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too cold for cobbin'?  RSS feed

 
Ryan Lambert
Posts: 4
Location: Central Maryland 6b
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Hello,
We got a late start on our little cob "shed" and won't finish this year but would like to cob until it gets too cold. We are building in maryland and just had our first real cold spell with day temps in the 40's and night temps in the 20's. The new stuff we put on is squishy on top but hard beneath like it may be frozen. Is it time to pack it up for the year or can we keep going? Anybody have a bad result with building in the cold? Thanks
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Jim schalles
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Hmm. Once temperatures start hit freezing regularly at night, I've found its time to tarp for the season, my fingers usually forewarn me. Something about the water in the wet cob freezing just scares me as I know it expands when freezing and contracts when warm. I don't know for certain, but I would guess this acts like 'frost heaving' where as the ground freezes, it expands and pushes apart, causing erosion and raised up fence posts... hence the dig down to the frost line if your not using a rubble trench with plenty of capillary space for the water to move as it freezes. Looks like a beautiful start! All the best.
 
vandana purohit
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Where in maryland are you? i live near downtown Silver Spring.. could you use some help when you start back up?
 
Erica Wisner
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Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
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You're probably back at it by now, or soon...

Have you considered putting the roof up now / soon, at least a temporary roof, so you can shelter the building site and keep building in various weather?
A roof and some tarp or plastic walls, like greenhouses have, can extend frost protection several weeks.

It looks like your walls are thick enough that they could compensate for a little frost damage. I've seen sample projects loosened up over time by weathering and freeze/thaw cycles, particularly water crystals in my clay storage barrels are pretty interesting, shredding the clay slip into angular curds.

Have you discovered any differences between the layers that froze while wet, and those that didn't?

-Erica W
 
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