A Guide to HVAC Units for the Amateur

When our family first moved into our home five years ago, the central heating and air unit were brand new. We never considered that there would be a time when it would not be operating as we wanted it to. When the time to buy a new unit came, we found that the available options were more diverse than we thought. It was all too confusing. After researching the different options, I decided to create this blog. My hope is that others who are faced with this decision can find easy-to-understand information that can aid in quickly making an informed decision.

Signs Of Heat Stress While Working On The Roof

Construction & Contractors Blog

Roofing contractors are at a particular risk for heat-related illnesses, especially during the summer when a roof can reach over 150 degrees on a hot, sunny day. Severe heat stress can be fatal, so take preventative measures and watch for signs of these three types of heat stress when working in high temperatures:

Heat Cramps

Heat cramps can happen to anyone who sweats a lot while working outdoors in high temperatures. Excessive sweating depletes the body of salt and other minerals, causing muscle cramps, spasms and pain. These cramps can take place in the legs, arms or abdomen.

If you experience cramps while working in the heat, sit down in a cool, shaded area and drink a sports beverage, clear juice or water. When drinking plain water, it's a good idea to eat food with it to help replenish your body's mineral levels.

Heat Exhaustion

If your body loses excessive salt, minerals and water while working outdoors in high temperatures, you risk developing heat exhaustion. Common signs of heat exhaustion include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Elevated heart beat
  • Rapid, shallow breathing

When experiencing these types of symptoms, rest in a cool area and hydrate yourself with water, sports drinks or other cool beverages. A cool shower or sponge bath can help your body cool down more quickly, too.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a serious form of heat stress that can cause permanent disability or even death. Heat stroke occurs when your body is unable to control its temperature after physical exertion in extremely hot or humid conditions. Symptoms include:

  • Confusion
  • Headaches
  • Profuse sweating
  • Loss of coordination
  • Seizures
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Coma

It is crucial to call for immediate medical attention when experiencing a heat stroke. Before help arrives, remove excess clothing and apply cool water to the body.

Protect Yourself from Heat Stress

These three types of heat stress, listed above in ascending order of severity, can be avoided if you take steps to protect yourself. The best way to prevent a heat-related illness is by avoiding extreme heat, high humidity and sun exposure during the hottest hours of the day. However, if you must work on a roof in high temperatures, take these commonsense measures to protect yourself:

  • Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing made of breathable fabric (e.g. cotton).
  • Drink plenty of water. Never allow yourself to become thirsty when working in high temperatures.
  • Schedule work that requires heavy exertion for the coolest times of day.
  • Take more breaks when working in high heat and humidity. Try to get out of the sun for a few minutes during every break.

Throughout the day, monitor yourself and other workers for signs of heat-related illness. As long as you take measures to protect yourself and keep a watchful eye for symptoms, you can avoid the dangers of heat stress.


2 February 2015