Homesteading Forum banner

Building a root cellar in MI. Need advice - high water table & low frost line.

3934 Views 19 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  random
We are in the process of building an underground root cellar. We live in Michigan with a frost line of 3ft 6” and as we have reached our 4 ft digging level (as our root cellar instructions say) we found the ground gets soggy. We still need to dig another foot deeper to pour concrete for the footer.
Now the questions are: Can we still build at this level with the soggy ground? If we come up 2” inches the ground is no longer soggy. Can we just build the root cellar a little higher up and still manage good storage conditions? We prefer not to have to put in a sub pump. Are there any other options for keeping water out?
Also with our frost line at 3ft 6inches, will that cause storage problems?
See less See more
1 - 3 of 20 Posts
Instead of putting heavy dirt on the roof why not put 4" of foam insulation over the roof and down the sides? That should give the same effect of keeping the frost at bay.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
As long as you build it strong enough it should work. A domed concrete roof would work but I wouldn't know how to safely design one of those.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Rule of thumb: 1 cu ft of water saturated soil weighs 20 lb----a 10x10 roof with 3.5 ft of wet soil on top would need to support 7000 lb (!!)
There's a typo with the math. A cubic foot of water has 7.48 gallons and water weighs 8.33 lbs per gallon. That's 62 lbs. Soil is much heavier than water so it's got to be more than 62 lbs.
1 - 3 of 20 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.