One of the earliest lessons learned as a youngster in science class was that cold temperatures make things contract and warm temperatures make them expand. Trouble can arise as the cold weather season sets in if you suspect that you may be in need of foundation repair.
Cracks And Seasonal Cycles
Three seasonal cycles affect foundations: warm, wet, and cold weather. They work together, one season after another, to expand and enhance the problems a slab is suffering.
During hot weather cycles everything contracts. Moisture evaporates from the soil surrounding a home, causing concrete to lose crucial support. Underlying soil shrinks and creates voids. Where a void exists, support is lacking, creating areas of stress where cracks can appear. A tiny crack worsens once it endures the next two seasonal conditions.
The rainy season fills cracks with moisture. Homeowners may also contribute, as they take advantage of milder weather by revitalizing flowerbeds and landscape plantings. Committed gardening and watering create a fabulous looking yard but also prime a cracked foundation for a cold weather disaster.
The first cold snap occurs and romantics light fires and snuggle into cozy sweaters. Along with snowfall, the moisture in the soil, as well as in the cracks of your foundation, begins to freeze. As the moisture freezes, it expands. Those tiny cracks become larger. But there’s more. What happens to water pipes if a cracked slab begins to shift? Stress can occur and a home could end up flooded.
The National Foundation Repair Association (NFRA) indicates poor maintenance as the most common reason a foundation fails. In areas of extreme weather conditions, homeowners should be diligent to follow the maintenance recommendation of the NFRA.
Perform slope and earthen perimeter maintenance to ensure proper drainage.
Inspect walkways and patios that may have settled and affected drainage.
Inspect planting areas, trees and vegetation for signs of root intrusion, foundation damage, or ponding.
Inspect sprinkler systems, gutters, downspouts and drains to correct any alignment and drainage issues.
Inspect structures for signs of foundation compromise such as plumbing leaks, cracks in bricks, etc.
Routine maintenance may sound like a tall order for the average homeowner. Trust qualified professionals for inspection and maintenance. Please contact us and let our experts prepare your foundation for the upcoming cold weather season.