Winter weather brings about its challenges, including foundation problems in some cases.
Though concrete home foundations are durable and strong, sometimes foundation repairs become necessary when ground or weather conditions cause damage.
These are some of the issues that might require foundation repair solutions due to cold weather damage.
1. Frost Heave
Frost heave is a ground condition that can cause foundation problems by causing pressure against the sides and bottom of the foundation.
It is most common in soils that hold a lot of water and happens as the ground freezes downward, causing the water within the soil to expand as it does.
As a result of this expansion, pressure is put on the sides of the foundation and once the soil beneath it has eventually frozen, it can be pushed upward.
Damage requiring foundation repairs from frost heave includes cracks, the uneven raising of the foundation, and even structural problems with the house.
2. Uneven Foundation Settlement
Secondary to frost heave and other soil settling problems is when a foundation settles unevenly after the soil begins to defrost.
Depending on the degree of unevenness, foundation repair solutions to level the foundation again may be required.
Even if there is no damage due to frost heave, warmer temperatures that cause the soil to thaw and open up once again may result in the foundation settling unevenly back into its original position.
3. Frozen Sump Discharge Lines
Long stretches of freezing weather can affect sump pump systems installed to prevent foundation problems if the discharge lines become frozen.
Although this can be prevented fairly easily with a portable heater, sump discharge lines should be monitored very carefully during the winter months to ensure that no freezing occurs.
Keeping sump discharge lines functioning is especially important in regions where there is a lot of snow, as this can increase the amount of drainage flowing into the sump system.
4. Snow Melt Damage
Melting snow can also cause damage that requires foundation repairs in regions that receive a good deal of snow.
Snow melt water from the roof that falls onto the ground close to the foundation can contribute to frost heave by increasing water content in the soil right around it or increasing water drainage into damaged foundations or those with sump pump systems.
5. Leaks During The Thaw
A need for foundation repair solutions may also become evident once the weather warms up some and the soil begins to thaw.
Whether there are problems due to frost heave, snow melt, uneven settling, or some other cold-related damage, the leaking starts once the ground defrosts.
In some locations that go through repeated frost-thaw cycles in one winter, foundation problems may result from the repeated increasing and decreasing of pressure around the foundation.
Contact A Foundation Repair Specialist About Winter Weather Damage
Although home foundations are designed to withstand specific local weather conditions where they are built, deep freezes and other winter conditions can still result in significant damage.
Leaks, uneven floors, cracked walls, and other changes are a sign that foundation repairs might be required, especially if these changes become more noticeable after winter.
Seek required foundation repair solutions from a local foundation expert who knows the local soil’s properties and can make the right repair for the situation!