A dumpster is a versatile tool that can fit into a lot of different projects, but many people underestimate how important they can become when winter rolls around. Whether you are clearing out furniture or renovating your home, having a dumpster makes everything much easier.
Unfortunately, it can also become slightly harder to use them thanks to the cold – unless you are prepared. Whatever project you are planning to take on, here are some things to consider if you will be using a dumpster in the winter.
Clear the Work Area
It is always a good idea to ensure that you are keeping your main ‘work area’ clear at all times. Snow can often pile up against walls or other surfaces, which might include your dumpster or the side of your house, and it could even bury debris that you were planning to pick up later on.
Shoveling away excess snow is always a good step to take, especially if your local weather reports indicate that you will be getting more snow every night. If you do not keep enough space clear, then it can become increasingly hard to get everything done as the snow keeps falling.
In extreme cases, there could even be so much snow that you can’t reach the dumpster properly. You might be able to wade through a thick build-up on your own, but that becomes a lot less likely if you are carrying a heavy bit of furniture or a box of damaged bricks and scrap materials.
Clear Away Ice
One of the biggest challenges with any dumpster is actually getting items into it. While it is easy to throw away a bag full of hedge trimmings or spare pieces of wood, it becomes a lot harder to carry entire items of furniture through an area that is covered in ice and snow.
De-icing is extremely important when you are taking on any outdoor project since you never know how much danger you could be in. If you fall over while you are carrying something heavy, you could seriously injure yourself, and even minor falls can hurt enough to kill your motivation.
Your feet are not the only thing that can struggle to cross ice safely. Even if you clear a path to the dumpster with rock salt, you will probably still want an open, ice-free space for it to be collected later on. This is especially true for tight spaces where the collection truck needs to make precise turns.
Add Weather Protection
Rain and snow are not just a problem on the ground but can also cause issues with your dumpster itself. Since most dumpster rentals operate on a set weight limit, you want to avoid any excess weight where possible, and water is one of the most common issues you are likely to face.
While it might not seem like much at first, even a small amount of water in a dumpster can add quite a lot to the total weight, increasing the chances of you getting fines. Snow is lighter, but it can still contribute to your dumpster’s weight limits when it starts to melt or if it falls in large amounts.
Adding a tarp or some other kind of covering (or, if it has a lid already, closing it) can be a simple fix to this problem. This also has the added benefit of making sure that random people are not throwing away their unwanted items in your dumpster, potentially pushing it just over the maximum limit.
If you are closing your dumpster lid, then you need to keep an eye out for freezing issues. In extreme cold, it is not uncommon to see latches, fasteners, or hinges freezing solid, which can make it incredibly hard to open up a dumpster if the lid is already quite heavy.
This often means that you will need a lot more force to push them open, but this can also increase the chance of you injuring yourself if your hands slip. In even the best of circumstances, a frozen dumpster latch can be an annoyance that you have to deal with daily.
There is not always an easy way to prevent this freezing, but you can still try to get rid of the ice directly before trying to open it. If you are carrying a heavy sack of construction debris, the last thing you want is to struggle against a lock or latch that will not budge.
Plan For Inconsistent Weather
You never know when winter might bring sudden changes in weather, both for the better and for the worse. It is easy to end up snowed in without much time to prepare or suddenly having no snow to worry about despite it still being cold. Planning ahead is not always easy, thanks to these changes.
The best way to avoid getting caught by sudden weather changes is to expect them. For example, you do not want to plan everything down to the exact minute: if the dumpster pick-up deadline is coming, give yourself more time than you actually need to finish disposing of everything.
You never know if you will suddenly be caught up in a bad snowstorm or end up having to take a detour on the way home, completely changing your plans with how much you’re actually throwing away. On the other hand, a dumpster pick-up could come hours later than anticipated.
Planning for the right company is important, too. Groups like Eagle Dumpster Rental might operate in your local area, meaning that they will have a better awareness of the incoming weather compared to a more widespread company that operates from a less-than-local location.
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