A foundation is important as it holds the weight of a home or building and keeps it upright. When it becomes damaged and weak, this can cause instability of the building it should be supporting. During the cold months, the foundation can experience changes, which can lead to problems that need to be taken care of. Here are some cold weather foundation problems you should know to recognize and tips for how to prevent them.
Doors and windows stick when opening and closing
When doors begin to stick, this is generally a sign that your foundation is damaged. Cold weather and extra moisture can cause water damage to the foundation making it less stable. This instability causes the foundation to shift, which means walls, doors, and windows will also experience some shifting. Doors and windows that used to be level, no longer are. Another sign of foundation damage is that you will notice cracks in tile flooring and lifting of laminate and vinyl flooring.
Cracks in the foundation
The consistent freezing and thawing of frost (frost-heave) can create cracks in the foundation of your home. If your foundation already has tiny cracks before the cold weather hits and you don’t have them repaired, the frost-heave will worsen the condition of the cracks. Even if you had no cracks prior to frost-heave, the soil pressure against the foundation can create brand new cracks, both small and large. These cracks cause weakening to the foundation.
Water damage and flooding inside home
Freezing pipes cause by the cold weather can damage your foundation. If these pipes should burst, Water pipes that have no insulation are more likely to freeze and burst than ones that are insulated. If you live in an area that commonly gets cold weather, insulating your pipes is a cheaper choice in the long run than having to repair your foundation as well as the damage done inside your home. Other signs of a damaged foundation you will see indoors include stained and cracked walls and ceiling, especially in the basement.
What you can do to prevent cold weather foundation problems
The problems your foundation can experience are not completely out of your hands. There are steps you can take to prevent minimal damage during cold weather. This is especially important if you live in an area that is prone to cold weather. Keeping your home’s core temperature above 55 degrees Farenheit will help to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. Other things you can do to prevent foundation damage during the cold and wet months include cleaning out your gutters, making sure the downspout is far from your home, and making sure the soil of your landscaping is sloped away from the foundation.
The cold months can bring risks to your foundation. Snow, ice, frost, and rain can affect the condition of your foundation. When the foundation becomes weak, it can’t support the weight of your home as it should. Some of the damage that may occur during cold months can be prevented or reduced.