Jack Frost Locked This Gate. …Has He Locked Yours Too?

Jack Frost Locked This Gate.   Has He Locked Yours Too?

frost lifted post locks gate

This is a metal latch on a gate post meant to hold the gate closed but be operable from two both sides. There were two of theses gates seen on a recent inspection. Both were in the same state.

The posts had been heaved up by ground frost. Now the latch bar cannot be lifted to open the gate.

 Originally the top of the post and gate would have been level and in line with each other. This is a pressure treated wood post set into relatively well draining soil, but it is not deep enough and not protected from frost adhesion.

 Jack Frost has two tricks up his sleeve when it comes to moving things:

  – The first is to push up anything that is not deep enough to be lower than where the cold penetrates sufficiently to freeze water. That depth varies from place to place with climate and water retention characteristics of the soils.

 – The second is for the soil to freeze onto the sides of the post and lift it as the frozen soil expands. When the weather warms the soil settles back down but larger things like buildings, decks and fences often don’t go all the way back as soils have fallen or squeezed in from the sides.

 And don’t think Jack is limited to light structures. He’s strong. He’s lifted seven story buildings.

So has Jack locked your gates?

Do you have doors that don’t work well at certain times of the year?

For ‘Jack” busting solutions contact me. (Emailed questions or comments– no charge)


Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post