When winter arrives, your foundation will be at risk for serious cold-weather damage. Most people don't think about their foundation when they take steps to winterize their homes. If you haven't taken steps to protect your foundation this winter, it's time to get started on that. Here are four strategies you can use to protect your foundation from winter damage.
1. Don't Overlook the Small Cracks
If you have small cracks your foundation, you need to have those repaired as quickly as possible. Small cracks can expand quite quickly during a freeze/thaw cycle. Moisture gets inside the cracks and then freezes. Once the moisture freezes, it expands, which causes the cracks to expand as well. To prevent the escalation of foundation damage this winter, have the cracks repaired in the foundation – even the small ones.
2. Let the Gutters Do Their Job
If you have gutters, you need to make sure that they're able to do their job this winter. Your gutters are responsible for keeping water away from the foundation. Unfortunately, your gutters can't do their job if they're filled with debris, or if the downspouts aren't adjusted properly. Before you're faced with flooding and foundation damage, clean your gutters and adjust the downspout. If you're not sure how to adjust the downspouts, simply make sure that the flow of water is away from your home.
3. Adjust the Soil Placement
If you can see your foundation below the perimeter of your home, you need to adjust the soil before winter arrives. If your foundation is exposed, it's at risk for damage associated with cold weather and water. Before winter arrives, bring in some additional topsoil and place it around the perimeter of your home. Once the foundation is covered, rake the soil to create a downward slope that leads away from your home. The additional soil will protect your foundation from the cold weather and allow water to flow away from your home. Avoid using mulch or hay to insulate your foundation and improve drainage. Moist hay or mulch up against your home will invite pests, which could lead to a winter pest infestation.
4. Reduce the Humidity
If you're like most people, you turn your dehumidifier off as soon as winter arrives. However, to help protect your foundation, you should actually leave the dehumidifier on throughout the winter. Excess humidity can cause damage to your foundation and walls during the winter months. To avoid that problem, turn your dehumidifier to the lowest setting so that it will activate when the humidity level becomes a problem in your home.
For more information and tips, contact your local foundation repair service today.