Frozen earth caused by the low temperatures that accompany the winter months can slow down construction projects, resulting in expensive delays. United Rentals’ ground thawing equipment rental options provide affordable, portable and timely solutions to this issue, ensuring your projects stay on schedule. In addition, since you'll likely only need a ground warmer during the winter, a seasonal ground thaw rental makes for the most cost-efficient solution. Our selection of ground heaters can be used to thaw frozen ground, cure concrete and prevent frost.
There are generally two types of ground thawing equipment: ground thawing blankets and hydronic heaters. Hydronic heaters have a heating hose which you will want to lay out in evenly spaced loops on the surface that needs heating. Hydronic heaters can cover large areas efficiently, such as this model, which can cover up to 6,000 square feet. Ground thawing blankets are simpler to use and require just a power outlet. They can be thrown over surfaces to thaw them out or even over heavy equipment to keep the engine warm. For more information on the uses and types of ground heaters, check out our article titled Guide to Ground Heaters: Types, Common Uses & More.
Without ground thawing equipment, it typically takes two days for the first few inches of soil to thaw. Depending on whether you are operating a traditional ground heater or a heating blanket, thawing out the ground happens at a rate of about 6 to 8 inches (in depth) every 24 hours.
When the ground is frozen, it will feel stiff and cold to the touch, with no give. Once the soil is thawed, it should have some give and feel slightly springy and warmer. Depending on the application and how deep you need to dig, you may want to continue heating the ground to ensure that it’s thawed through.