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Protecting your Foundation During the Cold Months

The cold months don’t only make your daily life challenging but also cause some issue with your foundation.  During these months, temperatures usually drop. Although it sometimes rains some years, it can get quite cold and dry other times. Either way, it is important to take steps to preserve the pier and beam or concrete slabs foundation house.

Issues Caused by a Wet Foundation

The majority of home foundations are made of stone, brick or concrete that keep basements dry. But, these materials are porous and allow water to make its way inside. This is especially possible if there is plenty of water in a short amount of time. Water that collects around the foundation can result in the following problems:

  • Cracks. Standing water will seep in and weaken the foundation walls. As a result, cracks will appear.
  • Heaving. Foundation heaving takes place if moisture-saturated soil forces the foundation upward.
  • Bowing walls. When wet, dirt tends to expand. Too much expansion puts pressure on the foundation and causes bowing walls.

Protecting your Foundation in the Cold Months

To prevent problems from occurring, think about installing a sprinkler system or put a soaker house around 18 inches away from the foundation. Soaker hoses are cheaper than sprinkler systems but make sure they don’t come in direct contact with the foundation.

As soil is moister in the winter, in general, it is best to protect the foundation by watering the yard less than you would in the hot months. Make sure you water around 75% to 80% less in colder months than you do during the summer months. The reason is that too much moisture can lead to various issues. Other preventives include:

  • Take care of the gutters. Gutters carry rainwater away from the foundation. In case the gutters are draining properly; however, the ground around the foundation is looking eroded or wet, think about extending the downspouts.
  • Maintain the drainage system. Consider installing an effective drainage system like a French drain to keep the foundations dry.
  • Shovel the snow on the roof. This can prevent the snow from drenching the foundation once it melts.

Since you just cannot pay attention to the foundation, winter foundation issues can seem overwhelming. However, keep in mind that the majority of issues arise because of a lack of preventative measures. You don’t have to worry about the impacts of snow on your foundation if you know a foundation repair or waterproofing specialist.