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Continue Repairs and Prepare for Winter

Release date: 
October 18, 2011
Release Number: 

BISMARCK, ND - State and federal officials advise residents that time is short to close up damaged homes or make final seasonal repairs before winter arrives.

Finishing repairs to damaged homes isn’t likely for most this year as the remaining construction season will soon end. With an average low temperature in October of 30 degrees, and several months when even high temperatures are below freezing, residents need to guard against weather-related concerns such as “frost heaving.” The sooner preventive measures are completed, the less probability there will be of finding damage in the spring.

Frost heaving occurs when ice layers form, particularly when the frost line, the depth to which soil freezes, is near the groundwater table. Frost heaving can lift a foundation or basement wall causing damage. It can also lift a basement floor, causing concrete bulging and breaks.

Insulating a basement ceiling or walls will reduce potential for frost heaving in heated homes. While insulating inside basement walls will reduce heat loss, it might not prevent frost penetration. Additional help can come from using granular fill along the basement walls. Floor drain tile and a pump to remove water will also help.

It might be less expensive to install an interior drain-tile system in the winter when contractors are more readily available. But now is a good time to make sure sump-pump equipment and battery backup are working properly.

Some projects need to wait until spring if not completed soon. Those who need to install septic mound systems could have to wait until the ground thaws. For additional information concerning repairs and recovery, go to North Dakota State University Extension Services at

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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