6 Tips To Keep Your Cool When Doing DIY

6 Tips To Keep Your Cool When Doing DIY

Sarah Rae Smith
Jul 19, 2010

Although it's travel month, we've forgone even the idea of a weekend vacation for the next several years (being a new homeowner has some downfalls) and all that's on our mind is diy plumbing, electrical work and construction. This past weekend was spent trying to install sinks, toilets and showers — all in 114 degree heat.

Ok, so really it was only between 95-98 degrees fahrenheit, but with 80% humidity our biggest obstacle wasn't retrofitting plumbing, or the 50 stairs it takes to get to our new front door — it was the heat. Even when you know what you're doing, it's hard to get work done when there's so much sweat dripping into your eyes that even your old school (or is it new school now?) terry cloth headband (of awesomeness) doesn't do any good. Here's 5 tips to keep your cool when the work must go on!

1. Hydrate Before, During & After: Before you begin your work, make sure you've downed adequate fluids. We're talking the night before, the morning of and during any project you'll be undertaking. Your body sweats to cool off and if you're dehydrated it can make things even toastier! Don't forget to keep drinking after the job is done, preferably more water than alcohol.

2. Wear Breathable Clothing: Yes you can bust out the sleeveless shirts, but make sure you actually wear one. Your clothing helps wick the sweat away from your body, allowing the air to blow through it and keep you cool. By forgoing clothing (no matter how hawt your bod is) you're actually doing yourself a disservice, even if it means you'll have a funny tan line later.

3. Fans & Ice: Even if you don't have the ability to turn on the air conditioning or an attic fan, moving any air can make a difference (even if it's not cool). Try buying blocks of ice and setting them in front of your fan in a plastic tray or serving dish and let the fan blow over the top. It won't make your space a meat locker, but it will turn things down by 5 degrees, usually.

4. Take Breaks: Although it can feel like you're prolonging to time spent being sweaty, taking a few breaks to have a snack or refreshing beverage can help keep your body out of the danger zone before you spontaneously combust!

5. Change of Clothes: Even though we mentioned above that clothes play an important role in keeping your cool, once they're fully soaked, they don't hold the ability to continue wicking water. They might to some small degree, but not as efficiently as you need them to. A quick change will do you good and prevent chafing (gross, but true!).

6. Work Early & Late: Recently we've found ourselves up and working by 6am and then taking a nap during the hottest hours of the afternoon heat. It's easier to work ridiculously early or late if given the chance to help keep the temperatures down.

It doesn't hurt if you or your neighbor has a pool, taking a cool shower afterwards is always a bonus and make sure to do yourself or the laundry-doers in your home a favor and hang your sweaty clothes up to dry before tossing them into the laundry basket to compost for a week!

Do you have a heat-busting tip? Let us know below!

(Image: Flickr member Valerie Everett licensed for use by Creative Commons)

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