Are you failing to tend to what’s right underneath your feet? Though concrete freezer floors can last up to more than half a century, the underfloor heating system beneath still requires regular preventive maintenance. If you don’t take the proper precautions, frost can form in the sub-grade soils resulting in raised, cracked floors and a host of potential problems, including: safety concerns, operational issues and significant structural damage. How does frost heave occur? Soil underneath your freezer floor must be heated, ensuring it remains above freezing temperature. This is achieved through heating systems, such as: Static vent tubes Forced air vent tubes Heated forced air vent tubes Electric heat Heated glycol However, if your heating system malfunctions and the soil isn’t heated to above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the extreme cold can penetrate through the concrete floor, past the insulation and through to the soil. This causes the moisture within the soil to freeze, forming an ice lens that pushes upward, heaving the concrete floor above. Given time, the lens will grow and, in nearly every case, will begin pushing the building foundations up. What damage can frost heave cause? Frost heave can cause damage structurally and logistically, including: Compromised operations Loss of pallet positions in racks Threats to worker safety Freezer floor cracks Heaved foundations Significant repair costs Columns and roof members bending to points of failure Loss of facility The longer frost heave is unattended to, the more damage it can cause. Stellar has seen facilities where foundations severely heaved, bending columns and roof members to the point of failure. In one particular case, the facility was in a catastrophic condition and had to be demolished and replaced with a new building. How can you repair frost heave? First, understand the warning signs before frost heave occurs. Typical […]
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