How to mothball a construction site for the winter

How to mothball a construction site for the winter

First, imagine a case where the owner decided to do nothing and leave unfinished construction until spring as it is, without making any effort. Than it threatens:

  • The walls of a stone house can crack, like a concrete foundation..
  • Overlappings are deformed and in the worst case, they will completely fall.
  • The basement will be flooded.

Remember that an unfinished construction project is afraid of moisture, temperature extremes, autumn and winter rains, and severe frosts. Conservation allows you to protect an unfinished building from all these external negative factors.

How to mothball a construction site for the winter

The process of mothballing a construction site depends primarily on how far you have progressed during the warm period. There are four main options:

  1. Only the foundation has been erected on the construction site.
  2. The walls are built, the frame of the house.
  3. There is already a roof.
  4. There is a front and external finish.

Experts believe that it is the foundation that is easiest to preserve for the winter. In addition, it is even useful to leave the foundation for the winter period without continuing construction – this will help it to settle down and in the future, the risk of shrinkage, cracks in the walls and other unpleasant phenomena is significantly reduced. However, the foundation cannot be left just under the open sky..

Conservation of an unfinished house

What should be done:

  1. Strip and slab foundations need heat and waterproofing. For example, roofing felt or polyethylene are used as insulating materials. Covering materials should be placed on top of the foundation and pressed down from above so as not to be blown away by the wind. For waterproofing, you can also use bituminous mastic, which is applied to the foundation..
  2. If the pipes of communications have already been laid in the foundation, be sure to close them with plugs, in extreme cases – clog them with rags.
  3. The armature that sticks out of the foundation is coated with an epoxy mortar to protect the metal from corrosion. Alternatively, the reinforcement is coated with anti-rust paint, but epoxy mortar is more reliable.
  4. The foundation is filled up. Dry sand, sawdust, expanded clay can serve as backfill.
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Foundation waterproofing with polyethylene film

Important! The depth of the foundation insulation must correspond to the level of soil freezing.

Pile and columnar foundations do not need hydro and thermal insulation for the winter!

It is also necessary to ensure the drainage of water from the foundation, because in the spring the snow will begin to melt, and you do not need extra moisture. For this purpose, in the lowland, about five meters from the foundation, a small pit can be dug. In addition, drainage ditches are dug around the perimeter of the structure, which should lead to the water reservoir..

As a basement insulation, foam or extruded polystyrene foam plates are used.

Insulation of the foundation with expanded polystyrene

If the unfinished house already has a basement, you should pay special attention to its conservation. The best option is to overlap the basement. The experts call prefabricated slabs the most affordable and fastest way. The basement covered from above will already be protected from precipitation. If it was possible to equip the overlap, it remains before the beginning of winter to lay waterproofing on it, for example, a reinforced film or roofing material, press it with something from the wind.

You will have to carefully close the opening under the stairs to the basement. For this, boards, panels or boards are usually used. In the event that the overlap of the basement could not be equipped before the cold weather, the entire structure will also have to be covered with boards or other materials that can serve during the winter, to ensure the presence of waterproofing on top. The main thing is that this flooring is reliable, does not fall through under the weight of snow and the weight of a person who can accidentally wander into the construction site..

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It is important to equip a rough floor in the basement: fill it with a mixture of sand and gravel, fill it with concrete. All openings through which water can enter the basement are carefully closed.

A canned house with openings clogged with boards

The most unfavorable option for conservation for the winter is to leave the first floor of a house made of blocks or bricks without overlapping! Try not to leave the construction site like this for the winter. If the walls without overlapping are covered with a film and pressed down with something from the wind, this still does not guarantee their complete safety until spring, the risk of cracking the masonry will remain. Try to equip at least a temporary overlap, provide a reinforcing layer on the top of the walls.

As a temporary overlap, you can use a crate with roofing felt on top. Outside, the walls don’t close.

Preserved unfinished house in winter

In any case, whether there is a permanent overlap or a temporary one, all door and window openings in an unfinished house are closed. You can use boards, metal or wooden boards, roofing felt, geotextiles – everything that will provide reliable protection from precipitation during cold weather.

Waterproofing is also laid on the existing floor, the joints should be glued, and the hanging edges of the covering material should be nailed with slats or boards to the walls.

Roof waterproofing

If the house already has a rafter system, but you did not have time to finish the roof before the cold weather, you will have to start creating a temporary roof. An ordinary crate is suitable, which is reliably covered from above with geotextile, reinforced with a film, roofing material. The covering material is attached with wooden slats. Gables should be hammered with plywood or boards. In addition, do not forget about the need to nail up the openings with shields or boards, equip a blind area or a system of ditches around the house to drain water.

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Let’s talk separately about wooden houses: from a bar or logs. They are the only ones that experts advise to specifically leave for the winter, without inserting windows and doors, without connecting the heating. The openings are simply closed with foil or shields, the wood should be treated with antiseptics before wintering, the log walls are caulked. In this form, a wooden house will calmly stand the winter, construction technology will be maintained.

Preservation of a house from a bar for the winter

Important! Frame buildings are preserved either at the stage of roofing, or at the stage of the foundation!

The multi-layer structure of the frame should not get wet, otherwise there will be no talk of any thermal insulation, the panels will have to be changed in the spring. Therefore, either leave one foundation for the winter, or rush to build a frame house to the roof, at least temporarily. However, frame technology allows you to build houses quickly, so usually there are no problems with their conservation in the middle of construction..

In addition, wooden houses can be built in winter, so often the construction site is not stopped, and conservation is not required, but this is if the supply of building materials is possible.

Construction of a frame house in winter

We state: it is very undesirable to stop construction for the winter at the stage of digging a foundation pit, to leave brick and block walls without overlapping, and the frame structure without a roof!

If you are going to stop construction for the winter, go around the entire site, make sure that all structures are protected from moisture, waterproofed, openings are clogged, there is nothing left that can suffer from rain, snowfall and frost. Correctly preserved unfinished construction will not lose its strength over the winter; in the spring, construction can be continued without unpleasant surprises.

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