Frost freezes up outdoor projects for a while longer

22News dug up the ground to see when you can begin without the frost getting in your way.

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The milder weather has some Western Massachusetts residents anxious to start outdoor projects.

Bob Provost, the co-owner of Mowry & Schmidt Inc. said, “We’re still probably a little bit premature. You know with the weather being warmer everybody get anxious and I think we’re looking still at starting probably late March or early April.”

Provost said the main problems that you run into this early in the Spring when trying to start digging for foundations, deck bases, or putting in fence posts is that not all the snow has melted, there’s still ice, and a hard to penetrate layer of frost.

Many construction companies will not start digging for at least another couple of weeks because there’s still frost three or four feet down, and pouring cement can be accomplished, but may take more work.

Mowry & Schmidt Project Manager, Myrt Jaquay-Wilson told 22News,”We need the temperatures to be above freezing to get things in the ground, be able to dig ahead of time and above freezing for 24 hours usually. If the temperatures drop we can throw blankets on it.”

Machine operator, Kyle Turner showed 22News that within 12 inches a backhoe was already starting to hit the frost in the ground and have a difficult time.

“Around here it’s probably still three feet of permafrost in the ground. Up in the hilltowns it’s a little bit deeper probably still four feet. But like I said though if it stays warm I think it will turn a little bit soupy this year but it will be easier digging,” Tuner said.

Easier digging but a messier job with Spring bringing more mud.

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