As your home renovating company, we know all about working in the cold. If you are a DIY’er you might understand what working in the cold entails, you have to, because within a matter of days, conditions can swing from cool and foggy to frigid and dry—and this can wreak havoc with your tools, especially pneumatics (those that use gas or pressurized air). Problems include frozen regulators, ice plugs in hoses, and compressor oil so thick the motor can’t get it going.

For example, when you take a warm nail gun out into very cold weather, the moisture inside the gun will condense and freeze. The tool could then become clogged with frost, and the O-rings could freeze to the sides of the cylinder and therefore be damaged when you fire a nail. Sort of like what happens when it’s below zero and a kid puts his tongue on a frosty piece of metal…

If at all possible, avoid using pneumatic tools in sub-zero conditions. If you must work below zero, then ensure that your equipment is properly maintained by following these tips:


When your compressor runs, moisture builds up in the tank. Drain this tank after every use to prevent moisture from freezing. To drain the tank, simply open the valve near the bottom of the tank. Do this while the tank is under some pressure and be sure to close the valves securely after the water has been drained. Never use pliers to open or close valves. Use heat lamps to prevent the regulator from freezing or place the compressor on a continuous run cycle. Add a little anti-freeze to the tank in inclement weather to keep the air free of frost.


When it comes to pneumatic tools, the cold weather can play havoc with your equipment. Start by lubricating your tools and air lines with cold weather anti-freeze tool oil. Start the compressor; check that there are no fasteners in the gun and fire at 40 PSI to warm it up. Don’t clean your pneumatic tools with solvents as these remove the thin coating of grease on the cylinder wall and O-rings.

For your regular everyday tools, proper storage is key –just like anything, if you take care of it while not in use, it will take care of you when it is! So take the extra time to clean your tools and stow them away properly.

Contact NJW to help you with your home renovation needs! We currently build in Westerville, Worthington, Whitehall, Upper Arlington, Powell, Pickerington, New Albany, Lancaster, Hilliard, Gahanna, Dublin, Bexley, Columbus and all of Central Ohio.

*photo taken off internet