safe place to clean the vehicle, like a gravel pad, so that your vehicle does not collect more mud while it is being hosed down. The cleaning stations should have good drainage and runoff so that the water being used does not create more mud where you want it least. There should be a long hose so that it can reach around to all angles of the vehicle. And, the hose should have a pressure nozzle to help get things clean. You might also have brushes available to employees. Employees should pay special attention to the tires and underneath the vehicles. You might also consider a small, portable vacuum for vacuuming the floors. If you can manage it, you may want to get a road sweeper, too, in case things do get carried away.
Materials Cleaning Station
When materials are transported around the site, there is a greater chance for picking up mud. One of the ways to prevent this is to try to plan things so that materials are moved around as little as possible. It is also in a site manager’s best interest to have a station where mud can be cleaned from construction materials. This would be a different area from the vehicle cleaning station. Like the vehicle cleaning station, it should have good drainage so that it does not further contribute to your mud problems. You do not want to use materials that are dirty as that can affect the quality of the building materials and the work. It also does not look terribly professional if the client comes to the construction site to find that his new construction is covered in mud.
It is a good idea to have a boot brush available and probably several throughout the site. Most boot brushes also have a built in scraper, which is helpful when the site is especially soggy. This will allow employees to get rid of mud when it builds up on their boots and especially before they climb into a vehicle or walk into the construction area. You may not be able to keep dirt out of a vehicle completely, especially on a construction site, but that does not mean you have to allow it to get out of hand.
When mud season hits, it is a good idea to have a plan in place for dealing with it. When not properly handled mud can create hazards and chaos. Having a plan in place before hand will keep you from scrambling when the mud begins to form. If you need materials or tools to help you manage your mud situation, contact Franklin Building Supply for any contractor supplies. They can help you with mud and all of your building supply needs.