What is frost heaving?
A common problem that homeowners have to deal with in the winter season is frost heaving. In frost heaving conditions, the structure of your deck or roof may end up with an uneven surface. Moreover, it may cause the overall formation of your house to become weakened or brittle.
Luckily, there are certain steps you can take to prevent damage to your deck. Below we discuss what frost heaving is and how you can restrict its build-up:
What is Frost Heaving?
Steady sources of water present in the earth beneath the foundation of a house can lead to the formation of ice wedges during freezing temperatures. In turn, these ice lenses push the structure of your property up above the ground.
Moreover, the destructive forces may lift the foundations of your deck to the point where it becomes separate from your house. However, the severity of a frost heave majorly depends on the soil’s ability to absorb moisture.
The freezing and expansion of sandy soils can cause disastrous repercussions on your steps, drainage lenses, bridges, walls, and paving stones.
What Can Frost Heaving Lead to?
While the results of a frost heaving aren’t always catastrophic, there’s a wide variety of terrible consequences you may have to deal with. These are as follows:
- Destruction of foundations and slabs. Moreover, it may damage channels as well.
- Substantial reduction in the subgrade load-carrying capacity
- Undulations, and possibly separation, of your deck
- Rise and fall of the home’s pavement as a result of frost heaving. It may even lead to copious amounts of destruction
- Lack of proper water/snow drainage may cause puddles to start forming under the surface. It leads to the upward movement of bricks, timbers, or stone. Thus, you get to look at uneven surfaces or even trip on them
How Do You Prevent Frost Heaving?
In-depth research shows that frost heaving may go up to 4-inches, thus causing serious and irreversible structural problems. Here’s how you can restrict this situation from ever occurring:
- Structural imbalance leading to instability of your roof/deck can be taken care of by revamping the whole structure.
- Utilize high-tech frost heave prevention systems like hydronic heating and so on to avoid the occurrence of frost heaving.
- Extend the foundation of your property below the frost line.
- Make use of sleeves to ensure the ice doesn’t start gripping the concrete.
- When constructing a house, make sure the footing is sturdy enough to withstand upward or outward movements.
- Stabilize the soil beneath the foundation to ensure it doesn’t start freezing.
- If you’re remodeling your road construction, avoid using grain that easily frosts. Instead, opt for coarse granular soil.
- Using capillary beakers helps restrict the process of the water freezing. Thus, it successfully lowers the chances of frost heave occurrences.
- Make sure your attic is adequately insulated. In fact, consider upgrading the insulation system to an R-value.
- When designing the base of your walkway or driveway, make sure it encourages effective water drainage. You may even utilize backfill materials like gravel to further allow proper shedding of water.