Winter months often mean bringing out the heavy coats from the back of the closet and occasionally shoveling the snow off the sidewalk. However, have you ever considered the ramifications this changing weather has on your home?

During spring and summer months is when most people think about making home renovations, doing yard work, and consider foundation repair. Yet, a lot is happening to homes, more specifically the foundation of homes, during winter months.

Weather changes bring soil changes, disrupting your home’s foundation.

The foundation of your home is underground, built-in soil. Different soils expand and contract at different rates when water is in them. During the summer, hot weather can cause the soil to shrink. In the fall, rain can cause the soil to expand. In the winter, when the water in the soil freezes, the soil expands even more.

All seasons can experience a dry period without moisture, but we see this mostly in summer and winter. Dry spells cause a removal of moisture which makes the soil contract, pulling away from your foundation. This leaves a void that allows for foundation settlement.

Winter also comes with a lot of snow in the Midwest. If heavy snow accumulates near your home’s foundation, it can cause the soil to expand and fill in the gaps where the soil was once compressed. It can also cause your basement to flood once it melts.

Frost Heave

The soil closest to the top will freeze first. The longer the cold sticks around, the more it permeates the soil, which means it will continue to freeze at deeper depths. When the ground freezes below layers of soil that are already frozen, it creates lots of movement in the soil.

Ice can then freeze beneath the concrete foundation, causing foundation cracks and wall cracks. When this ice melts, the water then has cracks in your foundation and walls to leak through.

To protect your home from frost heave during winter months, Dry Basement recommends waterproofing your basement to stop any water from entering through potential cracks. You may also need foundation crack repair depending on the severity. A foundation repair professional can help you assess the damage and needed fixes.

Concrete Contraction During Winter

Concrete also suffers from weather changes; it can contract and expand with fluctuating temperatures. As the weather grows colder, the concrete in your foundation will contract. When the weather gets warmer, the concrete will expand. The constant contracting and expanding can lead to cracks, whether in your foundation, basement floor or walls.

If your foundation had existing cracks, the temperature changes are only making them worse. You should seek out foundation repair immediately.

Basement wall cracks are especially worrisome because water can enter through these cracks, and melting snow could soon turn into a basement flood. Be sure not only to have a basement waterproofing solution but to also have a working sump pump in case of flooding.

How to tell if you have Foundation Problems

Here are some common signs of foundation settlement:

If you are experiencing any of these signs, please reach out to Dry Basement® Foundation Repair. We offer a free inspection and evaluation and include a well-written cost estimate for your foundation repair. Contact us today to fix your foundations!