The effects of winter on your foundation
Like for most things, the changing of seaons often means taking certain measures. Spring has become synonymous with cleaning, and autumn leaves are a sign that it is soon time to have winter tires installed,and the first snow signifies for some that it is officially acceptable to start playing Christmas music.
In the domain of foundation, the first signs of winter represent the beginning of potential problems, if they’re not managed properly. We have described below the effects of winter on your home’s foundation and how to properly protect it from harsh weather conditions.
Frost heave is a phenomenon that occurs only when temperatures are below freezing and when the ground has a higher water content, which allows it to freeze more easily.
As temperatures begin to cool, the ground begins to freeze at the surface. As the winter months lengthen and weather conditions become more severe, the freezing process seeps into the lower soil layers.
If you remember anything from your high school science class, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that when molecules freeze, they expand. The same rule applies on the ground that surrounds your home’s foundation.. When it freezes, it expands and puts pressure on your home’s foundation., pushing them upward. These undetectable but significant displacements can cause cracks in the foundation, the floors and the ceiling.
Depending on where you live, your home may run on a sump pump. If so, you will probably be familiar with your discharge line. This is the path your sump pump takes to expel excess water from your shower, sink and toilet.
When you are faced with very low temperatures, your discharge line can freeze over, therefore prohibiting the water’s ability to exit. The water is then forced back through the sump pump system and into your home where it can cause flooding and water damage.
If your home is equipped with a sump pump, be sure to check the drain line regularly.. Make sure it’s facing down to allow gravity to help the water flow out naturally. Antifreeze products can also be purchased to prevent ice build-up in the drain line.
As the snow begins to melt and the warm weather sets in, your foundation still has some obstables to overcome. When the ground froze over, your home’s foundation. shifted upwards. On the other hand, when the ground defrosts, your foundation undergoes a process that we call “settlement.”
The problem with foundation settlement is that it practically guarantees that your foundation will not resettle itself to its original position. When concrete settles gradually, it can cause cracks and damage.
If you notice a crack in your foundation, your floors, walls, or ceiling, contact an expert from Marco Réparation de Fondation to have the situation evaluated.
Protect your home
While winter weather is often unpredictable, there are effective ways to protect your home during the colder months.
By ensuring that your home is well insulated, you will avoid unnecessary heat loss and reduce the risk of destabilization. If you notice a problem, it is crucial to have it addressed quickly. The sooner you address a crack in your foundation, the more you will avoid potential risks.
If you have any doubts, trust the Marco Réparation de Fondation team.. Contact us today.