Winter is Here: How to Check for Winter Weather Damage
Today, December 21st marks the first official day of winter. Before you cozy up inside next to a fire, it’s important to take a step back and inspect important places around the exterior of your home or business to check for signs of damage, where winter weather could pose further problems.
Foundation damage can occur before the first frost, as the potential for damage is heightened when temperatures reach below 40 degrees for consecutive days. As temperatures drop, frost heave occurs when ice freezes beneath the surface. Ice becomes restrained by the underlying soils, solidifies and becomes strong enough to crave concrete pavements and damage foundations. Frost heaves often can cause large cracks, as well as potholes in your driveway, making for a bumpy ride home. Moreover, hairline cracks in the concrete of a foundation that over time develop naturally because of a home settlement can expand during the winter , in turn threatening the structural integrity of your home or business if they aren’t taken care of in a timely manner. Aside from ice, winter in the Carolinas is characterized my rain and near freezing temperatures can also pose a threat to foundations.
Here are some steps you can take to combat winter conditions:
- Look for areas where water collects: This could be a problem area where water pools the soil becomes saturated and expands.
- Check your gutters: Make sure your gutters are clear of all debris. A key component to keeping a healthy foundation is having a sound drainage system to divert water away from the home or business.
- Monitor for signs of damage: Cracks in the foundation, cracks in bricks, uneven floors and sticking windows and doors all point to foundation problems.