Skip to main content

Many people think that it is impossible to dig down into frozen ground to prepare the soil for building materials. However, the impossible is actually possible when you have the right tools and resources. Construction in winter can absolutely occur when you take the appropriate steps and safety precautions regarding technology and installations.

Inspections and Installations

Before you begin utilizing the equipment and tools you have, make sure you fully inspect each before even touching frozen ground. Building in cold climates is much different than digging into warm soil. The ground is much tougher and more abrasive and can impact equipment in different ways. If you do not do the appropriate inspections before making way to that winter building site, delays could happen once an issue is found and site development could be at a standstill.

Effective Equipment

Construction in winter is impossible if you walk to the site with only a shovel in hand. Educating yourself about the equipment needed to effectively build in cold climates will ease the stress of construction. There are many different types of specialty winter building equipment available, including:

  • A frost bucket has sharp teeth that create a digging and banging motion into frozen ground using a machine operator.
  • A hydraulic hammer penetrates holes into hardened soil using hydraulic strength to loosen the ground.
  • A rotary cutter slowly cuts away at frozen ground layers with rotating, hydraulic force.

Soil Heating

Even though the ground is frozen, it doesn’t mean your winter construction needs to slow down or stop. There are ways to warm the soil so that the equipment you have isn’t shocked once it hits that frozen ground. Building a charcoal fire over the area you plan to build on can easily help heat the soil so that typical tools can be used. However, this does cause a fire risk so it should be utilized wisely. Setting up a large, outdoor tent or other shelter-like structure can help heat the area you plan to build on. Hydrovacing is another way to thaw frozen soil and is when hot water is sprayed over the frozen earth to warm it enough for winter building.