4 Ways Snow and Ice Damages Your Foundation

Winter is coming. But you can be prepared. There are many ways that snow and ice can damage your foundation but knowledge is power. Below are common winter weather headaches faced by homeowners and how you can prevent them from making damage to your foundation.

1.       Snow Damage to Concrete

When the air is cold and dry in the winter, concrete can begin to crack. When snow and ice melt, it can seep into the cracks and gather around your foundation. When the water refreezes, it expands and widens those cracks, which will cause pressure to push up against the foundation of your home. The best way to prevent more damage is to fill in the cracks in your concrete before winter. Taking the below steps will also help to prevent additional snow and ice melt from seeping into the cracks.

You can fix these cracks by contacting us to perform basement waterproofing services today to prepare for the fast approaching winter weather.

2.       Roof Draining & Meltwater:

Gutters and storm drains are helpful for ensuring that your roof and attic does not sustain water damage, but if you are not careful, the meltwater could damage your foundation. Here are a few tips for ensuring your drains protect both your roof and your foundation:

  • Experts recommend downspouts are extended at least five feet away from the house.
  • Make sure to clear snow piles and drifts from your roof.
  • Clear your gutters before the first snow.
  • Remove ice dams (more on ice dams below).

Additionally, never pile snow that has been removed from your driveway and walkway near your foundation. Put the snow in an area that will drain away from your home.

3.       Ice Dams:

Ice dams are one of the most common ways snow and ice damage your home. Ice dams form when gutters are clogged and the meltwater from the snow accumulated on your roof has nowhere to go. Since the water is blocked from running down the gutters and away from the house, it backs up under the roof and refreezes, creating an ice dam. When ice dams eventually melt, they can cause water damage, mold growth and rot.

To prevent ice dams, clean your gutters in the fall and make sure your attic is properly insulated. Additionally, a cold attic is helpful in preventing snow from melting.

4.       Frozen or Burst Pipes

Pipe freeze when exposed to below freezing temperatures for a prolonged period of time. When water freezes, it expands by 9%. When this happens in a closed pipe, this increases pressure on the pipe which can then crack or burst.

When a water pipe bursts, water will pour out and can flood and cause water damage to the surrounding areas. Often pipes in basements, garages, and crawlspaces have the highest risk for frozen pipes. Here are a few things you can do to prevent burst pipes:

  • Insulate pipes in areas that get the coldest in the winter.
  • Open cabinet doors on cold days to allow the warmer air from the house to keep the pipes warm
  • Allow a faucet to drip water when it gets cold out. This will relieve any pressure that could build up if the pipes freeze.

Winterize Now to Prevent Damage Later

If you need help, then contact Dry Basement®️  today. We can advise you on steps to take to protect the foundation of your home during the cold winter months. We cover most of Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa, with offices in Kansas City, Wichita, Des Moines, and Columbia.