Five Ways Your Home’s Foundation Can Be Damaged This Winter

Cracked FoundationDuring the winter, homeowners tend to focus on interior repairs and problems, like refinishing a basement or updating the electrical system. However, it is important to keep an eye on your home’s foundation when the weather turns cold to check for damage that requires immediate attention. Here are several potential problems to look for.

Freezing Temperatures

When the thermometer dips into sub-freezing or below-zero temperatures, you will want to check the foundation for signs of cracks. These may be hard to see if they are small, or they might show up immediately. Horizontal cracks are of special concern, as they may indicate pressure that is damaging the foundation to the point where expensive repairs may be needed.

Moisture

Heavy rain or a buildup of snow against your home’s foundation can begin to erode the structure. Extensive moisture can also lead to a freeze-and-thaw pattern. This may sometimes lead to moisture wearing into the foundation or leaching into small nooks and crevices to cause more substantial damage. Check areas of your home’s foundation where rain typically directly impacts the masonry or where snow piles up for days at a time.

Pests

Although rodents and insects do not burrow directly into concrete or brick structural foundations of a building, they can find small crevices or spaces where they enter the home and damage surrounding areas. This is especially true of termites. In turn, over time, significant infestation may damage concrete foundation structures indirectly, leading to costly repairs.

Wind

Although wind erosion and damage tend to be gradual, depending on a home’s location and exposure, high wind damage may contribute to wear and tear on the masonry. Strong winds can also force large objects like patio furniture and heavy equipment against the foundation, causing minor damage that eventually may lead to treatable issues, especially in conjunction with other sources of masonry disintegration. If your home’s foundation is subject to high wind damage, check periodically for signs that repairs may soon be needed.

Soil and Roof Drainage

Inspect your foundation routinely for signs of moisture drainage or buildup. Check the roof and downspouts to be sure no water trickles are wearing on a portion of the foundation. Homeowners should also examine the outdoor landscape near the home’s foundation to look for pooling of moisture after heavy rain or snow, or temporary lawn flooding, which can creep into the foundation and damage it. Sitting water near or at the home’s foundation may sift into the soil to create damp conditions that could impact the foundation.

If you are concerned about the need for possible foundation repair in Ann Arbor MI, take a close look at your foundation and note any questions or suspicions you might have. Contact a reputable foundation repair specialist in the area before problems expand and become more difficult to manage. By maintaining your Ann Arbor MI home’s foundation on a regular basis, you can help to ensure the house will remain a safe and comfortable dwelling for many years to come.

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