Winter weather can be beautiful, with snow-capped mountains and frosty trees. However, blistering cold temperatures can also lead to harsh winter weather. The cold, ice, and snow can not only take a toll on your body. It can also be hard on your home. Foundation cracks are just one issue you may have to deal with as a result of freezing Midwestern winters. Here’s what you need to know about how cracks form and the best foundation repair strategy for approaching this problem.
When temperatures fall below zero degrees, the moisture in the soil freezes, which causes it to expand. As this moisture expands, it puts pressure on the foundation walls, and this leads to cracking. The soil may also slide and shift, moving the foundation and walls in a way that enables cracking.
Another potential cause of cracks is foundation leaks. Older homes are more susceptible to water leaks, as old, brittle pipes that freeze during the winter are more likely to burst. The water from plumbing leaks has a similar effect on your home’s foundation as that of the frozen soil. Pipes’ proximity to the foundation leaves it vulnerable to excess moisture. Because the foundation is comprised of a porous material, when a pipe bursts, it will absorb excess water, which ultimately leads to cracks and damage. Over time, these cracks can continue to grow, allowing more moisture to enter with each freeze and thaw cycle. Eventually, these cracks can become large enough to adversely impact the structure’s stability and raise the risk for potential flooding.
When it comes to determining the necessity for foundation repairs, having a spring inspection can save you a significant amount of money and stress in the long run. A concrete repair contractor will assess the foundation to see if any cracks have already formed and look for other signs of damage related to winter weather conditions. If any issues are detected, they can address them right away to prevent them from compounding into more severe problems. A contractor can also provide case-specific advice to prevent future issues in your home, such as foundation waterproofing suggestions or tips for fortifying your insulation.
To learn more, call Cincinnati Basement Waterproofing & Drainage today at (513) 898-9723.