Frost heaves cause foundation damage

This past winter we have noticed an increase in foundation damage and, in particular, more than usual damage to some foundations of unheated structures such as residential garages. You may have heard the term “frost heave” and are aware that it can damage the foundation of a structure. The following is a brief discussion of the cause and effect of the science behind this phenomenon.

It was originally thought that frost heave occurred as the volume of the soil increased when water in the soil changed to ice. It is now known that a phenomenon known as ice lensing causes “frost heave”. As frost penetrates the ground, water is drawn from unfrozen soil below up to the freezing zone where it solidifies to form layers of ice, or lenses, forcing soil particles apart and causing the soil surface to heave.

Researchers have reported ice lenses over 4 inches thick. When this phenomenon occurs under a shallow footing, it lifts the footing and can cause serious damage to the footing and the structure supported on the footing. In the Spring, when the ice lens melts, water dissipates in the soil and the void created by the ice lens collapses. This can result in the foundation dropping to a different elevation from that prior to the frost heave.

Damage to foundation walls typical of the effects of frost heave have been reported where the foundation is well below the depth of frost penetration thus eliminating frost heave as the cause of the foundation movement. We now know that such damage to a foundation can occur as a result of “adfreeze”. This is a condition where frost heave occurs beside a foundation wall rather than under the footing, and where the ground is frozen to the side of the foundation wall. As the ground beside the foundation heaves, it can lift the wall it is frozen to. This “adfreeze” condition can fracture a foundation several feet below grade and lift the upper part of a foundation wall off the lower part of the foundation wall and footing.

Frost heave and/or adfreeze occurs only where three specific conditions exist. The soil must be “frost susceptible” which has a high concentration of fine soil particles such as silty loam. There must be water in the ground which can migrate upward through the frost susceptible soil by capillary action and, lastly, cycled freezing of the ground must occur. Take away any one of the above conditions and frost heave and/or adfreeze will not occur.

WP + PWA using PWA plug-in

When I was developing for Android, I was excited that I would be adding to my resume that I was able to develop in the fastest growing sector of the mobile market. But something was gnawing at my craw. It felt divergent.

When I started developing computer applications, the industry was using literally hundreds of platforms. IBM, Xerox, Sun, Wang were the big players. Commodore, Radio Shack, Apple, Timex were little players trying to get a piece of the action. The players didn’t play nice with each other either. A program written for the CoCo wouldn’t work on the Apple IIc. Even one written on the Commodore VIC-20, would not work on the Commodore 64. Forget trying to put it on a Sun Microsystems machine. IBM was right out.

Then came this World Wide Web thing. It leveled the playing field. A page written on the Sun Microsystems could be viewed on the Apple Macintosh. The world computers were becoming integrated. FINALLY!

Now a few developers have built Angular, and made Progressive Web Apps (PWA) possible. Now, a website can be an app on your device. The developers of WordPress liked it so much, they made several flavours of PWA for WordPress.

An image with the letters P W A
I tried PWA on spec.

The first plug-in I tried was PWA. It came highly recommended, was first in the Add-New list, it was developed by Google, and seemed to have lots of support. I built a new free site on Hostinger to test it out. In spite of the popularity and support, I could not get it to work and could not easily find a video to help me out.

Campy or what?

While trying to find videos to teach me to use Google’s PWA plug-in, I kept stumbling upon Super PWA. It wasn’t what I was looking for, so I kept looking.

Lo-res. My peeps.

I finally decided on PWA for WP & AMP, mostly because the search for help on the first plug-in was fruitless, and I liked the flavour of tutorial I found for this plug-in.

In the end, the plug in worked the first time. Now, I can explore the features and maybe I can go back and explore the plug-in developed at Google.