FREEZE FRAME

House covered in snow.

House covered in snow.

The weather was cooperating nicely with above average temperatures until the new year. 2015 brought with it freezing cold temperatures. It has been around -15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit) and feeling more like -25 with the wind chill consistently the last few weeks. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised since it is January, especially with last year’s record cold Canadian winter. I don’t mind a little snow on the ground but the freezing temperatures and bitter cold wind make it impossible to do anything outdoors.

Back of house covered in snow.

Back of house covered in snow.

The problem is that this whole house moving project needs very specific weather in order to get everything done when it needs to be done. Ideally we would have had warmer weather until we were able to get the permit approved which I had hoped to have by early December. Than we could dig the foundation and pour the concrete footings and basement before Christmas. Then in the new year the snow could fly and the ground could freeze so we could safely move the house over bumpy farmer’s fields to its new home and everything would have been peachy and on schedule. But as most projects like this go, things don’t always go as planned. I am still waiting on the permit to be approved as the septic plan took a little longer. And now even if we are approved in a week or two the ground will likely be too frozen to dig and the temperature too cold for concrete to be poured.

From what I understand and have read (don’t quote me on this though as I am definitely not an expert) it is not a good idea to pour concrete at temperatures that are below -7 degrees celcius (about 20 degrees Fahrenheit) and not to pour on frozen ground, snow or ice. Basically, the concrete needs to cure for about 28 days ideally in warmer temperatures. If it doesn’t cure properly and freezes or is affected by high moisture levels it can lead to possible cracks in the concrete. There are ways to work in the cold with additives to the concrete and keeping the poured concrete warm with heating and blanket tarps while it cures but this is costlier and must be done just right to avoid any issues. So unless the temperature rises consistently by the time we are able to dig, it will likely have to be postponed until spring…sigh. I am a bit frustrated about this since the weather was really perfect for the last couple of months and I guess I just thought that the cold would hold off a little longer. The house will still have to be moved in the next month or so while the ground is frozen and snow is on the ground but will have to stay on blocks until the foundation and basement are ready. This is an extra step and extra cost since the moving crew will have to come twice now. We also can’t replace the siding or the roof until the house is moved as it could shift. Hopefully the recently strapped roof and tarp will hold up and keep any rain and snow out. I guess it does no good to get upset though when something is out of your control. And realistically, my favorite season spring is only a few months away (hopefully.) There is still plenty to do…and write about in the mean time so I’m not going to worry too much.

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