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How Is The Cold Hurting Your Home's Foundation?

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 by Kelsey Bullerdick


Around the Tri-State we're all familiar with the joke - if you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes - and we're entering the time of year where it's very, very accurate. The constant freezing and thawing are probably wreaking havoc on your skin and lungs - but it's also hurting your home. 

When you have water in the ground, it freezes and it contracts. Water increases in volume by nearly 10% when it freezes, and wet soil can expand even more when frozen. As temperatures rise, the water thaws, and expands, and the soil surrounding it also will expand. This effect is known as frost heaving and can be a major concern as the expanding soil puts pressure on foundation walls. Not only will groundwater make its way through your foundation walls, but frost heaving can put literally thousands of pounds of force against your foundation walls, causing cracks, bowing, heaving. 

How Is The Cold Hurting Your Homes Foundation - Image 1

The annual January thaw is a dangerous time for basements and crawl spaces because of frost heave, and that's no different this year. Going into the new year with a bitterly cold start, last week we saw a major thaw with temperatures in the 50s. As the snow melts so does the water frozen underground, and with the thaw comes expansion. 

 

With colder temperatures, we're due for a freeze that will last the week - this gives newly saturated and expanded soil plenty of time to freeze again. 

 

It's unknown what temperature fluctuations will happen towards the beginning of February and beyond, but generally, once the first thaw comes, we're in for a roller coaster ride of ups and downs through March. With each freeze and thaw cycle, the soil expands further, intruding around your foundation.

 

Healthy Spaces has a variety of solutions to stabilize and even straighten bowing walls to prevent the effects of frost heave. You have enough to deal with in your daily lives - let Healthy Spaces give you a piece of mind by providing you with a FREE inspection to help you identify the problems you're facing with your foundation. 

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