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Need help stopping frozen ground!

hostagreg's picture

Im over a month behind schedule on my latest build thanks to my surveyor and the local plan commision.  Its looking like a freeze is coming this weekend and for the forseeable future. I just completed the foundation for a slab on grade and will get it backfilled before the freeze sets in. I have frost blankets and am going to get 100 or so bales of straw to scatter over the 2700ft of living space.  Any recommendations on how much straw I should put down with lows in the single digits and highs below freezing?  I know it may be a lost battle but if I can keep it out and get a few warm days I can get the floor poured.  Here in NW Indiana it may be freezing for 3 months or may be wearing t shirts in a few weeks. Any input wouod be apprecaited 

What I've generally seen here (post #215664, reply #1 of 7)

What I've generally seen here in southern Minnesota is contractors splitting hay bales into about 6" "slices" and laying those tight together across the surface.  But I've also observed that it often doesn't work.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Thats about 48 Queen Size (post #215664, reply #2 of 7)

Thats about 48 Queen Size Electric blankets.................

We don't do freezing in So (post #215664, reply #3 of 7)

 http://www.concreteconstruction.net/how-to/construction/a-wintry-mix-how-to-ensure-good-concrete-in-cold-weather_o

 https://www.concretenetwork.com/cold-weather-concrete/weather.html

We don't do freezing in So Cal. But Google knows something. (post #215664, reply #4 of 7)

 http://www.concreteconstruction.net/how-to/construction/a-wintry-mix-how-to-ensure-good-concrete-in-cold-weather_o

 https://www.concretenetwork.com/cold-weather-concrete/weather.html

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8RkiXXj_Bo

Straw has an R valueof (post #215664, reply #5 of 7)

Straw has an R valueof between 1 and 2.3 per inch under ideal conditions. your conditions are terrible as the straw will be exposed to wind and moisture. Since the tempertures are already  in single digits the ground is probably frozen to some depth. so, the straw will  to some degree insulate the already frozen ground and keep it from thawing on warmer days. The straw will also be damp and could freeze itself which would provide no insulation at all. I think you'd be wasting your time and money. 

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

The heat coming from the (post #215664, reply #6 of 7)

The heat coming from the earth below can be quite substantial.  If only a crust of the soil is frozen then it will thaw in short order once even minimally insulated.  The difficulty is if the soil is already frozen 8-12 inches down, or the air temp is dropping near zero.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

The ground isnt currently (post #215664, reply #7 of 7)

The ground isnt currently frozen.  I got the entire site backfilled and covered the residence with about a foot of straw on a little over half and the other half got 2 layers of frost blankets.   Still above freezing and snow is supposed to come at the beginning of the cold spell.  Now Ill have to sit and wait for a warm up and see if was a waste of time...