Winter Weather Can Cause Foundation Cracks

It’s difficult to think about another winter, especially after last year’s polar vortex kept us all inside and buried under inches and inches of endless snow! However, as homeowners we need to always be vigilant of the condition of our homes today and what tomorrow’s weather may do to the foundation.

Wind, snow and ice are right around the corner. That means ground water in the soil will be freezing and expanding, increasing the possible need for foundation repair. If your home has an older foundation or you already notice bowing walls or a leaky basement, this can be of greater concern.

For those of you who have some form of sump pump in your basement or crawl space, there is another concern. Generally, only the water that resides in the upper section of the soil around your foundation actually freezes and this condition is known as frost heave. Frost heave can cause freezing water in the soil to expand by as much as 9%!

Meanwhile, soil closer to your basement floor retains some heat, allowing water to remain liquid and flowing. This means that while the upper part of your foundation is expanding and causing pressure again your foundation, any existing cracks on the lower part of your foundation or on the floor are still susceptible to water seepage.

This stress caused by frost heave can create both hairline and larger structural. Hairline cracks are very thin vertical cracks or within the mortar joints of cinder block walls. Larger structural cracks will generally be greater than 1/8″ in diameter and appear horizontally or in the shape of a “V” across the corner joint where two foundation walls meet.

Before winter arrives, it is a good idea to have your basement inspected by a foundation waterproofing contractor. The professionals at Everdry Waterproofing can help you identify any problems and concerns that may lead to larger, most costly repairs if not addressed early. We offer free consultations and estimate so you, the homeowner, can make the most informed decisions regarding your foundation walls.