Prevent from cold: 13 Ways to Stop a Cold & Avoid Getting Sick
13 Ways to Stop a Cold & Avoid Getting Sick
After several years of avoiding illnesses, respiratory viruses are back in a big way. Cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are through the roof, along with high levels of cases of the flu. COVID-19 cases are increasing, too. Also in the mix? The common cold. So learning how to stop a cold before it starts is essential in staying healthy during cold and flu season.
When a cold takes over your body, it can seem like you’re at the mercy of the virus when it comes to how long it will last. “The common cold is a viral infection of your throat and nose, also known as your upper respiratory tract. Many types of viruses can cause the common cold, but the most common culprit is rhinovirus,” says Adiba Khan, M.D., a family physician at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital.
A runny nose, sore throat, cough, congestion, mild body aches and headaches, sneezing, and low-grade fever can leave you feeling exhausted before your symptoms start to clear up. Not to mention, a cold can feel a lot like COVID-19.
But a true cold is typically harmless, explains Deborah S. Clements, M.D., a family physician at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital. It just might make you feel crummy while you’re living through it.
The best thing you can do to feel healthy during the colder months? Stop a cold from taking over your body in the first place. In fact, there are a bevy of ways you can prevent colds and shorten their length. Here’s exactly what you can do fight them off all season long.
1. Crank up the humidifier.
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Low humidity dries out your nasal passages, making it harder to trap and eliminate the micro-bugs that settle in your sinuses, eventually leading to a cold. The fix? Invest in a humidifier and keep it running when the air starts to feel dry.
“A humidifier may help to keep the mucous membranes moist. Dry mucous membranes in the nose inhibit your body’s ability to trap germs as they enter your system,” says Amber Tully, M.D., a family medicine physician at the Cleveland Clinic.
But make sure you keep your humidifier clean, as the warm moist environment can become a breeding ground for mold (which can also cause cold-like symptoms if you’re allergic to it).
2. Load up on vitamin D.
Research shows that people who don’t get enough vitamin D are much more likely to suffer from an upper respiratory infection—causing a cough, scratchy throat, or stuffy nose—than those who load up on the sunshine vitamin, potentially because your cells depend on D to activate their immune responses. “Some studies have shown that supplementing with 400 international units of vitamin D per day may prevent respiratory infections,” says Dr. Khan.
Currently, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggest that most adults aim for at least 600 IUs per day, but some organizations recommend much more than that. Getting enough vitamin D through your diet alone is tough (you can find it in foods like salmon, beef, egg yolks, fortified milk and orange juice, cheese, and mushrooms), so if you suspect you’re low, talk to your doctor about finding a supplement that works for you and your needs.
3. Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Even if you don’t notice it, you likely touch your face a lot. In fact, one small 2008 study found that the participants touched their faces an average 16 times per hour. That’s a major no-no during cold and flu season: When you come in contact with a virus—through another person or an infected surface—it can enter your system if your hands aren’t properly cleaned, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Viruses also spread by skin-to-skin contact, such as a handshake,” says Dr. Clements.
So, maintain a hands-off policy. “This prevents germs on your hands being transferred into your mucous membrane (nose and mouth) and getting you sick,” says Dr. Tully.
4. Wash your hands effectively and often.
While you’re at it, make sure you’re washing your hands the right way. Use soap and scrub for at least 20 seconds (get between your fingers and underneath your nails!), says the CDC. Opt for hand sanitizer (like these travel-size bottles from Purell) if you’re in a pinch.
“If the virus is deposited on a surface or inanimate surface, you touch it, and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, you could infect yourself that way,” says Thomas Russo, M.D., professor and chief of infectious disease at the University at Buffalo in New York. “If you touch a contaminated surface, good hand hygiene will help you avoid infection. ”
5. Disinfect your phone.
Think of all the places you put your phone down during the day: the kitchen counter, a bathroom stall, your restaurant table—talk about a germ-fest.
In fact, a 2012 University of Arizona study found that cell phones may carry 10 times the amount of bacteria than toilet seats.
To disinfect your devices, Apple suggests using a Lysol or Clorox disinfecting wipe. Just be sure to shut down your phone, squeeze out any excess liquid (you don’t want a pool of the stuff sitting on your screen), and dry it off with a soft lint-free cloth. Keep in mind that while bleach is great for banishing viruses, products containing the substance might damage your phone. If you have a hard time finding cleaning wipes near you, follow this guide on how to clean your phone using rubbing alcohol.
6. Find some time to relax.
Feeling on edge? If you’re already feeling run-down, it can actually pave the way for a cold, since stress causes your body to pump out excess cortisol, a hormone that can weaken your immune system’s ability to fight infection, says Dr. Tully,
So make winding down a priority: Take up yoga, try meditation, go for a daily stroll through nature, or prioritize some time after work to make dinner with your family—anything that helps you shake off a long day will help.
7. Get plenty of sleep.
A good snooze is key when it comes to preventing colds. In one JAMA Internal Medicine study, researchers gave 153 healthy men and women nasal drops containing rhinovirus and tracked their sleep habits. They found that people who regularly got less than seven hours of sleep were three times more likely to come down with a cold than those who slept eight hours or more each night. The National Sleep Foundation recommends aiming for at least seven to nine hours per night.
8. Reach for zinc.
Research suggests that zinc can actually decrease the growth of viruses, says Dr. Clements. Plus, taking zinc (typically in the form of zinc lozenges or zinc gluconate nasal sprays) seems to reduce the duration and severity of symptoms right after they come on, according to the NIH.
“Although the proper dosing is unclear at this time, studies have shown a benefit only at daily doses greater than 75 milligrams,” says Dr. Clements. The NIH suggests most adults need much less than that to meet their daily needs, so just go for foods rich in zinc, rather than a supplement (unless you talk to your doc about it first). Meat, tofu, oysters, and lentils are all great sources of the mineral.
9. Label your drinking glass.
“When a family member has a cold, try to use disposable glasses or label glasses. This can help to prevent accidental spread of the virus,” says Dr. Khan. And be extra careful when it comes to sharing objects that can get contaminated by a family member who is sick, especially amid COVID-19, such as telephones, towels, or utensils.
10. Power up with probiotics.
Not all bacteria are bad—the good kind of bugs in your gut, found in probiotic foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha, might help support your immune system. After all, a large portion of your immune system can be found right in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
One 2014 study published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport actually found that rugby players who took a probiotic supplement experienced far fewer colds and GI infections than those who popped a placebo.
More research needs to be done to confirm that probiotics can truly keep viruses away, but studies suggest that the good bugs seem to be beneficial when symptoms hit, too. For instance, in a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that even though college students taking probiotics or a placebo caught colds at a similar rate, those taking probiotics experienced less intense symptoms (like a stuffy nose or sore throat) for a shorter amount of time.
11. Wear a face mask.
Wearing a face mask is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as other respiratory infections like a cold. Not only does it protect those around you, but research shows that a face mask helps protect the wearer, too.
Viruses, including those that cause a cold, flu, or COVID-19, typically spread from an infected person to others through the air after a cough or sneeze. When everyone wears a mask, we protect one another from our potentially infected respiratory droplets.
What’s more, “studies demonstrate that cloth mask materials can also reduce wearers’ exposure to infectious droplets through filtration, including filtration of fine droplets and particles less than 10 microns,” a research brief from the CDC states, noting that “multiple layers of cloth with higher thread counts have demonstrated superior performance compared to single layers of cloth with lower thread counts.”
12. Get the flu vaccine.
While the cold and flu are caused by very different viruses, they can feel awfully similar when it comes to symptoms. However, the flu will hit you harder and can have risky complications, especially if you already have a weakened immune system. The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to get the flu shot every year, since the circulating viruses constantly change. The CDC recommends getting the flu shot (or nasal spray) as soon as the vaccine is available, ideally before October.
13. Avoid those who are obviously sick.
Sometimes this is easier said than done, but doing your best to stay away from those who are coughing and sneezing will go a long way toward keeping you healthy, Dr. Russo points out. “If you don’t interact with someone who is sick, you’re not going to get infected,” he says. While you could pick up the common cold from touching something that’s infected and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, Dr. Russo says that respiratory secretions that are dispelled when an infected person coughs or sneezes “are an important mode of transmission. ”
Keep in mind, too, that people can shed infectious viruses a day before they develop. So, while this isn’t a fool-proof way to keep you healthy, it can help.
What to do if you get a cold.
If you develop cold-like symptoms, it’s a good idea to rule out other contagious viruses, like COVID-19, Dr. Russo says. After all, the currently dominant strains of the virus that are circulating often cause symptoms that can be confused with a cold, and it’s a good idea to know what you’re dealing with so you can get the proper treatment and avoid spreading it to others.
If your COVID-19 test is negative, keep in mind that you may have the flu. And, if you’re able, it’s not a bad idea to get tested for that. (Pro tip, per Dr. Russo—the flu tends to come on hard and fast, vs. a cold or COVID-19, which typically has symptoms that come on a little more gradually.)
Don’t have any of those? There’s no specific treatment for the common cold, but you can do a few things to help yourself feel better. The CDC recommends doing the following:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Consider taking OTC cold medicines to ease symptoms (just know that they won’t make your cold go away any faster)
Worth noting, per the CDC: Antibiotics won’t help if you have a cold, since they don’t work against viruses.
The bottom line: Prevention really is the best medicine.
But don’t freak out if you do get sick—most adults get at least one or two colds every year.
“There are multiple viruses that cause the common cold,” Dr. Russo says. In fact, the American Lung Association says that there are more than 200 different viruses that cause the common cold, including rhinoviruses, coronaviruses, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
“Even if you had a cold before, it doesn’t protect you from all the viruses that are circulating,” Dr. Russo says. Your immunity also wanes over time, he points out.
Just keep an eye on how long your cold lasts: Most people recover from colds between seven and 10 days after their symptoms started, the CDC says. If it stretches much longer than that or if you feel like you’re getting worse, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor.
“If you’re having high fevers or persistent symptoms, be sure to see your doctor to make sure that nothing else is going on,” says Dr. Clements.
After all, it’s more important than ever to get tested for COVID-19 if you think you may have been exposed to the virus. If you do happen to have a confirmed case of coronavirus rather than a cold, your doctor will guide you on next best steps depending on the severity of your symptoms.
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Emily Shiffer is a former digital web producer for Men’s Health and Prevention, and is currently a freelancer writer specializing in health, weight loss, and fitness. She is currently based in Pennsylvania and loves all things antiques, cilantro, and American history.
How to prevent a cold when you feel it coming: Remedies to try
There is no cure for a cold, but getting enough rest, drinking fluids, and eating nutritious foods may help reduce symptoms. Some strategies might also help the cold go away sooner.
Colds can occur at any time but are more common during the winter months. In the United States, adults experience an average of 2–3 colds every year, while children tend to get more.
This article lists ten ways to help people feel better when they suspect a cold is coming.
It also provides information about flu and COVID-19, as the symptoms of a cold can be similar to these conditions.
Colds occur due to a viral infection. Many different viruses can cause them, but rhinoviruses are the most common reason.
A person can catch a cold virus by:
- inhaling droplets that contain virus particles from another person’s coughs or sneezes
- coming into contact with droplets that contain the virus particles on surfaces, and then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes
Cold symptoms may include:
- runny or stuffy nose
- sinus pain or pressure
- sore throat
- mild to moderate chest discomfort
Although there is no cure for the common cold, the illness typically goes away on its own in 7–10 days.
In the meantime, there are some ways to ease cold symptoms, which we outline below.
1. Drink plenty of fluids
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend drinking plenty of fluids when a person has a cold.
The body needs water to carry out all its essential functions, including fighting off infection.
Without sufficient water, people will begin to experience symptoms of dehydration, which can make a cold feel even worse.
Some symptoms of dehydration include:
- increased thirst or dry mouth
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- tiredness and fatigue
People should aim to drink plenty of water and other liquids, such as broths and herbal teas.
2. Get plenty of rest
If someone feels a cold coming on, they should try to get plenty of sleep and rest. This will give the immune system the best chance of fighting off the infection.
A 2015 study assessed the association between sleep and susceptibility to the common cold using 164 healthy participants. Each underwent a one-week sleep assessment before receiving a dose of rhinovirus via a nasal dropper.
Those who had fewer than 5 hours of sleep per night had a 4.5 times greater risk of developing the common cold than those who slept for more than 7 hours per night. The researchers conclude there was a link between shorter sleep duration and increased susceptibility to the common cold.
3. Manage stress
People with stress-related disorders may have a higher risk of developing infections, as stress can compromise the immune system. Managing stress might be one way to reduce the risk of a cold.
Finding ways to manage stress can help boost the body’s defenses against cold viruses and other pathogens. Some tips for managing stress include:
- deep breathing exercises
- mindfulness and meditation
- taking a warm bath before bed
4. Eat a balanced diet
A balanced and varied diet will provide the nutrients the body needs to keep the immune system strong. A strong immune system is better able to fight off infections.
The Department of Health and Human Services outlines the following dietary recommendations in their 2020-2025 dietary guidelines:
- a variety of vegetables from all subgroups, including:
- dark green, leafy vegetables
- red and orange vegetables
- starchy vegetables
- grains, comprising at least 50% whole grains
- fat-free or low fat dairy, or fortified soy beverages
- a variety of protein-rich foods, such as:
- lean meats
- nuts and seeds
- soy products
- healthy oils
5. Eat honey
Honey has antioxidant and antimicrobial effects that may help combat infections.
A 2021 study found that honey was more effective than other common treatments at improving the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections.
The substance also creates a thin film over the mucous membranes, which may help relieve throat pain and inflammation.
To help ease a sore throat or cough, a person can try stirring a tablespoon of honey into a cup of hot water or tea.
However, honey is not suitable for children under 12 months of age due to the risk of contracting a rare but serious infection called infant botulism.
6. Increase vitamin D levels
There is some evidence that people with adequate vitamin D levels are less likely to get respiratory infections than those with lower levels.
Natural sunlight helps the body synthesize vitamin D. However, sunlight can be scarce in some parts of the world, particularly during winter. If a person struggles to get enough sun exposure, they may find it helpful to take a vitamin D supplement.
The Office of Dietary Supplements recommend that people aged 1–70 years get a minimum of 15 micrograms or 600 international units of vitamin D per day.
Learn more about how much vitamin D someone needs and how to get more of it.
7. Take zinc
A 2012 review of 14 scientific studies investigated the effectiveness of zinc as a treatment for the common cold.
The research found that people who took zinc supplements experienced a shorter duration of cold symptoms than those who took a placebo. Specifically, their cold symptoms lasted an average of 1–2 days shorter.
However, people should be aware that zinc products can trigger side effects. The National Health Institutes’ National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NHICC) warns that intranasal zinc swabs and gels can cause permanent loss of sense of smell. They add that zinc tablets, lozenges, and syrup can also trigger nausea and other minor gut problems.
8. Take vitamin C
A 2013 review investigated whether taking vitamin C reduces the incidence, severity, or duration of the common cold.
The study found that taking at least 200 mg per day of vitamin C did not reduce the risk of getting a cold. However, it did appear to reduce the duration of cold symptoms by an average of 8% in adults and 14% in children. This translates to approximately one fewer day of symptoms.
A later review, from 2018, also concluded that taking vitamin C does not prevent a cold.
The researchers note that further randomized controlled trials are necessary to confirm these findings.
The CDC recommends breathing in steam or using a humidifier to relieve cold symptoms.
People have long used steam when they have a cold to help mucus drain more easily. People also report that it makes them feel better.
A 2017 review did not find enough evidence to confirm that inhaling steam is either beneficial or harmful, although two studies reported minor adverse effects.
To use steam, a person can breathe in steam from a bowl of hot — but not boiling — water. Another option is to use a humidifying device.
What are the best humidifiers for home and office use?
10. Try over-the-counter medicines
The following over-the-counter (OTC) medications will not cure a cold, but they may help alleviate symptoms:
- pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen
- throat lozenges to relieve a sore throat
- saline nasal spray or drops
- cough and cold medicines for those aged 5 years and over
Always talk to a doctor or pharmacist before taking these OTC medicines or before giving them to children.
Because cold symptoms can resemble COVID-19, people should call a doctor to check whether they need testing. In addition to typical cold symptoms, COVID-19 may also trigger:
- shortness of breath
- loss of taste and smell
- gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea or vomiting
A doctor can advise people on what to do next if they have symptoms that resemble COVID-19.
Most people with COVID-19 experience mild symptoms and tend to recover at home without medical treatment. However, a person should call the emergency services if they experience any of the following:
- difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath during walking or light activity
- persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- new confusion
- bluish discoloration of the lips or face in lighter skin people, or gray and whitish discoloration in those with darker skin
The CDC recommends seeking medical help if:
- cold symptoms persist for more than 10 days
- cold symptoms are severe or unusual
- a child younger than 3 months of age becomes sick, and they are experiencing fever or lethargy
- there has been potential exposure to someone with COVID-19
Similarities to flu
Flu symptoms can be similar to those of the common cold, which may include:
- body aches
- weakness or fatigue
Most people recover from the flu within 3–7 days, although a cough may last longer than 2 weeks. However, some people are at risk of developing complications due to this illness. Call a doctor if the person with symptoms is:
- under 5 years of age
- 65 years of age or older
- someone with an underlying medical condition
Here are some questions people often ask about cold remedies.
How do you get rid of a cold fast?
There is no sure way to get rid of a cold, but staying at home, resting, and drinking plenty of fluids might help a person feel better sooner. There is also some evidence that vitamin C might slightly reduce the duration and severity of a cold.
Which remedies do not work for a cold?
Antibiotics will not cure a cold because they treat bacteria, and a cold is a virus. The NHICC also says there is not enough evidence to show that echinacea or probiotics can help. They also warn that echinacea can cause an allergic reaction in some people, and long-term use of probiotics may have adverse effects.
How do I know if I have a cold or COVID-19?
The best way is to take a test, as the symptoms can be similar. A fever is more likely with COVID-19 than with a cold, but not everyone with COVID-19 has a fever, and some people have a fever with a cold. Read here about common cold vs. COVID-19 symptoms.
There is no cure for the common cold. However, people can take steps to ease the symptoms and shorten the duration of the illness. These include getting plenty of water and rest, eating a healthful diet, and taking OTC medicines and supplements.
A cold will usually go away on its own. If someone still feels ill after 10 days or has severe symptoms, they should speak to a doctor.
Some cold symptoms are similar to those of other viral infections, such as the flu and COVID-19. A doctor can assess whether a person may have COVID-19 and advise them on what to do next.
Cold bridge: how to prevent, detect and eliminate
“Cold bridge”, “temperature bridge”, “thermal bridge” are terms that designate sections of a structure with low thermal resistance. Such zones can be detected by touching your hand – you will feel the cold point on the surface. The consequences entail an increase in the cost of space heating up to 30%, heat losses, the formation of condensate, mold, deterioration of the microclimate, and a reduction in the service life of the structure. The article contains types of cold bridges, ways to detect and eliminate them using modern insulating materials.
Types of cold bridges
Depending on the location, cold bridges are divided into 4 groups:
- Geometric – associated with the “geometry” of the house, design features. In the corners of the building, in the area of balcony slabs, canopies, the heat transfer area is higher, in the outer part of the partitions there is an “outflow” of heat to the outside.
- Material – occur during repeated thermal insulation, the use of different materials, for example, in the area of window frames, doorways, lintels.
- Linear – located on the surface of the outer partitions. Examples can be cold bridges in plastic windows, slings of sloping roofs, ceiling crowns, perimeters of doorways.
- Spot – located at the junction of different materials: joints of canopies, fixing points for fasteners, partitions.
The elimination of cold bridges will help to eliminate heat losses and reduce the cost of space heating. Common causes of cold bridges in a home and commercial premises can be:
- poor quality thermal insulation;
- violations of technological processes during construction;
- flaws in the design process;
- poor-quality insulation of nodal connections;
- Incorrect selection of insulation materials.
Temperature bridge signs and detection methods
“Symptoms” by which you can suspect the formation of a thermal bridge:
- unreasonable decrease in room temperature;
- condensation, mold;
- offensive smell of dampness;
- frost at sub-zero temperatures;
- deformation of finishing materials.
For non-contact diagnostics of cold bridges, a pyrometer and a thermal imager are used. The devices differ in functionality, principles for determining thermal weaknesses, prices.
Pyrometer helps to determine the amount of heat loss at a specific point. The device displays a numerical value on the screen, but in cheap models, the measurement history is not saved – it will take a lot of time to study a house or a large-scale object.
The thermal imager displays a complete diagnostic picture on the screen – you do not need to take measurements separately in each area. Thermograms can be saved to compare performance after thermal insulation. The range of the device is longer, which allows you to diagnose heat losses at the facility in the shortest possible time.
It is optimal to conduct an inspection at the final stage of construction. If for some reason this was not done, you can deal with the problem after it is discovered. Thermal imaging audit allows you not to spend money on warming the entire room unnecessarily, it reveals individual problem areas without contact. For diagnostics, you need to select the weather conditions, the necessary difference in temperatures outside and inside the room.
How to eliminate the cold bridge
Insulation technologies, which are selected depending on the place where freezing occurs, will help to avoid cold bridges. Let’s look at examples of how to get rid of cold bridges with different localization.
Door and window openings
Cold bridges in the window area appear due to active operation, sharp and frequent changes in ambient temperature. To prevent heat loss, condensation, they change the slopes, the sealing tape, which eventually become unusable. After thermal insulation of the window sill, we recommend sealing the seams.
“Polyurethane sealant for sealing joints (2K)” and manufactured by “Khimtrast” is suitable for processing vertical and inclined surfaces made of concrete, brick, PVC, plaster, metal. The composition does not solidify in the bucket if the product is left for further use.
Watch the video test results of a two-component polyurethane sealant for sealing joints, gaps, seams and cracks.
“Acrylic sealant for grouting (1K)” is used for vertical and inclined surfaces made of metal, brick, PVC, wood, concrete. The material seamlessly fills all defects, irregularities and reliably protects the seams from the penetration of moisture, precipitation, and dirt. Gives a slight shrinkage during the service life.
Watch the video for step-by-step instructions for applying acrylic sealant.
A cold bridge on the facades and walls of buildings can occur with improperly selected materials and thermal insulation technologies. For example, rolled insulation has the property of “creeping”, becoming loose, losing strength. After the displacement of the heat-insulating coating, “gaps” remain on the surface, which, as a rule, are concentrated in the ceiling area. An effective preventive method for eliminating cold bridges in a frame house is the correct assembly of the outer corners of the building, which will not be difficult to access for insulation.
In order not to have to spend money on insulation twice, choose modern materials for thermal insulation at the start. External insulation of the facade with the help of polyurethane foam is a method that allows you to additionally seal and soundproof an object without losing residential square meters inside the building.
For thermal insulation of the facade, we recommend using closed-cell PPU “Khimtrast SKN-30 G3”, “Khimtrast SKN-30/141 G3”, “Khimtrast SKN-40 G3”, “Khimtrast SKN-40/141 G3”.
The composition is sprayed with smooth movements from bottom to top at a distance of 0.6–1 m. The optimum ambient temperature for application is 15–25 °C. The thickness of the heat-insulating coating is at least 5–7 cm. For more details on the choice of PPU components for facade work, application technology, and finishing, read our article at the link.
Pay attention to the joints of the walls with the foundation and the roof. The main reason for the formation of cold bridges in this zone is the neglect of a continuous insulating circuit during insulation. Spray operators prioritize junctions – heat loss through the roof and floor can reach up to 30%. A common mistake of builders and specialists in the field of insulation is the lack of thermal insulation between the extreme rafters, walls, in the area of \u200b\u200bthe mauerlat, cornices.
Roofs and attics
To exclude cold bridges in the area of the roof and attic, sprayed and rolled materials are used. The first group includes polyurethane foam components of different densities, the second group includes mineral and basalt wool, foam glass, expanded clay, foam plastic.
Rolled materials mean fasteners on the mesh, dowels that form joints, cracks, gaps. The service life of such coatings is 10–15 years. In the first years of service, most materials lose up to 60% of their thermal insulation properties. Mineral wool provokes allergic reactions, absorbs moisture, and does not form a dense hermetic layer. Spray technology guarantees a seamless, one-piece coating with a service life of 30+ years. Polyurethane foam does not require additional costs for fastening, transportation of bulk roll sheets.
Watch the video for a step-by-step process of thermal insulation of the attic and overlapping of a private house using a two-component system of closed-cell PPU “Khimtrast SKN-30/141 G3”.
To the question “How to permanently get rid of cold bridges?” The answer is given by the characteristics of the sprayed thermal insulation. Polyurethane foam coatings are more durable, stronger, more resistant to temperature changes and negative environmental influences than any analogues. The insulation layer has a low thermal conductivity coefficient – 0.021–0.024.
Timely elimination of cold bridges and the right choice of heat-insulating materials guarantee a comfortable microclimate in the building, prevent condensation, damage to finishing materials, load-bearing structures. If drafts in the area of door and window openings can be eliminated on their own, then it is impossible to remove the cold bridge in the roof without involving specialists. Experienced spray operators know the nuances in the preparation of components and surfaces, they are able to calculate the flow rate, the operating temperature of the installations, and navigate in the process of difficulties.
All materials presented in the article are available for order in the Chemtrast online store. We deliver products and test samples upon request to all regions of the Russian Federation and CIS countries. There is a discount program when placing an order through the online store.
Scientists advise how to save yourself when you find yourself in the cold in wet clothes
In the icy grip of death
Mammals, which include humans, have a constant body temperature, but with a strong exposure to cold, the internal mechanisms of thermoregulation are unable to maintain it. Hypothermia occurs, or hypothermia, which is characterized by a decrease in body temperature below 35 degrees Celsius. In this case, the normal metabolism and vital functions of the body are disrupted, which can lead to death.
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First, the body tries to fight: to reduce heat loss, increase blood flow to vital organs at the expense of the limbs, which begin to go numb and freeze, tries to warm up with muscle contraction (trembling) and acceleration of metabolism. If this does not help, the vessels begin to expand, giving off heat to adjacent tissues. For a short time, the arms and legs seem to warm up, the trembling stops.
Some people at this moment begin to take off their clothes: they feel that they are hot or that everything around them is on fire (the so-called “paradoxical undressing” ).
But such a feeling is deceptive: warm blood, rushing from the internal organs to the limbs, cools down, as a result of further cooling (below 33.9 degrees), blood pressure drops, metabolism, breathing and heartbeat slow down. Due to lack of oxygen, the victim feels sleepy and tired, gradually falling into a coma. At an internal body temperature of 23–24 degrees Celsius, respiratory paralysis and clinical death occur. Known in medical practice, cases of rescuing people affected by hypothermia after cardiac arrest are a rare exception to the rule.
Young children are more likely to help:
Thus, in 1994, they were able to bring back to life a two-year-old girl from the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, who left her house at night in forty degrees of frost and was found only in the morning.
Her body temperature dropped to 14 degrees.
Another example is Gardell Martin, a two-year-old boy from Pennsylvania, who fell into an icy stream and did not show signs of life for more than an hour and a half. His body temperature was about 25 degrees. But just three days later he left the hospital with his family without any complications.
Cold to the rescue?
Despite the deadly danger of hypothermia, doctors sometimes deliberately lower people’s body temperature. And this is not only about Sigmund Rascher and Josef Mengele , who conducted experiments on prisoners in concentration camps to establish at what temperature death occurs and what methods of warming the test subject increase his chances of survival. Nazi doctors immersed prisoners in ice water baths and covered them with ice to prepare German soldiers for frost on the Eastern Front (so, it was found that when the back of the head is immersed in ice water, a person can no longer be saved, so a special life jacket was developed to prevent this).
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Nowadays, hypothermia is used not in inhuman experiments, but in life-saving medicine. Medics from Sao Paulo managed to avoid deaths and reduce the neurological consequences of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy in newborns (brain damage due to suffocation) with the help of therapeutic hypothermia. Sergio Canavero, the Italian surgeon who rather confidently announced that plans to perform a successful human head transplant in December 2017, also intends to resort to hypothermia, cooling the patient to 15 degrees Celsius.
To swim or not to swim?
At the end of March 2016, fishermen caught in Atlantic waters at a distance of half a kilometer from the island of Madeira British pensioner Susan Brown, already exhausted and holding on only to her handbag filled with air. The lady was trying to catch up with the cruise ship, on which, as it seemed to her, her husband was (after a quarrel with her, he stopped the journey and flew away from Madeira by plane).
When she realized that she had somewhat miscalculated her strength, both the liner and the shore were already far away.
A 65-year-old woman who was in cold water from 8 pm to noon was hospitalized with hypothermia.
This story seems funny while the water temperature in March off the coast of Madeira is about 18 degrees and while the rescued woman herself and the reader are sitting warm at home. But what if your boat capsized on the lake in bad weather or you somehow got into cold water? Is it worth trying to keep warm by moving or should you save heat by grouping and trusting the will of the waves and a life jacket? Should you take off your wet clothes that drag you to the bottom, or keep them as a protection against the loss of precious warmth?
These questions are answered by scientists from Canada and UK based on previous publications on the subject and trials with volunteers.
In water, the human body gives off 22 times more heat than in air, since the thermal conductivity of a substance increases with density, because in denser substances more molecules need to be set in motion. Therefore, researchers in the middle of the last century basically concluded that when falling into cold water, one should not waste strength in vain, because movements only increase the influx of cold water and increase blood flow to the working muscles of the limbs, lowering the overall body temperature.
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But experiments show that everything depends on the circumstances: if you don’t have to wait for rescue on the spot, but it’s not far to the shore, you can try to swim to it.
Typically, a person in cold (12-18 degrees) water can swim for about 45 minutes before fatigue and hypothermia overtake him.
This is enough time to cover a distance of about 800-1500 m. the time at your disposal and the distance covered. Therefore, if you plan to swim to the shore, it is better to get rid of it (at least the top one). If the shore is far away, on the contrary, you should keep more layers of clothing with you, use a life jacket or cling to a floating object (if possible, reducing the area of contact between the body and water) and wait for help.
In this position, you can occasionally dangle your legs in the water so as not to freeze from immobility, but strokes with your hands increase heat loss more.
But if you suddenly and suddenly get into cold water, swimming movements are more likely to turn into senseless floundering and do more harm than good. Therefore, the first thing scientists advise is to calm down, take an upright position, and wait 1-3 minutes to catch your breath and cope with the shock of contact with cold water (of course, if there is no need to leave the place of your fall, for example, there is no danger of being sucked into the funnel from a sinking ship , familiar from the movie “Titanic”). It is worth using these seconds of calm to decide on further actions, draw up a rescue plan – do not forget that hypothermia slows down metabolic processes in the body and after some time you will be more likely to be overtaken by fatigue and a desire to give up in every sense than brilliant ideas. But there is good news: as Canadian scientists write, people with a probability of more than 86% accurately determine how long it takes to reach the goal, moving at a given speed. Although some people tend to overestimate the absolute distance to the target by a factor of three (77% accuracy can be boasted mainly by the captains of sea vessels), people almost always guess whether they will be able to swim to a particular object.
On the beach
No matter how trite it may sound, the first thing to do in the fight against hypothermia is to get rid of the effect of the cold. Having got ashore, wet clothes (if they were left on you) should be thoroughly squeezed out and, if possible, dried.
If the weather leaves much to be desired, there is not a soul around, there are no buildings with a heat source nearby, you do not have a tent and dry things to change clothes, hot tea, and there is nothing to make a fire from (flat and deserted island), put on wrung out clothes back.
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Wind and humidity aggravate the effect of temperature: even at plus 6–7 degrees Celsius, there is a chance of dying from hypothermia and without immersion in cold water, as happened with a ten-year-old boy Yan Ryazanov from the Kirishsky district of the Leningrad region at orienteering competitions. The same fate awaited three race walkers on a windy rainy day in the UK at 1964 year. Therefore, try to reduce contact with cold and wet surfaces. Even sitting not on a stone, but on a log, you can already significantly reduce heat loss. Look for shelter from rain and wind, at least partially.
Come to your senses without making sudden movements at first: remember that when the warm blood finally flows in larger quantities to the limbs, it will go back to the internal organs already cold. A sharp expansion of capillaries caused by sudden and uneven heating of the body by heat (from the same fire) can lead to a critical drop in pressure and even death. Therefore, you need to warm up gradually.
In winter, it is not recommended to rub the frozen areas of the skin with snow: when hypothermia, the sensitivity of the skin decreases, it becomes numb, so you can injure it unnoticed, infect it, get frostbite.
Wipe exposed areas with a soft, dry cloth, or at least with a dry hand.
Another common misconception is the benefits of alcohol in the fight against hypothermia. If alcohol can help, then only in small quantities, and even then when a person is warm and has already warmed up a little. In frost or wind, vasodilation, as already mentioned, is fraught with a decrease in pressure and the most serious consequences.
In general, the motto “movement is life” should become a guide to further actions: if you have to spend the night waiting, it is better not to succumb to fatigue and not fall asleep. Firstly, lying on wet ground is always colder than standing, and secondly, sleeping in this state can be the last.
The 11 children who survived, who were found by the inhabitants of the village of Kudamy, survived more thanks to the number: exhausted so much that they could no longer move, the guys slept under polyethylene, huddled together.
One person in such conditions, most likely, could not survive, therefore, in the absence of warm and dry clothes, the way to keep warm is reminiscent of the title of a zombie movie: you need to combine the heat of the bodies of different people, reducing the total area of contact with the air (the same method can be used to warm and one person).
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Speaking of polyethylene: if you are not yet wet and you have plastic bags, you can put them on socks under your shoes to prevent this. Also, in cold weather or in strong winds, you can protect yourself with fabric or even cardboard masks. Like showed Norwegian researchers, comparing different types of materials that can be wrapped and wrapped up, the best option is a combination of a vapor barrier layer (the same bag) and a layer of dry clothing, but bubble wrap without additional materials protects against heat loss much less.
The main thing is strategy!
If you have nowhere to go or you are already quite cold, physical exercises (for example, swinging your legs and arms) will come to the rescue. But don’t let yourself sweat (especially if your clothes are dry on the outside), it’s better to rest a little and catch your breath. In some cases, it is wiser to stay where you are (if your car is stuck in a snowdrift and it takes a long time to get to your apartment, it may be worth waiting for help in it, as it is warmer there and it will be easier to find you).
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When a person is still rescued and is in a warm room, and the called doctor is still on his way, one should not forget about the rule of gradual and uniform heating so as not to finish off the victim before his arrival.
In case of severe hypothermia, it makes no sense to apply heating pads to the victim’s arms and legs: as we remember, most of the blood is concentrated around the vital organs and heating should be started from the body.
Towels soaked in warm water or immersion in warm (not lower than 30 degrees) but not hot (not higher than 40 degrees) water also help.