Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Frost Heaving

with 4 comments

I know I have lamented how wet things were here during autumn, and you’d think I’d be over it now that winter has finally made itself known in full, but I must admit to still having a gripe over all the water.

Cyndie made a run to the feed store in the truck to pick up bags of horse food and wood shavings yesterday before the next predicted snowfall event arrived. After offloading some things at the house, she was going to drive down to the barn to unload the bags of feed and shavings, and asked me if she should park the truck inside the barn since it was going to snow.

I recognized her question as a way to enlist me to move the snowplow blade that is on the ground just inside the big sliding doors of the barn.

I volunteered. “Sure, you can park in the barn. I’ll go down and move the plow out of the way.”

Except she couldn’t. I didn’t bother moving the plow because I couldn’t open the big doors. The saturated ground had heaved when it froze and was pushing the doors up off their rollers and had wedged them tight.

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Cyndie had already worked to scrape the ground beneath the small door earlier in the day so she could get it open.

The big doors aren’t going anywhere for a while.

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Written by johnwhays

January 7, 2016 at 7:00 am

4 Responses

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  1. Hi John,

    I’m just a city boy and have not had much experience with “frost heaving,” but it would seem like you could do something like laying down some metal flashing to protect the doors and build a small fire on the metal to thaw out a bit of the surface so you could dig it out? Isn’t that what they would do if they would have to dig in to access a sewer pipe or something like that? Maybe even one of those forced-air heaters could be directed on the area or build a little plastic enclosure to hold/direct the airflow into the ground.

    obsidcomm

    January 7, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    • Thanks, Ward. I think you are on to something. There are ways to deal with frozen ground. Since we have no immediate need to open the doors, I’m choosing to avoid putting energy into fighting this force of nature for the time being. With luck, El Niño will keep our winter mild enough that the frost won’t end up being too long lived.

      johnwhays

      January 7, 2016 at 11:46 pm

      • I was thinking that you might, God forbid, need that plow blade that is just inside the doors? I agree with the strategy of selectively exerting energy — particularly when there are unlimited opportunities to expend it around a place like yours! I live in a Condo, so I’m immune to those calls — but there are enough others!

        obsidcomm

        January 8, 2016 at 11:25 am

      • 🙂 Your sense is keen that the plow blade will be needed. I am lucky in that the plow is small enough to fit through the narrow doors. My job tonight is to skip buying entirely new replacement cable and just cut back and use the remainder of the old one that broke. It will work good enough for now.

        johnwhays

        January 8, 2016 at 11:31 am


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