Common foundation problems in the winter that require repair

Posted Mar 31, 2021 in Waterproofing

Winter house

Win­ter will be here in no time, that means snow, ice and sleet will be every­where we look. Snow can wreak hav­oc on our roofs, sid­ing, and foun­da­tion. Because no one wants a wet base­ment, here are some basic warn­ing signs that you are suf­fer­ing from water dam­age to your foun­da­tion, and how to pre­vent them from get­ting worse.

Basic indoor warn­ing signs that your foun­da­tion is damaged:

  1. A door fails to latch or is con­stant­ly jammed.
  2. Cracks pop­ping up over door­ways, win­dows, and espe­cial­ly where the walls meet the ceilings.
  3. Cracks in vinyl or ceram­ic tile that is installed over a con­crete floor.
  4. Win­dows that have no pre­vi­ous prob­lems sud­den­ly seem to stick or won’t close completely.

Com­mon caus­es of water damage:

Frost Heaves

Frost can dam­age pave­ment and build­ing struc­tures in two ways: first, by the heav­ing of the frozen ground caused by ice lens­es form­ing in the soil, and sec­ond­ly when the ground col­laps­es after these frost lens­es thaw. To pre­vent these from affect­ing the build­ing, build­ing codes have been estab­lished that require at least 30 inch­es of a building’s foot­ing depth in order to resist frost expansion.

Ver­ti­cal ground shifts

Con­sis­tent freez­ing and thaw­ing can cause the ground to shift between four and eight inch­es, on aver­age. Vari­a­tions in these num­bers are nor­mal, and can even be as high as 24 inch­es due to dif­fer­ent soil and water con­di­tions that cause cracks in your foundation’s structure.

Freez­ing pipes

When the out­side tem­per­a­ture drops below 20 degrees Fahren­heit, water pipes in homes with lit­tle to no insu­la­tion are more like­ly to freeze and crack. Frozen pipes can cause inte­ri­or flood­ing with­in a mat­ter of sec­onds since a one-eighth crack in a pipe can spew out more than 250 gal­lons of water every day. On aver­age, a quar­ter of a mil­lion Amer­i­cans have one or more rooms in their homes dis­rupt­ed by burst­ing pipes every year.

How can you pre­vent water dam­age in the first place?

Clean out your gutters

Make sure to reg­u­lar­ly clean your gut­ters to make sure they are not clogged, and that the down­spouts are angled far away from the home.

Pay atten­tion to your landscaping

All soil should be sloped away from the foun­da­tion at a rate of six inch­es for every 10 hor­i­zon­tal feet.

Pro­tect structures

Elim­i­nate frost heaves in one of the fol­low­ing ways: reduce frost pen­e­tra­tion, keep water out of the freez­ing zone, or make sure soil in the freez­ing zone is not sus­cep­ti­ble to frost.

Pre­vent burst pipes

The best way to pre­vent pipes from freez­ing and burst­ing is by always keep­ing your home’s core tem­per­a­ture above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

What our customers say

  • We con­tract­ed Fam­i­ly Water­proof­ing Solu­tions for exte­ri­or wall seal­ing and foun­da­tion crack repair ser­vices. Ken was very thor­ough in explain­ing the work that would be done, and his crew did a great job. This busi­ness was a plea­sure to work with.

    Stacie T.
  • Work­man­ship and ser­vice were excel­lent. Would rec­om­mend with­out reservation.

  • You and your crew did a great job in our base­ment and crawl­space. You went the extra mile to insure that all of our water seep­age prob­lems are over. We would rec­om­mend you high­ly to oth­er peo­ple. Your qual­i­ty and time­ly work out­match­es all the others.