Although many consider it to be the most wonderful time of the year, winter can cause issues for your foundation. Ice, snow, and sleet bring in extra moisture that can cause foundation problems that require repair. Repairing winter foundation damage is essential to the lifespan of your foundation and the structural integrity of your entire home. If you are wondering how to protect your foundation during winter, we have the information you are looking for. Let’s start with some common foundation problems caused by winter.
Warning Signs of Foundation Problems
There are some warning signs you can look out for inside your home that could signal foundation issues.
- Doors that jam or fail to latch properly
- Cracks in doorways, windows, and where walls meet the ceiling
- Cracks in tile
- Windows that stick or don’t close properly
Common Winter Issues That Cause Foundation Problems
Frost heaving – When freezing temps hit, any structure that freezes will experience expansion. This is called frost heaving. This is especially noticeable with concrete. Your foundation can experience this heaving process resulting in cracks. Although modern building codes are designed to cut down on the incidence of frost heaving, older homes often do experience this, and it can cause damage to the foundation.
Ground Shifts – Another problem is vertical ground shifts. When the ground freezes and thaws, the ground will shift between 4 and 8 inches. These shifts can definitely cause damage to a foundation.
Busted Pipes – Frozen pipes in the winter can cause extensive water damage in the home. If the pipes are somewhere not easily noticed, the water may accumulate for some time before you even realize there is a problem. This water accumulation can cause rot and foundation damage.
How To Prevent Winter Foundation Damage
There are several ways you can help to prevent damaging winter foundation issues.
Clean gutters – Gutters are designed to carry water away from the foundation. If gutters are clogged or damaged, then they cannot do their job properly. Water will accumulate around the foundation, causing issues.
Plan landscaping carefully – You need to make sure that your landscaping is planned so that water flows away from the house and not toward it.
Winterize pipes – You can prevent frozen bursting pipes by winterizing your pipes before freezing temps set in.
Foundation experts can help you with foundation evaluations and advise on how to properly protect your foundation during the winter.
Categorised in: Home Foundation