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 > No heat in northern home all winter.

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Ozlander

Rose Hill, Kansas

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Posted: 04/14/14 10:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A lot of houses that are for sale are not heated. Sometimes for years.


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The_Painting_Teacher

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Posted: 04/14/14 05:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For the previous 7 yrs we heated our house to 50 degrees. This was the first year we had a plumber shut down the house. While a year ago was mild, this winter was severe; and it cost us about 1/2 in plumbing costs than it would've in heating oil. Next year will be less as the anti-freeze in the lines will remain and won't have to be replaced. As an aside, we had to get out of Dodge quickly D3c 28 and didn't have time to remove all the liquids in our house ..... not a single incident of exploding container has yet been found. Camp on!





The_Painting_Teacher

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Posted: 04/14/14 05:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As for damage caused to the structure when no heat is present, I would suggest you consider all the summer homes located above the freeze line in the USA and Canada that are shut down for the winter. Where are the horror stories? camp on!

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Posted: 04/14/14 05:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a cottage up north, weather goes down to minus 40 in the winter and snows up to 6 feet. The walls are covered with wood planks and some are Gyproc. It is insulated with fiberglass batts. The floors are laminated.

There are hundreds of cottage up there and nobody heat them up when they are away, we just crank the wood stove when we get there and all humidity goes out and everything is fine. Some people just leave the cottage all winter and only go back in summer.

I have never heard of someone having trouble with and it is never a concern. Other than making sure all water line are either emptied or with home antifreeze in it, the drain fill up with antifreeze and the toilet.


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soren

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Posted: 04/16/14 01:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

John&Joey wrote:

We turn off everything to our place, but then again we built it so that could be done. We've been doing it now for over 20 years with no damage to walls, floors, paint, misc...

Many cabins and cottages do exactly what you are saying. Also many foreclosed homes the banks will do that also. The banks do not pay to heat homes that they are trying to get rid of.

What you need to be aware of is frost busting the foundation. Heat is meant to escape threw the basement to help keep the frost away from the foundation. This busting of basement walls will only happen in areas with extreme cold temps (minus 20 and more.)


I was a home builder in a wet, wooded region where crawl spaces are common, and winter temps. might go to zero on rare occasion, but typically lows in the teens are more common. I have seen unheated vacation homes with cracked and bulging foundations, and even frost that worked it way deep under the structure and heaved column pads upward a few inches. Now, you are spot on with regard to damages likely in extreme cold, but don't forget frost needs three things, low temps, moisture and conditions that retain moisture. I can assure you that in our wet clay soils we have three of three. When my new homeowners tell me, "We are planning on shutting the heat off in the winters" I'm pretty blunt.
I tell them to expect drywall damage, to be aware that structural damage due to frost heaving is a possibility, and that I don't warranty poor decisions.

John&Joey

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Posted: 04/16/14 01:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yep, freezing water can do a lot of damage. Water expands when it freezes. I guess the real trick is too make sure you have a place that is built to be left unheated.

There is a place called Two Harbors, MN that you can cut bricks out of the clay, and I'm thinking fire them and make a house. The miners to the west of there will see frost 7-9 feet deep in the mines. People in that area build cabins to be left unheated, but they know how to build them also.

* This post was edited 04/16/14 02:06pm by John&Joey *

az99

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Posted: 04/17/14 02:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

soren wrote:



I was a home builder in a wet, wooded region where crawl spaces are common, and winter temps. might go to zero on rare occasion, but typically lows in the teens are more common. I have seen unheated vacation homes with cracked and bulging foundations, and even frost that worked it way deep under the structure and heaved column pads upward a few inches. Now, you are spot on with regard to damages likely in extreme cold, but don't forget frost needs three things, low temps, moisture and conditions that retain moisture. I can assure you that in our wet clay soils we have three of three. When my new homeowners tell me, "We are planning on shutting the heat off in the winters" I'm pretty blunt.
I tell them to expect drywall damage, to be aware that structural damage due to frost heaving is a possibility, and that I don't warranty poor decisions.
How were you allowed to or why did you build a structure where the footings for the foundation were not below frost line?

Ken O

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Posted: 04/18/14 07:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

soren wrote:

John&Joey wrote:

We turn off everything to our place, but then again we built it so that could be done. We've been doing it now for over 20 years with no damage to walls, floors, paint, misc...

Many cabins and cottages do exactly what you are saying. Also many foreclosed homes the banks will do that also. The banks do not pay to heat homes that they are trying to get rid of.

What you need to be aware of is frost busting the foundation. Heat is meant to escape threw the basement to help keep the frost away from the foundation. This busting of basement walls will only happen in areas with extreme cold temps (minus 20 and more.)


I was a home builder in a wet, wooded region where crawl spaces are common, and winter temps. might go to zero on rare occasion, but typically lows in the teens are more common. I have seen unheated vacation homes with cracked and bulging foundations, and even frost that worked it way deep under the structure and heaved column pads upward a few inches. Now, you are spot on with regard to damages likely in extreme cold, but don't forget frost needs three things, low temps, moisture and conditions that retain moisture. I can assure you that in our wet clay soils we have three of three. When my new homeowners tell me, "We are planning on shutting the heat off in the winters" I'm pretty blunt.
I tell them to expect drywall damage, to be aware that structural damage due to frost heaving is a possibility, and that I don't warranty poor decisions.



In my area of Michigan, I don't know of anyone that heats the foundations. We get quite a bit of sub zero F temps. Almost no season homes are heated in the winter.

According to your post,you heat foundations where you live. How do you do that? We only heat the house and that would have nothing to do with the "frost busting the foundations", obviously you would have to get heat down there somehow. We insulate to keep the heat above the crawl space. You must do it different. This sounds real fishy to me.


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John&Joey

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Posted: 04/18/14 09:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ken O wrote:

According to your post,you heat foundations where you live. How do you do that? We only heat the house and that would have nothing to do with the "frost busting the foundations", obviously you would have to get heat down there somehow. We insulate to keep the heat above the crawl space. You must do it different. This sounds real fishy to me.


You're taking it way too literal. No one heats there foundation other than maybe heat in slab which really isn't a foundation. All foundations loose heat to the surrounding ground even if they are insulated. Some will only insulate the top half of a finish basement to insure heat gets out because they don't want to chance it. In a simple terms it lost heat lost. Something you would not have if you shut off the furnace to the whole house.

Here is a link to educate yourself on what can happen with extreme cold, take a look at the bowing of walls. That is what you will see when frost starts pushing on a foundation that does not have enough rebar and concrete in it to push back. Clicky Or do those pictures look real fishy to you also?

Ken O

Lake City, MI/ Winter in FL

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Posted: 04/19/14 04:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The links tell/show buckling of foundations. So I guess you are still telling me that the bowing of the foundation has something to do with not heating the house. Sorry, I just don't buy it.

Nuff said, I'm moving on....

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