Make a foundation frost-proof

Almost all building projects require a solid foundation. In our latitudes, the weather conditions in the execution of a foundation play a significant role. So a foundation must be created frost resistant. What is meant by a frost-proof foundation and how to make it, you can read here.

Foundations can be found everywhere

Almost every major construction project is based on a foundation:

  • House
  • Terrace
  • Carport and garage
  • Garden fence and masonry

The different types of foundations

A distinction must be made between the large foundation plate, the strip foundation and the point foundation. There are again individual requirements such as the foundation on stilts. The construction of the foundation also plays a literal supporting role.

The frost-proof design

However, irrespective of these individual features, there is one aspect that must always be taken into account - the foundation must be frost-proof. Why this is so, we will explain first, because only the reason clarifies the importance of a frost-proof foundation.

What can happen if a foundation is not frost-proof

A foundation causes the soil beneath it to compact. This can make water run worse. This is especially true with rain and melt water. But also a changing groundwater level can be responsible. It concludes that the water can stand relatively long under a foundation. In winter, however, a mild day with snow melt already suffices, followed by a very cold period.

The water freezes now. Incidentally, water is the only medium or the only substance that gains in volume when it freezes. This stretch of water that freezes is enormous. Maybe you know the ruptured water bottle on the balcony or in the freezer, or the frozen engine, if antifreeze was missing.

Now the water will never be evenly distributed under a foundation. So this leads to a point freezing. In this area, the freezing water can develop so much power that it literally attaches to the foundation in this area. At strip foundations for fences this can be observed again and again.

But these are not all consequences. Now the foundation is broken and water can also penetrate into the foundation itself. Here it can now literally blow up the foundation from within. Frost damage to a foundation thus has far-reaching consequential damage, which is also costly.

Measures to make a foundation frost-proof

The depth of the foundation

Therefore, various measures are taken to make the foundation frost-proof. First, it is known that the frost reaches in our latitudes maximum between 0.80 and 1.50 m deep into the ground. In Germany, it is an average of 80 cm, although it can go deeper in the region. Therefore, foundations with a minimum depth of 80 cm are created in most regions.

The drying layer under the foundation

Under the foundation, there is a drying or drainage layer. This consists of gravel (usually in the grain size 16/32) and can range in strength up to the actual foundation. This layer causes the water in between to drain on the one hand and on the other hand offers enough space to expand, if it is to be expected with a deeper frost. The building based on it is thus protected against frost damage in the long term.

Tips & TricksIf you want to create it yourself, you can read here how you can concretes a foundation yourself.
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