During the winter months, there are a few different issues that can lead to some serious foundation problems. The main issue that leads to foundation problems is the thawing and freezing of the ground around your foundation. This is a phenomenon that can cause many different types of issues, from foundation cracks in the walls and floor, to shifting foundations, to foundation sinking and settlement. If you see any of these issues in your home, you should be sure to contact a professional repair expert as soon as possible. Matthews Wall Anchors can help you fix any foundation problems that have been caused by freezing and thawing and ice in your foundation.
How does ice cause foundation problems? The water in the soil underneath your home will freeze and thaw as the temperatures rise above the freezing level and then drop below it the next day. This constant freezing and thawing of the water results in expansion and contraction of the soil: as the water in the soil freezes, it expands; when it thaws, it contracts. This causes the soil to push on the foundation as the water freezes and to sink, taking the foundation down with it as the water thaws. This process often leads to buckled and heaving foundations, or sinking and settling foundations. If the damage is severe enough, the heaving and settling may also lead to crack formation in the foundation. This problem is known as frost heave.
If there are existing cracks in your foundation, ice can make them worse. When the temperatures are a bit warmer, water from melting snow, rain, or sleet, may make its way into the cracks in your foundation. As the temperatures fall, the water will freeze, expanding and widening the crack as it does so.
The best way to fix foundation problems that have been caused by ice is to make sure that the foundation is secure and then fix the individual cracks. To secure a settling or shifting foundation, helical piers or steel push piers can be used. These piers support the foundation from underneath by driving deep into stable soils and rock layers underground. Cracks in the foundation walls can be fixed using helical anchors (like large screws that are installed horizontally to pull foundation into place), or wall plate anchors (use a wall plate and lateral anchor and cable system to pull foundation into place). Foundation wall cracks can also be fixed using carbon fiber strips to seal the cracks and support the foundation walls.
Winter ice and snow can also cause problems as they melt. If the water resulting from melted ice and snow pools around your foundation, it may seep through the concrete, causing a wet basement. This can be avoided with proper drainage techniques, including exterior waterproofing and interior waterproofing.
If you are worried about ice causing foundation problems in your home, contact Matthews today. We can help you prevent and fix foundation problems caused by ice and winter weather. Call us today for more information.