Is Dallas cold enough for long enough with the right conditions for this phenomenon?
Frost Heave –
Foundation damage due to frost heave was initially understood to be caused by water increasing volume (up to 10%) when frozen under ground and the thawing cycles that follow. The currently understood and recognized phenomenon is called ice segregation. Excess water is drawn from the not frozen area of the clay to the freezing zone where it crystalizes. The clay has to expand to make room for the added frozen water causing the foundation support ground to heave.
(SOURCES: USDA; “Development of a Frost Heave Test Apparatus,” by Russell D. Lay; D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs)
Some conditions have to be met for the frost heave to occur. In Dallas and surrounding areas some of these conditions are present but not all at the same time. When the house is built there are also measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of frost heave issues, like good drainage and replacing the clay soil to less susceptible type of soil like gravel
Properly build foundations usually do not display issue with frost heaves unless in some unusual cases for the region in question (much colder climate that usual for longer time and with the sufficient amount of water available).
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If you suspect your foundations to show signs of damage, do not hesitate to call or get in touch with us for a free assessment.