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

A Man’s Home Is His Castle, Right?

A Man’s Home Is His Castle, Right? 

Well that’s the old school way of saying it. Saying “One’s home is ones’ castle” may be grammatically and politically correct (gender neutral, for all that.) But it doesn’t ‘ring’ true. Doesn’t sound right.

So, I say ‘a man’s home is his castle’.

While for a few days there have been these runes painted on the street and sidewalk outside my ‘castle’.

Yesterday I came home to a ‘moat’.

There were barricades and the whole sidewalk was gone, with a six foot wide trench where the sidewalk and curb used to be. That’s definitely a moat in terms of urbanites who don’t want to get their shoes wet.

Today we came home to see the new sidewalk formed, poured concrete and draped in wet burlap. There was a guard on duty too. He complained about the dogs walking on the fresh cement and got out his trowels to smooth out the tracks.

He was actually the cement finisher, part of the crew that pours the cement, who stays around to control the curing with the burlap covers and water and to trowel it smooth at critical degrees of hardness known only to those with the experience.

You can hire them and they do the job perfectly but they can’t tell you how they know ‘when’. It’s just experience.

To get to each property they’d laid a steel scaffold deck to walk across over the wet cement moat at each driveway, for all intents and purposes a ‘drawbridge’.

They say when they finish the curb, they’re going to rip up the whole street and replace it. So it looks like we’ll be barricaded in here for a long siege.

Is this mans home his castle?

It’s beginning to feel like it.

I just don’t know what to do. I mean, should I sign up for that archery course or light the fires under the cauldrons of oil.

Chess anyone?  Backgammon?


Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post