There is a chance that the dropping temperatures during the coming winter months could have an effect on your home’s foundation. Keeping your foundation healthy is vital to the stability of your home since the foundation holds up the entire structure. The colder temperatures that are common throughout Middle Tennessee during the winter season can cause foundation damage in a few different ways.
The first possible problem when it comes to wintertime is frost heaving. This is what happens when the top-level soils around your home and foundation freeze and thaw. When the ground freezes, moisture in the soil expands, causing the concrete foundation above to heave. When the ground eventually thaws, the soil shrinks back and causes settlement in the above foundation. The freeze-thaw cycle during the wintertime can also cause upward suction that causes more water to build up near the foundation, putting more stress on the concrete. These issues can cause the foundation to heave, settle, and crack. Homes built on silty soils are especially prone to these issues.
If ice is allowed to build up in your pipes, it may expand enough to crack or burst the pipes. If pipes in your home freeze, they can cause both water problems and foundation problems. Water leakage, weakened concrete (due to moisture exposure), mold, and foundation cracks are all possibilities of freezing pipes. If you have pipes directly or indirectly exposed to outdoor temperature or unprotected outdoor faucets, you may be at risk for pipe freezing.
PREVENTING AND REPAIRING WINTER FOUNDATION PROBLEMS IN TN HOMES
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent cold weather from damaging your foundation and to repair any damage that does occur due to winter weather. The following lists contain information on protecting your home from cold-weather foundation damage.
PREVENT FROST HEAVE ISSUES
- Implement Proper Water Drainage
- Complete water management systems lower the amount of moisture that can build up around your home. These systems consist of interior and exterior waterproofing, basement waterproofing, French drains, sump pump systems, and surface drainage.
- Insulate Your Home’s Foundation
- Insulating your foundation walls will prevent moisture in the concrete from freezing and expanding to cause cracks and other forms of frost-related damage.
- Replace Soil Around Your Home
- Filling in around your home with more porous soils can also improve drainage and reduce the effects of frost heave to keep your foundation protected during the winter months.
PREVENT PIPE FREEZING PROBLEMS in middle tennessee
- Shut Off Exposes Pipes/Faucets
- Ensure unused pipes are shut off and drained so that water sitting inside them does not freeze and expand.
- Seal Leaks Around Pipes
- Fixing leaks around pipes will keep cold air out to reduce the chance that the pipes will freeze.
- Insulate Around Pipes
- Insulating pipes or the crawlspace, basement, or attic that contains the pipes can also help raise the temperature of water in the pipes and reduce freezing.
- Keep Inside Temperature Warm
- Make sure the temperature in your house remains above 55 degrees Fahrenheit even when you are out. This reduces the chances of pipes freezing and bursting in your home.
If you do experience foundation damage in your Tennessee home this winter, Ground Up Foundation Repair can help. We offer effective foundation repair techniques to level and stabilize your foundation as well as various water management options to prevent moisture-related issues in the spring.
Contact us as soon as you see signs of damage to keep the issue from getting any worse.