Winter is coming, and you’re probably no less concerned about your leaking foundation than you have been all Fall. You’ve been in your home long enough to know that your foundation doesn’t stop leaking in the winter. You see, only the top layers of the soil freeze in the winter months, leaving the warmer soil below to continue to let water flow relatively freely. This can be a double-edged sword, as your foundation is more likely to crack in the winter, letting water into your home.
Frost heave is a condition that affects many foundation across the country every winter. Frost heave is based on the fact that when water freezes, it expands (9% by volume, in fact), exerting force in all directions. As the top layers freeze, groundwater is drawn up from the warmer soil to the frozen section of soil, adding to the overall force pressing against your foundation.
This stress on your foundation can cause hairline cracks to form from your basement floor up to the top of your foundation wall, or in the case of cinder block and stone walls, cracks to form within the mortar joints. More over, existing cracks can be expanded significantly during the period of pressure and, with the spring melt, subsequent release of pressure.
For this reason, it is important to address hairline cracks early, and have them repaired properly. Moreover, you may want to consider installing a waterproofing system that draws water away from your foundation, minimizing the amount of water that affects your foundation. Feel free to call us with questions and concerns.