It’s no secret that Winnipeg gets cold.

Frosty. Frigid. Freezing. Bone-chilling, even.

Winter makes simple tasks, like running to the grocery store, seem like you’re the last member of the doomed Franklin arctic expedition.

Tough driving conditions and an all-around sense of frozen misery aren’t the only challenges of a Manitoba winter.

When it comes to building foundations, Manitoba presents some of the toughest conditions in North America. One of the most destructive parts of our winters is the fact that, in some places, our frost line plunges all the way down to 8 feet.

8 feet.

This can spell disaster for a foundation that is not installed deep enough.


Manitoba Winter Kills Foundations

In many places in Canada, the general ‘rule of thumb’ when it comes to frost lines is 6 feet. However, Manitoba tends to buck the trend. In fact, in the Winnipeg area some engineers will tell you the frost line can extend as deep as 8 feet.

This presents a huge problem for building foundations. If the foundation isn’t driven at least 3 meters (10 feet), it’s going to be very prone to shifting in our soil. That’s why some people in Manitoba (and especially Winnipeg) have found that, even with 8 foot concrete piles under their decks, they still experience heaving. Manitoba is not like other places in Canada, and our difficult soil and brutal winters can cause chaos for foundations.

A street being buried by a blizzard as cars drive in Winnipeg

A Typical Manitoba Winter

When it comes to your foundation, the last thing you need is to waste time and money putting in a foundation that won’t last through winter. We talk to countless customers every year who have foundations that are shifted, sinking, and heaving because of frost. It’s stressful, time-consuming, and a hard hit to the wallet.

Thankfully, there’s an easy way to ensure that your foundation doesn’t budge – even in the depths of winter.


How To Stop a Foundation Shifting in Winter

Good news is, you can prevent your foundation from shifting in winter. Bad news is, this method won’t really work on existing foundations. (You can, however, always try stabilizing an existing foundation.)

The best way to prevent your foundation from shifting is to make sure it’s installed at least 3 meters deep.

I know, that sounds almost too simple.

Truth is, that’s one of the basic ways to defend against frost. It’s not the only way, of course. Another excellent way to prevent frost heave is to get a foundation that holds up better in winter conditions, like a screw pile foundation.

At Postech we use specially insulated screw piles that are 10-1/2 feet long, so we know that our foundations anchor well below the frost line and are protected against frost. No shifting, no heaving, no headaches.

Either way, whether you’re getting a concrete foundation or a screw pile foundation, making sure it anchors below our deep frost line is key. Remember that, and you’ll be able to laugh in the face of winter.

frozen man in winter

Or, You Know, Chuckle Softly In The Face Of Winter

Curious about Postech screw pile foundations, and how they stand up better in our winter weather? Click here to contact us, our friendly foundation experts are happy to help – without the sales pitch!