Bill Price is national commercial technical manager at Lafarge Cement UK
The British weather (why is it that other countries have ‘climate’ but we have ‘weather’?) continues to baffle. In the last few weeks we have gone from ‘scorchio’, through sleet and hail, to the wettest drought on record. It must be causing headaches for most builders and it is certainly not helping the builders’ merchant .
Good job that cement sets under water, but with all this chopping and changing, just what do you stock and when?
In wet weather, products packed in plastic come into their own. They can be stored outside, both at the merchants and on site. Even partly used bags can be folded over and sealed against the inclement weather and tubs, the latest innovation to hit the shelves, can be resealed too.
Remember that plastic packed cements and ready-to-use products also have a long shelf life, which is perfect insurance against weather related delays in building projects. Something you should point out to your customers!
If a customer has a small concrete job that just has to be done, even though the heavens have opened and it’s blowing a gale, its worth them considering using a fast setting cement.
Lafarge’s is Extra Rapid, but others offer similar solutions; setting in half an hour or so, this product enables builders to spend as little time as possible outside and the concrete will quickly be weather resistant.
Of course, with rains come high winds. Fences have a habit of only blowing down in the pouring rain, so getting them back up in wet weather is almost a given. For this your customers are best looking at specialist post fixing products which require only a water filled hole in the ground (saturated ground means its highly unlikely that the water will drain away too soon) and a steady support to fix the post in a few minutes.
However, gloomy it might be at the moment, the wet weather can’t last for ever (famous last words!) and both professionals and DIY-ers will be impatient to get out out doors and building again Here’s hoping for an upturn in both the weather and the economy.
Keep on ‘singing in the rain’ (but you might get some strange looks from your customers)!
Keep up with Bill on Twitter: @ConcreteDrBill