A foundation is your home’s main structural support. As such, you need to keep it in good shape all year round. Seasonal changes in Columbus, OH, can cause serious damage to your foundation, leaving you with a flooded basement, burst pipes, and a water-damaged home.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to protect your foundation from these elements. But before you can start problem-solving, you need to understand why seasonal change is so tough to the foundation so you can avoid it.
Effects of Changing Seasons to Foundations
When seasons change, here’s what happens:
Concrete Expands and Contracts: As the temperatures rise and drop, concrete expands and contracts respectively, as does exterior soil. These contractions and expansions can cause cracks in the foundation walls. Over time, the cracks grow in size and can have adverse effects on your foundation if not repaired.
Spring Means More Water: As the weather warms up in spring, water from thawing snow and incessant spring rainfalls saturate the soil. The excess water exerts pressure on foundation walls, causing them to crack and bow. Before long, this water gets into your foundation, causing more structural damage.
Leaves Clog Gutters and Downspouts: As the seasons change, you may find a lot of leaves falling on your roof. If not cleaned, these leaves and other debris can clog your gutters, causing rainwater to overflow into the ground surrounding your foundation.
Measures You Can Take to Prevent Seasonal Damage
Keeping water away from your home is paramount to the safety and health of your foundation. Let’s look
at effective preventative measures you can take to waterproof the home.
Install a Comprehensive Drainage System
Poor drainage is the leading cause of a weakened foundation. It causes uneven settling, cracks and other ways for water to enter your foundation. A drainage system includes:
The best way to waterproof your basement is by investing in an interior drainage system. Specially designed piping will sit in your sub-floor and atop the footing in our basement to accept seeping water from the walls and floor before it has a chance to get to the rest of your basement. These channels then direct the water to a sump pump system.
A Sump Pump
Water collected by the interior drainage system will then be pumped out of your basement and away from your home by a reliable sump pump system. A quality sump pump also prevents basement floods and damage to your home’s foundation. This device will offer your home a lifeline during stormy weather. Make sure you check the sump pump regularly, especially before heavy rains and stormy weather. You don’t want to be caught off guard by a defective sump pump.
A Gutter System
When looking to protect your foundation from rainwater, the first step is taming the water runoff from your roof. Gutters provide a great way to collect and channel water from your house.
If leaves and other debris are clogging your gutters, have them removed and cleaned. Otherwise, the gutters will start dumping water near your home’s foundation. This water will seep into your foundation and destroy it.
The goal here is to prevent water buildup around the perimeter of your home. Extend your downspouts a few away or have them installed in the ground so that they can move rainwater away from your foundation.
Ground Sloping or Grading
If you have an improper slope in your landscape, it could be pushing water toward your home. This causes excess moisture to settle around your foundation, causing basement flooding. To prevent damage to the foundation, adjust your landscaping to slope away from your home. The landscape should slope at a level of six inches for every 10 horizontal feet. Grading your landscape also prevents problems like foundation erosion and soil deterioration.
The freeze-thaw cycle, hydrostatic pressure, and settling soil can cause your foundation’s walls to crack. These cracks, no matter how small, can allow water to seep into your basement, causing flooding. This not only puts you at risk of water damage but also toxic microorganisms.
Inspect your foundation for cracks and deteriorating mortar joints. If you find any, take quick and effective steps to repair them. While you have the option to use DIY fixes on the smaller cracks, it’s best to contact a professional basement and foundation repair contractor who can properly inspect and repair problems like large cracks that may require structural intervention.
Fix Leaky Pipes
Persistent leaks can lead to a myriad of issues in the foundation. Besides fostering mold and mildew growth, leaks can lead to wood rot and encourage termite and other insect infestation.
Check your pipes to make sure water isn’t trickling down. Fix any rusty or broken pipes and valves without delay. Also, take all the necessary measures to protect them from the winter cold.
Everyone deserves to feel safe and secure in their own home. If you notice structural issues such as bowing or buckling foundation walls, do not wait any longer.
Need help or advice? Schedule a free foundation repair inspection and quote with highly trained and experienced professionals. We customize all our foundation services to meet your specific needs.