Q&As with Cleanfax: Working in extreme summer heat


Q:How do you keep cool (enough to be safe) when working in extreme summer temperatures?

Being on the east coast isn’t as bad as working in states like Arizona, Nevada, etc. The humidity here in NY is a bit rough. I’ve purchased white summer tees for the guys and encourage them to wear shorts where heavy demo isn’t involved. I have even purchased two portable AC units to set up on jobs sites.

If that doesn’t work, a couple of air movers circulating air is the next best thing…just have to make sure you have your eye protection on though — don’t want to catch a piece of debris in the eye!

I am even considering purchasing these cooling towels and cooling bandanas that I am seeing at the popular home improvement stores; I think that’s a good idea.

The only way you’re not beating the heat is when it comes to wearing PPE, you have to strip down to your boxers on those days!

We are also looking forward to our annual company trip to the water park!

Dominick Manieri,
Category 3 LLC,
Farmingville, NY

The summer can be brutal, especially here in the Midwest and South Dakota in particular. Here at Louie’s Cleaning and Disaster Restoration of South Dakota we provide all the water and Gatorade my associates can drink at the office before they go out on job sites. We also have a mini fridge on board our trucks to keep drinks and lunches cold as they travel from site to site. This summer we are phasing in Nike Dri-FIT embroidered polos and shorts that wick moisture and heat from skin to the outside.

You want your associates being at the top of their game when confronted with extreme summer temperatures. You will see productivity and efficiency when your associates are cool, hydrated and happy.

Anthony Edelen,
Louie’s Cleaning and Disaster
Vermillion, SD

A simple carpet cleaner like me drinks water… lots and lots of water. HINT: Keep your “hydration material” in a clear one gallon jug in an ice chest. This way you can track how much you are drinking (Sort of like counting your crushed empty beer cans by your lawn chair!)

Steve Toburen,
Director of Training,
Jon-Don’s Strategies for Success,
Roselle, IL

I have a 12-volt lunch box that keeps everything cool. I carry eight bottles of water in it, and I freeze a few of them overnight just to help keep it cool. By the time I get home, all eight are normally gone. I got heat stroke while cleaning carpets years back… it is a hard way to learn a lesson on how much you need to be drinking in extreme heat like we get in the desert.

A lot of people will use a towel around there neck. Drinking a lot of water so you sweat and always making sure you wear a cotton tee shirt [underneath] are the best things for you as far as keeping cool — the tee shirt gets wet, and you stay cooler than someone who is just wearing one shirt… and it dries out really fast.

We pull up in an air conditioned van, walk in and clean in an air conditioned home, so we are not really  in the heat as much as it seems. Now and then we may get an empty that has the air off, but we always turn it on and get it cooling while we set up — but that is not that common here.

Jim Martin,
Beyond Clean,
Tucson, AZ

We make sure the AC in the trucks work great. We also have additional uniforms to change into half way through the day. To towel off and change shirts can  make a heck of a difference.

Larry McQueen,
Owner/ Operator,
Carpet Care Plus,
O’Fallon, IL

Grandfather said, “I only work on the days I plan to eat.”

I still get hungry on 100 degree plus days, so carpet cleaning and restoration work must go on!

I endure the heat by toting a well-stocked cooler (the warehouse clubs provide bulk waters and sports drinks), not refusing the home owners’ offer of a beverage, scheduling that rare attic job early, early in the morning and knowing that air movers can be used to cool yourself.

After a brush with skin cancer in my family, sunblock has been a must! Wide brimmed hats, though not completely fashionable, make the difference in the sun, and even though our uniforms are polo shirts, I’ll pare down to a t-shirt when it comes time  to really get down to business.

Mike Ramey,
To the Rescue/ Mold & Mildew Solutions,
Birmingham, AL

Cleanfax Staff

Cleanfax provides cleaning and restoration professionals with information designed to help them manage and grow their businesses.

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