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  1. #1
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    Default Frost in the ground

    In a couple of weeks I have to dig a small footing for an addition.

    There is a 3 -5 inches of frost in the ground right now...

    I know if you cover the ground with hay it would cut down on the ground freezing but the ground is already frozen.

    My question is if I put hay down now on the ground and keep it there until I start the job...Would the frost in the ground be reduced or just stay the same?

    The temp in the area ranges from the teens to 30's and this area getting little sun.

    Thanks

    Ralph

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Frost in the ground

    Since the ground is already frozen the straw will act as an insulating blanket and keep it frozen. It may keep it from freezing any deeper,but it's not going to thaw it out unless there is some external heat source.

    Sincerely, Dirt
    "Good judgement comes from experience.Experience comes from bad judgement."

  3. #3
    Veteran Member Luremaker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Frost in the ground

    Around here we usually get some frost in the ground before our first snowfall. I can tell when the frost starts to get a few inches down as my tractor stops sinking into the mud. Now as soon a we get some snow and I drive over my previously frozen pasture my tires will again start to sink in the mud. So I think 4 or 5 inches of frost will quickly disappear from the heat still in the ground with a good layer of insulation.

  4. #4
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    Windham County, Conn
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    Ford 2120 , New Holland TN75D, Hitachi UH083LC Excavator

    Default Re: Frost in the ground

    Maybe it will melt with insulation, btu 4-5 inches is a good layer of frost and fairly hard. Usually if it is only 4-5 inches and you can get under an edge you should be able to rip it out in sheets. The sooner the better.

    Andy

  5. #5
    Tig
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    Veteran Member Tig's Avatar
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    The County, Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Frost in the ground

    I'd suggest hay and a tarp to keep the hay and the ground dry. You may have a bit of work to get the ice and snow off the tarp but it should help protect the ground. Thin vaour barrier may be a better choice than a tarp. You could just plow it out of the way and clean up as it thaws.
    Steve

    The best things in life are not things.

  6. #6
    Gold Member TMcD_in_MI's Avatar
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    NW Lower Michigan
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    JD 4310

    Default Re: Frost in the ground

    I agree with Luremaker that by insulating the top of the ground from the cold air, the frost will thaw out. There's plenty of heat left down lower in the ground and it will definitely work its way up. The catch is how much straw to use and how long it will take. More of both is better, right?

    Tom

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Frost in the ground

    Thanks for the replies..

    I will strip the snow off the ground and cover it with insulation and tarps.

    Another person reccomended concrete blankets...I have never heard of them.

    I will ask my supply house if they have any.

    Thanks

    Ralph

  8. #8
    Elite Member
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    Meridian Idaho
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    Kubota B7100D

    Default Re: Frost in the ground

    At least one of the rental places around here has a Ground Heater which is used to thaw frozen ground for footings etc. No idea of the cost to rent or operate.

    I found this page which gives you a little info:

    E1100 | Welcome to Groundthaw.com - Your source for ground thawing and ground heating equipment!

    Charles

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Luremaker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Frost in the ground

    Quote Originally Posted by ralphccs
    Thanks for the replies..

    I will strip the snow off the ground and cover it with insulation and tarps.

    Another person reccomended concrete blankets...I have never heard of them.

    I will ask my supply house if they have any.

    Thanks

    Ralph
    If you really think you need to apply heat under the insulation why not try using one of the electric wire roof ice melters they sell to melt ice dams (not sure what they are really called).

  10. #10
    Elite Member sandman2234's Avatar
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    Jacksonville, Florida
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    JD2555

    Default Re: Frost in the ground

    If concrete blankets are what we used to use to insulate the concrete we used to pour, to keep the heat in, which allowed the concrete to harden faster, all they are is simply insulated tarps. The difference in them and a regular tarp is considerable, both in insulating, weight and costs. A regular trucking grade tarp costs several hundred dollars. An insulating one would cost several times that I am sure. Probably not something for a one time use, but I would probably take the time to call a Prestessed or Precast Concrete manufacturer near you that might have some that could be rented over a weekend or something like that. Maybe they have one that is torn that can be used, since it wouldn't keep in the steam from a boiler, like we used to heat the concrete.
    I would consider making my own tarp, rather than purchasing one, since it is for one time use only. Plastic sheeting and or sheets of styrofoam insulation might be helpful. Just a thought, and if you can introduce a heat source to it, that would be helpful.
    David from jax
    A serious accident is one that money won't fix.

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