Understanding Frost Heave Foundation Damage: Information For You

8 December 2015
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When you own your own home, you know that there are many different areas of your house that can become vulnerable and even damaged during the winter months. However, sometimes there are aspects of your home that can suffer damage during the winter that may surprise you. One of these areas is your home's foundation. Get to know more about how foundation damage can occur through a process called frost heave during the winter months and the possible steps that you can take to prevent these issues from occurring or to get the repairs necessary if they do.

Understanding Frost Heave

Frost heave is a term that most homeowners have never heard before. It refers to the process during the winter months in which the top layers of the soil and the ground will take on moisture and freeze. Then, when the temperature is warm, this frozen moisture melts and the surface of the ground thaws slightly.

However, the ground can then soak up that same moisture, as well as additional moisture through a form of suction that the moisture creates from additional snow and ice, then refreeze. This process is known as frost heave.

While in open areas where no buildings stand this is an almost imperceptible process, underneath and around your home's foundation, it can cause serious problems. The changes in pressure and the shifts in the ground can cause your foundation to crack and unevenness in the foundation as well.

Ways You Can Prevent Damage Due to Frost Heave

The best way that you can prevent damage to your foundation as a result of frost heave is to prevent frost heave from occurring underneath your home in the first place. While you may wish you can prevent the ground from freezing entirely, the only way you can truly prevent frost heave under your home is through better drainage.

If the moisture does not make its way underneath your home, it cannot freeze there, causing problems. As such, consider upgrading your drainage system or having it inspected if you are hoping to stop such issues from occurring. You may also want to consider surrounding your home and its foundation with porous soil that allows moisture to soak right through it rather than becoming trapped in the surface levels of the soil.

While you may take all of the necessary steps to prevent foundation damage from frost heave, you may still end up needing foundation crack repairs. If you see any cracks in your foundation following the winter months, be sure to have a concrete contractor come take a look and fill the cracks as soon as possible. However, with any luck, your frost heave prevention tactics will help you keep your foundation solid and intact this winter. Click here for more information on foundation crack repair.