Things to know when working in ceilings

The past few days, my day job has found me crawling through a ceiling space installing permanent hardware (all-thread) into concrete. This combines all the problems of working at height with all the problems of working in confined spaces. However difficult this seems when you first picture it, it’s probably worse than that.

Here’s what we’ve learned:

* Only step on things that you can visibly see are attached to the concrete above you.

*If in doubt, you have to crawl.

* The hardest part will always be turning around. If you can plan a circular route – do that.

* A 5′ 2×4 is the most mobile (and this a relative term) means to span the typical and frequent 4′ gaps of spaces where nothing will hold your weight.

* Don’t wear clothes you care about – or ever want to wear again.

* Have extra batteries for your headlamp.

* Before you move, make sure you have all your tools ready to move with you. OK? Check again. There is little worse than crawling 30 feet inch by inch under conduit and over exposed drywall screws to discover that your wrench is still sitting where you left it.

* We spent the better part of the first day just measuring things – and as a result, we’re ahead of schedule.

* Even with a cap or bandana, you’re going to need to wash the concrete and insulation dust out of your hair every night.

* Unless its an active construction site (and this is not) no one is going to crawl into the ceiling to steal your tools.

* God made cordless Hilti TE6 hammer drills because He loves us, and He wants us to get shit done.

* And if you’re not in shape for this sort of thing, remember that you’re going to wake up 20 years older every morning until the job is done.

(And don’t plan on having energy to blog when you get home…)

Oh – and hey, because some people apparently are not aware of this, Little League Games are not an appropriate venue for drinking beer. Really.

Now you know.

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