With the winter months among us, it is important that your foundation is safe from unpredictable weather. During the winter, potential freezing and thawing are not typically considered a significant threat, but cold weather can still be very detrimental to your home. Low temperatures, along with occasional snowfall, freezing rain, and ice, can irreversibly affect your foundation and cause extensive structural damage throughout your home. To understand how this winter might impact your foundation, let’s look at some of the adverse effects that freezing temperatures and snowfall can have on a home’s foundation.
Rain, sleet, and melting snow can cause erosion throughout your yard, which can also be an issue for your foundation. The grade in your yard should slope away from your foundation to direct water away, and erosion can alter this slope. Erosion is especially likely if your gutters are twisted or misplaced, so they don’t catch all the water as it cascades off the roof. If the gutters overflow because they’re not sloped or large enough to carry away the amount of rain your roof collects, or if you have any sections of gutter that are missing altogether, you can expect to have problems as well.
2. Cold Air and Drying Soil
One of the biggest threats of snow on your home’s foundation is that snow requires very cold air to form, and cold air tends to go hand in hand with dry soil. As the air dries, the soil also dries because the air pulls moisture out of the soil. This drying effect doesn’t limit itself to a specific type of soil, either; any soil type around your home could lack moisture.
Oftentimes, when the soil dries, it starts to form or sustain cracks. These cracks are detrimental to your foundation. Additionally, as the soil dries, it will shrink. When it shrinks, it pulls away from your foundation wall, leaving it with no support from the dirt as it was supposed to receive. This recession isn’t good for your home or the soil around it.
3. Freeze-Thaw Cycles
Freeze-thaw cycles can damage concrete and asphalt driveways, as well as your foundation wall. This damage occurs when water is absorbed into the outside of the porous concrete foundation wall, then freezes and expands. The expansion places a lot of pressure on the concrete, sometimes forcing it to crack. The next cycle may even compound this damage. The water can seep into the small cracks and freeze, pushing the sides apart so that cracks widen with each freeze-thaw process.
4. Snow Melt
Throughout winter, there are enough temperature fluctuations to cause snow to melt and refreeze several times. During this melting and freezing phase, water drips off the roof and, ideally, into the gutters to be carried away from the house. However, ice dams can build up and thwart the direction you want the water to go. This means water drips directly next to your home’s foundation, leading to cracks, sinking, and advanced settling.
Is Your Foundation Winter-Proof?
Understanding damage factors to your home’s foundation will not only save you time but money in foundation repair costs, as unfixed problems can worsen and become much more costly. With over 20 years of experience, WTX Foundation Repair can repair all kinds of foundation issues. We offer free consultations, honest recommendations, 0% financing, and a 100% lifetime warranty. Protect your home or business today and head to our website for more information on our services!