Apply a foundation frost-free

Almost every major construction project requires a foundation of concrete needed on soil. Although there are enormous differences between the different foundations and their explanations, one point must always be kept and taken into account: the foundation must be laid out frost-free.

Different types of foundations

Foundations are needed for almost all construction projects that are to be carried out on the ground. Thus, the need for a foundation extends from the house via carport and garage to fence and wall. However, the foundations differed significantly in their execution:

  • slab foundation
  • strip foundation
  • point foundation

In addition, the structure of a foundation must be considered. Some foundations have to be put on stilts. But what is the same for all foundations is the protection against frost.

Frost-free foundation: first, the depth is crucial

For a foundation to be frost-free, it must be laid out at a depth where frost can no longer be expected. In our latitudes, this depth is on average between 0.80 and 1.50 m. How deep it finally freezes depends on the local conditions. In a little sunny alpine valley it freezes lower than in the mild west of Germany under the influence of the Atlantic climate. For most regions, a depth of 80 cm is sufficient to make the foundation frost-free.

Under the actual foundation a drainage layer

Nevertheless, another precautionary measure is usually taken. Thus, a drainage or drying layer is created under the actual foundation. This consists of gravel (usually 16/32 grain), so that water can flow better and, if necessary, can freeze without causing damage.

The consequences if a foundation is not frost-free

So we are already at the possible consequences if you do not found your foundation frost-free. Under a foundation, water can collect better. Partly because the ground under it is particularly compacted by the weight of the building, which rests on the foundation.

If it comes to frost, the water expands. It has so much power that it can lift the foundation at certain points. This will damage the foundation itself, allowing water to penetrate. This water in the foundation now causes it to burst from the inside out. The damage progresses progressively, if the foundation was not laid out correspondingly frost-free.

Tips & Tricks

For this reason, the Lets-ReBuild.com offers numerous guides and instructions about foundations. It is extremely important that it is frost-free and executed properly in the setup. How you can concretes a foundation yourself, we have therefore detailed in this guide for you.

Artikelbild: Gajus / Shutterstock

Video Board: Foundation Insulation Effectiveness: Frost Protected Shallow Foundations