The official first day of winter isn’t for a few weeks, but that doesn’t mean you’re not already bundling up and wearing your boots every time you leave the house. Winter in Michigan can be brutal, which is why it’s vital that you know the common foundation issues you may face this winter. While a shifting foundation happens often in this Water Winter Wonderland, during the winter, it can have a much more detrimental effect on your foundation.
As a midwestern state, you expect that it’s going to get cold, but you don’t think about the home repairs you may need after winter. For this reason, Foundation Solutions 360 wanted to educate you on what to expect when it comes to foundation issues and the winter in Michigan.
Common Foundation Issues And How To Prevent Them
With the holidays a few weeks away, that must mean it’s pretty cold in Michigan. It’s important that as the temperature drops you take the necessary precautions to minimize any damage down to your foundation. In Tips To Prevent Winter Water Damage To Your Pipes, we suggested some ways to make sure that your pipes don’t freeze. We’ll expand a bit on that, but we’ll also dive into the importance of preventing frost heaves — we’ll touch on this below — and shifting foundations. Additionally, we’ll cover how you can prevent these types of situations.
If you notice some basic warning signs such as a door being constantly jammed; cracks appearing in your ceiling, windows, or doors; or cracks in the tiles, then call Foundation Solutions 360. We’ll take a look at your foundation and create a solution that will ensure you and your family stay safe in your residence.
A frost heave is something that occurs in cycles. A frost heave cycle is when the ground freezes then melts, which makes the soil heave and contract. The cycle has a negative impact on your foundation because it causes the soil to become unstable. With the fluctuating weather, this expanding and contracting can impact the concrete of your foundation. Many serious foundation issues are caused due to cold weather and frost. While not only expensive, this can also be dangerous.
Keep in mind that damage done to your foundation isn’t just at freezing point either, it can happen before, such as if the temperature falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for a few consecutive days. Another way that frost heaves can cause damage is when the frozen ground creates ice lenses in the soil. Additionally, if the ground collapses after the front lense thaws, then it can create damage to your foundation.
To prevent frost heaves, you’ll want to reduce any penetration from frost, keep the water from the freezing zone, as well as ensure the soil of the freezing zone isn’t immune to the frost. This will help fight off frost heave cycles.
Freezing pipes are a very common occurrence during a cold Michigan winter. While we touched on ways to prevent frozen pipes in Tips To Prevent Winter Water Damage To Your Pipes, it’s vital that you don’t make an optimal environment for your pipes to freeze and then burst, which will create a costly home repair for you. Freezing pipes will occur when it drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The pipes in your home that don’t have insulation will begin to crack and freeze, which can result in a burst pipe.
Even the best and newest pipes can burst if you don’t take the necessary precautions. After all, a burst pipe can cause interior flooding within just a few seconds. More than 250 gallons of water can spew out in just one day with one small crack. At least a quarter of a million of Americans will have a burst pipe every year, so make sure that you take the necessary steps to ensure that your pipes are cared for.
A way to prevent freezing pipes is by letting your faucet run, opening your cabinet doors in your kitchen and bathroom, and keeping the temperature in your home above 55 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid your pipes from bursting.
The last common foundation issue that you probably deal with all year round, but in the winter, it can be the worst is a shifting foundation. Your foundation will always shift, but when it’s constantly freezing and thawing, then it can cause the ground to become unstable. On average, the ground can shift between four and eight inches. The changes in the soil can be normal or it can cause abnormalities. The changes in the foundation will cause cracks in the foundation of your structure. With the changes in pressure, you’ll notice that your home’s foundation will start to shift, which means structural damage in the interior and the exterior of your home. To protect your structure, you’ll want to eliminate the chance of frost heaves. This can be avoided by reducing frost penetration.