Softening frozen soil isn’t fun but it has to be done when you need to work on the ground. You can’t just chip it away and you can’t use home made explosives (they are illegal). Fortunately, there are tools such as construction heaters that can help you with that. In addition to construction heaters, there are also several other options that can be used to soften frozen ground.
Ways to Soften Frozen Soil
Find some sawdust. In fact, find a lot of it. If there are some local mills around, you shouldn’t have any problems in sourcing it. Just dump it on the frozen ground and it should generate enough heat to soften the ground. Many people keep a large pile of sawdust for this purpose as they have to deal with frozen ground regularly.
Build a Tent
Another way is to build a tent over the frozen ground. Keep it around a foot or two off the ground. You will also need to find a heat source. The tent works like a greenhouse and should be able to soften the frozen ground. As far as the heat source is concerned, there are a number of options. It could be a kerosene heater or a propane heater.
Use a Heating and Pumping System
When building contractors have to thaw ground for various types of construction work, they typically use a heating and pumping system. In place of kerosene or propane, they prefer using ethylene glycol solution. In this system, a flexible hose is laid out on the ground surface and is covered with insulating blankets. The system is typically run over a few days and the ground softens enough to begin construction work.
These heaters are available in a wide range of sizes and are capable of generating a lot of heat in order to soften the frozen ground. These heaters are widely used at construction sites for thawing frozen ground, for curing concrete as well as for keeping the crew warm. While these are a great way to soften up frozen soil, you need to know how to set these up in order to achieve the desired results.
The first thing you’ll need to figure out is the size of the heater you will need and that will depend on the area that needs to be thawed. You can buy these heaters but there are several companies that rent these out. If you are not in this business and need a temporary solution, it is better to just rent one out. If you are not sure about choosing the right size, discuss it with the company renting heaters and they should be able to help you choose the right one. The size will depend on the area that needs to be thawed as well as temperature of the ground.
Make sure the tank is full of fuel as heater will need to run overnight in order to soften the soil enough for work to be done. In some cases, you might need to run the construction heater for a number of days. Most of these heaters are designed to run long hours. There are heaters that can run continuously for more than 100 hours.
These heaters offer a number of advantages. One of the biggest advantages is that you don’t need to build temporary structures. Some of these heaters are able to thaw up to 1 foot deep per day. There are a number of companies that rent out these heaters. You can easily find a few such companies by using your favorite search engine. Just search for construction heaters followed by your location and the search engine should throw up several dozen companies in your location.
To conclude, there are a number of ways for you to soften frozen soil. However, it might take a number of days and therefore, you need to prepare your schedule accordingly in order to have enough time for the ground to soften up and be ready for working.