frost heaving: patio and garage
We just moved to Wisconsin this past summer and we've had some epic weather, with record-breaking snowfall and torrential rains.
Our house was built in 1955, patio in 1978. The several feet of snow covering our patio since December have just begun melting and we are now seeing that sections of the concrete slab are cracked and heaving up, one chunk by a couple inches. It literally looks like a minor earthquake has hit our backyard, with big bulges sticking up. It's affecting the garage as well - we can no longer open the side door on the garage, it jams in the frame. Our concrete driveway has also taken a major hit. Things are a little awry in the house too, although I don't see any cracks in the basement (most of the floor is covered up), a few doors are mysteriously not fitting into their frames anymore, and others have loosened up.
This being my first experience in a cold climate like this, is this normal?? Does the soil settle back down again once the ground has fully thawed? What do you do to prevent this, and is it really expensive to get fixed? I can't believe this house has stood here 50 years and the patio 30 years, and we move here and the patio and foundations all get destroyed in 6 months!