Your foundation is tough – but did you know the winter season is a worthy opponent? With fluctuating temperatures, ice, and hydrostatic pressure – it might just damage your foundation’s seemingly impermeable structure. Our foundation repair experts discuss 4 ways winter can be tough on your home’s foundation.
1. Your foundation goes through a freeze thaw cycle.
Midwest winters bring a variety of weather. When the temperature is cold, the ground tends to frost and then freeze. When temperatures eventually warm-up, the ground thaws out – creating a freeze-thaw cycle. This cycle will cause your foundation to expand when in contact with ice, and contract when the ice/snow melts. This continuous cycle can cause cracks in your foundation. Unchecked, these small cracks will grow over time leading to big foundation issues. (Read more on cement block foundation repair.)
As mentioned before, the fluctuating temperatures cause snow and ice to eventually melt down. This does not just affect the concrete’s foundation, but the ground surrounding it. The slope of your yard should direct the water away – but over time erosion from the snow/ice melt can alter the slope to backfire.
Erosion is more likely if gutters are improperly placed, not large enough, have sections missing, etc. – not catching the water cascading off the roof can carry the water toward your foundation rather than away from it. Checking on your gutters is necessary even during the wintertime.
3. Hydrostatic Pressure
Hydrostatic Pressure is the gravity from the weight of water in the soil surrounding your basement pushing it inward on your basement’s walls. Hydrostatic Pressure has the potential to not only push water through your concrete foundation but shift or damage the basement wall.
If your foundation has cracks that are diagonal, stair-step or horizontal – and the wall is bowing in, hydrostatic pressure could be the reason. Read here on the different types of cracks your foundation could have and the necessary steps for foundation crack repair.
Did you know that water can push through your concrete basement walls? This is due to concrete having the ability to absorb water. Moisture from outside pushes through the concrete and makes its way into your basement. A wet basement can lead to rot and mold – eventually spreading throughout your home.
Pro Tip: Sump Pump + Basement Waterproofing
Reducing moisture in your basement can be a constant battle. We take a strategic approach to any basement water problems by installing a sump pump, sump pump alarm, and sump pump battery backup. We also take specific measures to waterproof your basement.
Is Your Home Already Displaying Signs of Foundation Damage?
Contact BDB Waterproofing today if you’re seeing signs. Foundation and structural problems should be handled by a trained and certified foundation repair contractor. Our qualified service technicians can assess your foundation repair needs, design the proper solution, and explain the entire foundation repair process to you.